August 23, 2011
The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.
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. - Goodreads.com
In Bloodlines, Sydney Sage is our main character. For those of you that read the Vampire Academy series, you might remember her best for assisting Rose and her crew in the majority of Last Sacrifice. I loved reading this book from Sydney’s PoV because it was great to see the Moroi/Strigoi/Dhampir world through a human’s eyes. If you thought Sydney was smart and intelligent before, she really shines in her new role helping to protect Jill. Brains and beauty! Love her!
For those of us left wanting more of Adrian, heartbroken as we were at the end of Last Sacrifice for him, rest assured that he is back and in a big way. Adrian’s character progression in Bloodlines did not surprise me but definitely endeared me more to him. I was really happy with his personal development and can’t wait to see where this story arc takes him.
Poor Jill. Thrust into a new role in her life as a Moroi royal, her entire world just got thrown even more topsy-turvy having to go into hiding. Jill is still an awkward and gangly teenager and trying to find the balance between staying out of the spotlight and finding a niche for herself in her new school. I definitely felt for her and wanted to give her a hug or ten.
Eddie Castile, is still a kick-ass guardian as ever. He can be my bodyguard any day! His talents as a guardian are not wasted by being assigned to Jill at all. Protective, concerned, loyal and understanding – you would hardly expect anything less from someone that was under the tutelage of the expert trainers at St Vladimir’s. He will certainly have some challenges in this series; it will be interesting to see what happens next with him.
There were only two things about the book that frustrated me. The first was the lack of kissing/romance. If you’re looking for a lot of romance, you may not be happy -- although there are some things that I am SURE are headed our way in books to come in the series. Certainly new characters take time to adjust to each other and figure things out so I’m not horribly disappointed with this aspect. In fact, I’m kind of GLAD there wasn’t much of the omg-I-love-you- glomp-hug-attached-at-hip-StALk-mE romance. So maybe this is a plus. Romance for romance sake is sometimes too much. I can see where there will be build up through the series and that’s okay for me. Anticipation can be heady and rewarding.
Second, I pretty much had the book’s mysteries mostly solved before the characters. I don’t think this is because of any flaws in Richelle’s writing but more an after effect of that I read too much (is there such a thing?) so this was only a personal problem for me. But I was still delighted in the end that I had been on the right track!
Simply put: The first book in this spin-off series simply delivers.
It was everything I expected and more from a creation of Richelle’s. There was action, mystery, favorite beloved characters, new characters, and as a bonus we saw more about the Alchemist world than we had previously. I will tell you that seeing some friendly characters were enough to have me giggling with glee. When I finished, I laughed heartily and loudly and almost ran around my apartment screaming the book was that EXCELLENT.
The Golden Lily which is scheduled for release on May 1, 2012 will definitely prove to be a sought after sequel. If you were addicted to Vampire Academy as a Strigoi is to Moroi blood, you will be addicted to the Bloodlines series. What makes me ecstatic though is May isn’t THAT far away.
Fangirl note: If I had this book in something other than e-book for I would probably sleep with it but since it IS on my Kindle I will have to settle for sitting it on my nightstand.