Review: “The Indigo Spell” by Richelle Mead

The Indigo SpellThe Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead

Goodreads | Amazon

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series 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.

Four stars

WARNING: If you haven’t read the first two books, there WILL be spoilers!

Please check out my reviews of Bloodlines and The Golden Lily for more of my thoughts!

There was almost nothing more important to me than getting my hands on this book. I mean, guys. It’s Richelle Mead. It’s Adrian. It’s Sydney. Despite my initial misgivings about this series, these two won me way over from the get go. I was good with Bloodlines, great with The Golden Lily. Sadly, despite the Adrian and Sydney scenes that I wanted, I have to say I’m back to being just good with The Indigo Spell.

The Indigo Spell starts off only short time after the great cliffhanger of The Golden Lily. Adrian and Sydney are acting all of the awkward, which is making Jill turn away from Sydney while Eddie and Angeline are off in their own little world. Sydney’s witch teacher is worried about a powerful, evil new witch in town and is obsessed with finding her, while Sydney is obsessed with finding Marcus. Adrian’s just obsessed with getting Sydney to see the obvious.

Let me just say, first off, that the Adrian/Sydney dynamic is the most adorable thing ever. You could say many things about Rose/Dimitri, but you could never really use the word “adorable.” Mead does a FANTASTIC job characterizing their relationship and their interactions with each other. Each action seems genuine and sincere. Every single scene with the two of them in it tugs my heart strings every which way. They aren’t just great as a couple; they’re great friends, too, and it shows. They really do act in a partnership, constantly making the other better. I should probably stop now before I just explode with happiness about these two.

My real problem with this book came in terms of the plot. There is just WAY too much going on. Sydney is after Marcus. Her professor is after a powerful witch who just happens to be her sister who just happens to be sucking the life force out of young, female witches.  Adrian is after Sydney. Sydney is trying to figure the Alchemists out for real. In the background you have Jill still mooning over Eddie and Eddie and Angeline having interesting problems. The different plots overlap in such a way that much of the characterization outside of Adrian and Sydney is entirely lost. You barely see Eddie, Jill and Angeline at all, and when you do Sydney is basically pushing them away. She knows there’s too much going on to deal with them. The different plot lines are constantly trying to push the other one out of the way until you can’t tell which one you should really be focusing on. In the end, the plots peter out in such a way that it feels like they were never important to begin with. The only thing holding the whole book together is the fact that Sydney and Adrian get to spend a LOT of time together.

I understand that as a middle book in a series, Mead had to throw a bunch of new plot in to reinvigorate the story, but I really missed the group dynamic that was prevalent in the first two books. Even the ending cliffhanger wasn’t as entirely engaging as the last ones. (Although, how do you top The Golden Lily, really?) Nothing particularly exciting or unexpected happened, as far as I was concerned, but I still really enjoyed it. Fans of Adrian and Sydney will NOT be disappointed. (Oh, and Rose and Dimitri fans will be happy to know we got another cameo!)

Book 4 in the Bloodlines series, The Fiery Heart, will be released on November 19th, 2013!

Advertisements

Waiting on Wednesday #31

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Title: The Indigo Spell

Author: Richelle Mead

ETA: Febuary 12, 2013

Summary from Goodreads: In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series 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.

What are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday #30

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Title: Gameboard of the Gods

Author: Richelle Mead

ETA: June 4th, 2013

Summary from Goodreads: In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

What are you waiting on?

Top Ten Favorite Authors in YA Fantasy

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Okay guys, this is going to be a fun one. There are SO many great authors in this genre it is going to SUCK to pick just one. But I’m going to try. So here we go!

1. Tamora Pierce

She’s my idol and an all around amazing person. (I met her! Did you not see?) I have also only ever disliked one book she’s written in like a gazillion. (And sadly that’s the only review of her stuff on the blog.) I have read and own everything she’s written anyways.

2. Cassandra Clare

Another idol of mine. Another person whom I have met (Did you miss that too?). I also own everything she has ever written. It is even more impressive that she managed to win me back over into the Mortal Instruments series after City of Fallen Angels and the whole three more books thing. City of Glass still had the perfect ending, but City of Lost Souls was actually really good! (See here.)

3. Rachel Hawkins

I cannot get over how much I love these books. It’s actually the only series I’ve read where my favorite book is the middle one. (Not that I didn’t like Spell Bound. Review here.) These books are SO quotable and fantastic and they make me laugh EVERY TIME. EVERY TIME. Most books get stale fast with me, but not these! Also, she’s a fantastic person to follow on Twitter.

4. Richelle Mead

While not solely a YA author, her Vampire Academy books and Bloodlines series are all the ones I’ve read and OHMYGOD I LOVE. After VA I thought I’d never love another character of hers like I loved Dimitri, but Adrian is just so … ohmygod. I prefer Rose over Sydney only because Rose is snarkier, but Adrian totally picks up the slack. (I have reviews of Bloodlines and The Golden Lily.)

5. Courtney Allison Moulton

Another writer whose work just never gets old. Ellie is as snarky as I like them, and Will is just hello-honey. Romance that I can stand in YA is few and far between, and this would be one of those select few. Courtney is also an AWESOME person to follow on Twitter, and I actually got to update a few things I said on my review of Wings of the Wicked because we discussed it. I had a moment right there.

6. Jodi Meadows

She may only have one book out so far, but she’s cemented her spot on my list like whoa. (There is too much CAPS in my review of Incarnate, for one.) I freaking themed my prom dress around that cover (albeit accidentally to begin with). I may have mentioned that Twitter is an awesome place. Well, Jodi happens to be another awesome person in the twittersphere who I’ve had awesome conversations with. Asunder can’t come out soon enough.

7. Julie Kagawa

Several people may kill me when they realize I have only ever read her book The Immortal Rules. It was actually one of the first books I was approved to review from NetGalley! I have her first Iron Fey book in my possession, though, and I plan to read it as soon as humanly possible. Either way, though, I can’t handle the way she writes. It’s beautiful. Therefore, spot on this list without further proof necessary.

8. Sarah J. Maas

While we’re on the subject of gorgeous writing, let’s skip on over here, shall we? Again, Sarah has only released (in full novel form anyways) Throne of Glass, but it completely blew me out of the water on so many levels. I appreciate good writing, and Sarah HAS IT.

9. Rae Carson

My review of The Girl of Fire and Thorns still makes me laugh. I mean really. It was one of my earlier reviews and its second in hystericalness only to my review of Anna and the French Kiss.  But I just LOVED IT. I have the next book in my possession RIGHT NOW but I’m so behind on reviews I haven’t been able to read it yet. I’m dying inside just staring at the pretty cover.

10. Jay Kristoff

My review of Stormdancer was a long and complicated thing, but that still doesn’t change how I feel about the way he writes. For me, a favorite author can have issues as long as the writing is solid and HOLY BANANAS. Jay can write me into deep jealousy.

Top Ten Bookish People I Want to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Once upon a time, I would have thought this subject would be really easy. But then I met Tamora Pierce, Cathrynne Valente, Kij Johnson and John Joseph Adams. And then I met Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare. Oh no, wait. This is still a really easy list because there are SO MANY AMAZING AUTHORS OUT THERE.

1. Rachel Hawkins

Do you guys follow her on Twitter at @LadyHawkins? Because if you don’t and you have a Twitter, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. There are few Twitter accounts that I actually search for updates on, and this is one of them.

2. Jodi Meadows

I’ve had far more Twitter conversations with this woman then I’d ever dreamed possible (YAY TWITTER), and now I would LOVE to meet her in person. She is clearly super awesome.

3. Courtney Allison Moulton

Another author I’ve been able to talk to on Twitter and have decided is supremely awesome. Also, writes kickass heriones. These two things combined makes for a very happy Gretchen (who talks about herself in the third person…?).

4. Richelle Mead

Her Vampire Academy books and Bloodlines books make me SWOON AND DIE. I love those books with a fiery, fiery passion and I would ADORE a chance to squeal about Adrian and Dimitri with her for just five seconds.

5. Sarah J. Maas

Though I’ve never spoken to her on Twitter, I stalk her mercilessly. (Really, Twitter is just a stalking tool.) She seems really awesome, and also writes AWESOME AMAZING BOOKS. Clearly she’s a winner.

6. Nina Berry

Not only did she write an AMAZING book called Otherkin, but we’ve also chatted on Twitter several times. More than that, she’s been a huge friend in retweeting several of my messages about my blog, which I’ve never been able to thank her properly for. I’d love to be able to do that in person.

7. Julie Kagawa

It’s Julie Kagawa. I fail to see why I must explain this to you.

8. Stephanie Perkins

Have you ever looked at her author picture? Followed her Twitter? Then you’ll understand how Stephanie seems like the kind of person I refuse to live without seeing at least once.

9. Katie McGarry

I want just five seconds to blubber about how much Pushing the Limits pushed my emotions. And I mean literally blubber, because OHMYGOD THAT BOOK.

10. Kat Zhang

What’s Left of Me was a SUPER FANTASTIC BOOK, and I would die for a chance to pick Kat’s brain about what it was like to write multiple people in the same bodies because OHMYGOD was that amazingly done.

Waiting on Wednesday #19

Waiting on Wednesday is a feature hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Foretold – 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction

Author(s): Richelle Mead, Carrie Ryan, Simone Elkeles, Meg Cabot, Heather Brewer, Saundra Mitchell, Diana Peterfreund, Laini Taylor, Margaret Stohl, Matt de la Pena, Kami Garcia, Malinda Lo, Lisa McMann, and Michael Grant

Expected Publication Date: August 28, 2012

Summary from Goodreads: Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate?

It’s human nature to wonder about life’s twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life’s unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction’s brightest stars.

Why I’m Waiting: Okay, not going to lie, at first I only wanted this book for Mead’s Rose and Dimitri story. I mean, I have been DYING for that ever since Mead said she was writing it. But after seeing that author list? I’m going crazy for the WHOLE THING. This is almost too much awesomeness in one book to handle.

Review: “The Golden Lily” by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

Goodreads | Amazon

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

4 1/2 stars

I picked up this book on the release date and proceeded to finish it in three hours. Despite the fact that I was supposed to be cheering on my brother at his Little League game.

And I regret nothing.

If you have not yet heard me fangirling about this series yet, well, you’re about to. Because *insert fangirl squealing here*.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of the idea of these books at the beginning. After all, in the VA series Adrian and Sydney weren’t really that big in my mind. I was a hardcore Dimitri/Rose shipper and found Adrian cute but in the way. Sydney I just didn’t find particularly interesting with Rose at the front and center.

Bloodlines, I have to admit, was good. The Golden Lily? BETTER.

I liked Sydney in Bloodlines. I loved her in The Golden Lily. I liked Adrian in Bloodlines. I LOVED HIM IN THE GOLDEN LILY.

*Mild spoiler warning*

Adrian turned into such a different person in this book. In the VA series especially, he was a big cliché of a slacker dude. In The Golden Lily, though, he really comes into his own. The depth that he shows and the personality past the snark and slacking was utterly amazing. Plus, it didn’t feel like this sudden turn around. Mead made me believe that this was really under there all along. I will never give up on Dimitri because HELLO SEXY but Adrian?

HELLO ADORABLE MARRY ME NOW.

I was really not expecting the Sydney/Adrian scenes to go like then did. I especially didn’t expect Sydney to get a boyfriend. That in itself was awkwardly adorable, but again DUDE IN THE WAY OF THE REAL LOVE. Mead, you love to torture us so. Adrian’s attempts to hang out with Sydney through subtle ruses was way too overt coupled with Jill’s apparent “crush” on Sydney, though. I mean, we got it, really. And Sydney, HOW DENSE CAN YOU BE?

Oh, oh, should I be talking about the other stuff in the book? Crap. Uh. I also enjoyed finding out what Trey’s sun tattoo meant, and seeing Jill grow up a little in regards to her situation. The whole Eddie/Angeline/Jill thing seemed a little contrived to me, but I’ll let it slide because I’m here for the Sydney/Adrian, really.

One of the biggest changes for me is the fact that there is a lot less action then I seem to always expect. After all, Rose was THE most active person ever, getting into fights at every chance. Sydney, of course, is the brainy chick who was not raised to be a fighter and that necessitates a different form of “action.” Because of this, it almost seemed like The Golden Lily moves slower than any of the VA books, when there really is a lot going on. My brain has yet to process this.

I really wanted the whole witch thing to be delved into a little more, but with everything else going on there wasn’t really room for it anyways. Still, the next book doesn’t come out til 2013, come o–

The next book doesn’t come out til 2013 and SHE LEFT IT WITH THAT ENDING? WHY, MEAD, WHY?!?

I may die of anticipation.

Also, by the way, if you were expecting a coherent review you weren’t listening to me when I said FANGIRL HERE.

And because the fangirl really is here now I … should probably stop typing. Bottom line?

Bloodlines < The Golden Lily

IT’S THAT GOOD.