Published: August 23rd 2011 by Razorbill
Details: Hardcover, 421 pages
My Rating: 4/5
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!!
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.
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.