Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

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 Timesbestselling 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. ~ (description from Amazon.com)

Shockingly, it did not take me very long to finish this book. I avoided my family last night to finish it. I am a HUGE fan of Mead’s Vampire Academy series (of which is this a spin off, for those of you not familiar with the books, and I was very excited to see the continuation of what seemed almost a closed book in “Last Sacrifice.”

Originally, I wasn’t sold on the idea of Sydney as the narrator. I liked her well enough from Rose’s perspective, but she wasn’t a character I loved. I picked up Bloodlines with the thinking, “Well, if Adrian’s in it, it’s worth it.” Given that, Sydney was a nice surprise. Now that you can see behind her ultra-all-business exterior, there actually is an engaging 3D character who loves to act passive until the second you can’t take it anymore and then she’s concocting potions to use on bullies. Her interplay with Adrian was great as well. Somehow she managed to fire back at him as much as Rose ever did, but maintain a completely different vibe with him then Rose. It was quite well done and very enjoyable to read.

SPEAKING of Rose – she DOES make a cameo in this book, near the beginning, and I was very excited to hear about that. However, the scene that she’s in is very … blah. Being a writer myself, the scene just made me feel like it was something Mead would have known enough to cut, but she couldn’t because it had Rose in it. Because of this scene(s), the book actually gets off to a rather slow start, which is something I’ve never known Mead to do. (Also, there is absolutely no interplay between Rose and Adrian, one of the touchstone points I would have expected to be made, given how “destroyed” he was by her. Sydney may be dense in social matters, but Mead didn’t even hint at it.)

BUT! Speaking of Adrian… Adrian fans, you will not be disappointed. He is back to his drinking, partying, druggy ways as much and worse as he was when we first met him, and it’s amazing. His smart aleckness hasn’t diminished a bit. Also amazing: there is actual growth for him in this book. I was never too sympathetic towards him before, because I wanted him out of the picture and Rose/Dmitri NOW, but I fell head over heels for him here. If you already loved him, well, you’ll probably worship this book. (Also, I am now shipping Adrian and Sydney SO MUCH.)

Now, enough about the characters… The book on a whole was very enjoyable and an easy read that flowed together. Like I said, the beginning was slow, but once Mead actually got to the meat of the story it only went up from there. Several of the key plot points were easy to figure out, but I did NOT expect the end, ESPECIALLY the cliff hanger she leaves it on. I don’t want to spoil it, but VA fans will want to shriek with happiness, and I myself need The Golden Lily in my hands RIGHT NOW because stuff is about to go DOWN. All and all, Bloodlines was a different tone from the VA series, but in a good way. It was a good set up for the rest of the series, and I know it’s only going to go up from here.

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