Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

11 Nov

Series: Bloodlines, book #1

Published: August 23rd 2011 by Razorbill

Details: Hardcover, 421 pages

My Rating: 4/5

My Summary:

Great new spin-off series of the Vampire Academy following the new protagonist Sydney, the human alchemist who helped Rose in Last Sacrifice. Sydney may not be as kick-ass as Rose (kind of hard to beat), but she is every bit as head-strong and protective of the ones she loves. She warmed my heart, as did the other characters in their group, Jill, Eddie and in particular Adrian! All in all, a wonderfully entertaining start to a new series!!

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Synopsis:

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive – this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

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My Thoughts:

I actually read this book a couple of weeks ago, but things were being so hectic at the time, that I never got a chance to sit down for a review. I do however remember my one thought after closing the last page:

I am in love with Adrian Ivashkov.

That’s right. Not since Jace in The Mortal Instruments have I felt so strongly for a male character. What a wonderful, cynical, broken-hearted, flawed, protective, kind and romantic character Mead has created. I felt as if he practically jumped out of the pages every time he was given page time. Talk about a scene-stealer!

So, taking that into account, my view of Bloodlines may be slightly biased, since Adrian had me feeling starry-eyed pretty much all the time.

That being said, I was conscious, more or less, of the rest of the plot as well. And believe me when I say that I was wary at the start.  For one, I loved everything about the Vampire Academy and was wondering if Sydney the alchemist could be as good of a protagonist as Rose?

Well, was she?

Yes, I think she was. Obviously not as kick-ass. Not the center of attention. Not as drop-dead gorgeous. But every bit as head-strong and courageous, and protective of the ones she loves.  Just managing the situations in a different way. While Rose tended to go running head-first into things, Sydney took time to think about the best possible way to handle something before acting on it. She is a bit of a brainiac, a book-nerd, responsible and all that. But she also proves that she has the guts to act in dangerous situations when it really comes down to it.

I found myself feeling for her, being human and trying to cope in a world of vampires, cleaning up after everyone, suffering from the repression of her father, trying to do everything right and please everyone but not always succeeding. Always putting everyone else before herself. I also see a lot of potential growth. I think she’ll learn how to stand up for herself and I hope in doing so she’ll also face her father. I can’t wait for that moment to happen.

The setting in this book is not much different from the Vampire Academy setting, except for the obvious. There are only humans in the school. Otherwise, Sydney and the Moroi princess Jill essentially face the same high school issues that Lissa and Rose once faced. That is, trying to cope with rumours, high-school bitches, not breaking school rules, boy crushes, demanding teachers, and the list goes on. It’s all very entertaining, and I loved seeing the little group of Sydney, Jill and Eddie taking care of each other and facing everyone around them.

Seeing as this is a spin-off, I should let you know that it works perfectly well to read this book if you haven’t read the Vampire Academy series. All though, be warned that there are quite a few spoilers as to how the previous series ended. So if you are planning to read VA, you should probably do that first before starting Bloodlines.

My one qualm about this book were the plot twists leading up to the finale which were a bit predictable. Someone of course had to turn out to be the bad guy with a hidden agenda.  BUT, seeing as Adrian was given page time in the finale, I wasn’t too bothered. And some of the other plot threads were very nicely tided up. So all in all, I enjoyed reading it until the end.

Finally, what really made this book special for me, was the growing affection between Adrian and Sydney. It happened so slowly that I barely knew if I was feeling it right, but I do think now there is great potential for the two of them. They definitely share a connection, and I cannot wait to see that continue in the sequel.

Now, some people have been complaining about the romance being too slow, but how could it have happened in any other way? I mean, Adrian was suffering from a broken heart. It would have come off as rather strange if he had been able to throw himself into another relationship just like that. I really did prefer this slow but much more believable scenario. Just saying.

The ending is a bit of a cliffie. Let me just say, you will be dying to know what the next spoken words are.

I know I literally cannot WAIT to continue the journey of these wonderful characters in The Golden Lily, to be published in June 2012.

10 Responses to “Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead”

  1. patsy November 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    ahhhh adrian
    yum

    I have a preorder for you!
    Legend by Marie Lu 29th Nov
    I read the ARC and its up there with Divergent as the next big dystopia
    Dual POVs and a real page turner
    you will love it

    p

    • tess November 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      Yum Adrian indeed!
      Thanks so much for your tip about Legent, had not heard about it! But will definitely preorder now!! /Tess

  2. Samita @ Book Purring November 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    I really liked this one, I’m glad you did too. I was one of the ones complaining about the romance being slow, but yes, it makes sense. I was hesitant to pick this one up, because I never did like VA after IDK the third book? And in general I just have a bad experience with spin offs lol, but I’m glad I did, I loved it.

    • tess November 15, 2011 at 10:55 am #

      Hi Samita,
      Yeah I know, I was hesitant as well, as I’m generally suspicious of spin-offs. Feels like they are generally just a way to generate more revenue of a well-known series. But I was glad, like you, to be proven wrong! And yes, the romance sure is slow, almost to the point of non-existant, but I have high hopes for the two of them in the next book. Great to hear you loved it too!

  3. jenika November 29, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Hi Tess!
    As I already wrote in other posts I totally enjoyed VA series and I am glad to read Adrian will finally let go Rose and find romance of his own (I would never have thought of Sidney, but for all the VA series I was surprises so many times… I think Richelle Mead is really good in delivering surprises after surprises in her stories… and I actually like the couple…)(They might work really well together…)
    I am not sure I am going to read it now as I am still thinking a lot about Dimitri and Rose (it’s quite long time since two characters didn’t hit me so much) and in the last two books I really didn’t like Adrian much because I was seeing him as a rather nuisance.
    I felt a bit the same with Jacob in New Moon and Eclipse… I didn’t like his putting himself between Bella and Edward, I started liked him a lot only in the forth book, when he finally let go of Bella (in the romantically way)… here Adrian didn’t really do it (let go of Rose) until he saw it with his own eyes…
    (speaking about seeing with his own eyes… Sonya was able to read Rose and Dimitri aura saying they were in love… Adrian was a aura reading too… how didn’t he read it too?)(maybe he did and he didn’t want to believe to his own eyes?)
    and I am not sure I’ll love Sidney as I did with Rose… but I might…
    Anyway if and when I’ll read Bloodlines of course I’ll let you know!!! :)

    • tess December 2, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Well, maybe it is a good idea to wait with this series, since you’re probably still thinking about Rose and Dimitri. Bloodlines is obviously no longer the story about them. I have to say though that I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Bloodlines. I LOVED Rose as well, and didn’t think I wanted to read about anyone else than her. But Sydney turned out to be a good heroine. I liked her, a lot even. So I would definitely try reading it, sometime. Rose and Dimitri also make small cameo appearances, which is fun.
      As for Adrian, I can see what you mean, he was a bit like Jacob, who stood in between. I was also irritated at Jacob all through the Twilight Saga. With Adrian though, I don’t know, I always felt for him, so it was a bit different. I think it was his whole messed up persona that had my heart go out for him. Also, I definitely think he could have seen that Rose and Dimitri were in love, if he had only looked properly. He just didn’t want to.
      Would love to hear what you think if you read Bloodlines!
      Thanks, Tess

  4. jenika December 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Hi Tess
    I just found the online version of Bloodlines and I am going to read it! Your review made me very curious and also if Rose and Dimitri are going to be there (even if only for a second) I’d want to read about it! :)

  5. jenika December 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Hi Tess
    I am reading Bloodlines, I am only a couple of chapters on and I am enjoying it so far! I like Sidney and… I feel like I am opening a door back to a world I really enjoyed (even if there will be no direct story of Rose and Dimitri, they are linked to Sidney anyway and I can now know more of characters who were interesting anyway…) (I hope we will see more of Rose’s father as he was one of my favorite characters! :)
    more comments to come!

    • tess December 5, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      Oh that’s great to hear! I loved it too, to be able to follow these characters again, like opening another door to that world :-) And I am a fan of Rose’s father too – great character! Enjoy the reading! Look forward to hearing what you think!

  6. jenika December 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Tess!
    I finished reading the book.
    It was a pleasant reading but nothing like Vampire Academy series. A few things really caught me (i.e. the real reason Jill knows a lot about what’s going on in Adrian’s mind and heart; the teacher who gives Sidney some magic work to do and her knowledge of all the vampires and alchemist worlds)(that was an interesting character) or the ending of the book… well, especially that because it was directed connected with Dimitri) :)
    but for all the book even if the characters were well developed no character REALLY did stand out… as did instead Rose and Dimitri from the first VA book.
    I liked Sidney enough but I didn’t love her and also a few things were a bit repetition from VA (like Laurell, it looked like Mia in the first book)…
    I liked to be back in the world of VA but without Rose and Dimitri it was a bit stale.
    I will continue reading the series but it will not be in the top of my list (different was if there were more books about VA series… I would read them in a heart bit!)
    I liked how the romance was slow: Adrian was still heart broken from Rose and his pain was very well developed here… it wouldn’t maybe have been realistic if he jumped straight away in Sidney arms… but even then it’s a romance who can make me a bit curious but not more than that… (let’s see in the next books…)
    I liked seeing Rose even if only for a few moments, I would have liked to see Lissa too…
    I would give the book a 3-3.5/5. It’s wasn’t bad but not so good either.

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