I am so proud of myself. It took me awhile to get back into the groove of reading, reading a lot like I do, but now I’m back in it. I busted my way through the last three Vampire Academy books and now I’m reading the fourth and most recent of the Bloodlines series, The Fiery Heart. Which means I have some SERIOUS catching up to do as far as book reviews go.
I absolutely loved the Vampire Academy series, more than I thought I would, because, honestly, I try to avoid books with vampires. And now that I’m reading the Bloodlines series, I’m even more in love. That may have something to do with Adrian Ivashkov, but hmm, I’m not sure ;)
For now, enjoy the book of the week.
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Part of a Series?:
The 1st Novel of the Bloodlines Series, a spin-off to the Vampire Academy Series
Please keep in mind that while this will not have spoilers for Bloodlines, there may be spoilers for the Vampire Academy series.
You May Like if You Liked:
Rachel Caine’s The Morganville Vampires, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series
Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…
I am blown away by the continuation of the Vampire Academy world. I am surprised any time that someone can write a series that is longer than a trilogy and keep it really good and awesome, keep it compelling, the story fresh. Richelle Mead definitely did that in the Vampire Academy series. I was interested from page one to the very last page of Last Sacrifice. I was even more surprised and blown away that she was able to continue the story in the spin-off. I currently am reading book four, but this is about book one, so we’ll focus on that.
First off, the characters. The main characters are Sydney Sage, who is the main point of view in the story, and her companions are Jill Mastrano Dragomir, Adrian Ivashkov and Eddie Castile. These are NOT new characters in the slightest. We have seen them all in the Vampire Academy series and got to know them, at least a little bit. Taking them away from the overwhelming personalities of Rose, Dimitri, Lissa and Christian though…we really get to learn about them more, understand them better, and fall in love with them the way you fell in love with the main characters of VA. Sydney kind of annoyed me in VA and I also have a ginormous crush on Rose Hathaway. Adrian seemed…likable but too tragic for me to handle. Jill and Eddie seemed likable as well, but distant except the parts they had in the vampire world.
But in this novel, you’re given the chance to love them all and I immediately do. I definitely am more of a Rose fan than a Sydney fan BUT I do love Sydney. I love that she presents such a contrast to Rose. She’s more of a strategy girl, using her intelligence and logic to solve problems, though she’s more than willing to fight when she needs to. Jill and Eddie prove their worth, and I love them both. I loved their humor, and their commitment. Jill has a lot to deal with. She’s an illegitimate heir to the Dragomirs, which makes her relationship with Lissa very awkward, and her life is on the line, and she has to learn to be a royal. She handles it with grace but you can see her youth and uncertainties and she’s a very real character. I also really liked Eddie as well, especially with the internal conflicts he has between his emotions and his duty. It was very real, and its was good to see a different point of view of a dhampir besides Rose or Dimitri.
But I think the character that really made me love this book (and the following books) is Adrian Ivashkov. In VA, he just seems…I like him, definitely but he seems to be going about things the wrong way, dealing with his issues, and his spirit with alcohol and cigarettes and dark humor. But getting to know him through Sydney’s eyes, especially when its so obvious to everyone except Sydney that he’s falling for her, was amazing. I am madly in love with Adrian, way more so than I was with Dimitri. Dimitri was too perfect, but Adrian has faults, and he has that wicked sense of humor. He’s the “bad boy”, and you all know how I feel about those guys.
I also really love the story. I love how Richelle Mead took a problem, an issue from the first series and made it very important in the second series, and put it in the hands of a different main character. I also like that it involves so much of the high school drama as well, and introduces the idea of magic. I love that we are introduced to such a adamant character such as Sydney, and hopefully will see her change as time goes on. I also think the story is great because we get to see problems solved by a totally different character. Rose always had a weapon in her hand, or was the weapon herself. Sydney is a weapon as well, but she is in a different way, and I love that. I’m interested to see how her mission to protect Jill from assassins changes her and her ways, and the way she was raised as an Alchemist.
Now, I’m on book four so I know a lot of what happens next, and let me just say this: this book leads into an incredible series. I am so glad I read this book as quickly as I did and I can’t wait to finish The Fiery Heart…but also not because then I have to wait months for the 5th book. I’m not excited for that. But I’m urging you all to get involved in both of these series. You will NOT regret it.
5 out of 5 Stars
Recommended or Not?:
Definitely! I think you should the Vampire Academy series first, definitely but if you read that series, and didn’t read this one, you’re missing out. This book starts the story perfectly and propelled me into finishing the rest of the series as quickly as I could. I am now reading the most recent novel, The Fiery Heart, and am sad to finish it because I don’t want to wait for the next one! I adore Sydney, Adrian, Jill, Eddie and the rest of the Bloodlines cast.
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I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured book. Stay tuned for more reviews soon!