Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal YA
Series: Bloodlines (Book 1)
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 421 pages
ISBN-10: 1595143173 (Razorbill)
ISBN-13: 978-1595143174 (Razorbill)
Reviewed by: Rachael
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.
Quick & Dirty: A solid start to a new spin-off of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead, a bit slow at the start but an intriguing story with plenty of possibilities none-the-less.
Opening Sentence: I COULDN’T BREATHE.
I was apprehensive about Bloodlines, a spin-off of the highly popular Paranormal YA series Vampire Academy. Rose was such a kick-ass heroine that I felt it would be hard to top her. At the same time, I was excited to see which characters would make appearances and where this series could go. I was also hoping for some sort of closure with the secondary characters from the first series, which many were just left hanging in limbo. I was a bit put off when it was revealed that Sydney was going to be the narrator, but because I love Richelle Mead and Vampire Academy, I decided to give this book a chance.
I never really connected with Sydney in the Vampire Academy books. She came across to me as a stuck up, prissy girl who thought she was superior to everyone else. She pretty much comes across the same way in Bloodlines at the start but you can see the development and growth that is coming. She is not Rose and I can appreciate that she is a different character with different strengths and weakness. It was interesting to see her family and the alchemist side of things. The alchemists have very extreme views and see only black and white, never any gray and this leads Sydney to have over the top feelings and attitude against anyone not human, including vampires and dhampirs. She is wholly against magic and feels that it is evil and even has panic attacks when exposed. Sydney’s upbringing was very strict and allowed for no individualization and she is very naïve about a lot of things. I can see the potential for her character to grow.
I love Adrian and was excited to learn that he would be a main character in this series. I feel that he was slighted in the Vampire Academy series, even though I agreed that Rose and Dimitri belonged together. Adrian is still the same snarky, sarcastic character as before only now we can see his pain. He is having a hard time dealing with the past and then there is the surprise plot twist that leaves him a bit unbalanced. I can’t wait to see where his character goes. He shows some growth and maturity in this book and the hinting of a new romantic interest may be a good thing, but I will have to wait and see how I feel about that because I still haven’t decided.
Eddie has such a strong presence but I felt he wasn’t given the attention he deserves. There could have been so much more to him than what was shown. Jill is a bit immature and really needs to grow up. I was on the fence about her in the last series and I am still on the fence now. I loved to hate Keith. He was such a jerk from his entrance and the more I learned about him the more I hated him. Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the initial development of the characters, but this is the start of a new series and growth is expected to continue.
The first half of Bloodlines dragged but it picked up some as the story moved along. There was little action until the very end and no real romance, just hinting to several possible hook-ups. The premise of the story was good to me, learning more about the alchemists’ and their political and belief structure was interesting. There was suspense and mystery as the plot unfolded with two different storylines. The tattoo angle was right up Sydney’s alley and watching her and Adrian working together to get to the bottom of it was fun. The strange “Strigori” deaths in an area where there shouldn’t be any also had me intrigued and kept me guessing until the end.
Although, I had high expectations, I was not overly disappointed. It still wasn’t what I have come to expect from Richelle Mead but the potential is there to make this a great series. I look forward to seeing where she will go with the characters and storyline and I will definitely buy The Golden Lily.
“Adrian,” I whispered, catching his sleeve. “You want to tell the truth? Do it in there. Do not embellish or make up crazy claims that you were a district attorney.”
“Got it,” he said. “This is going to be a breeze.”
If by breeze he meant fast, then he was right. He emerged from the office door five minutes later.
“I don’t suppose,” I said, once we were in the car, “that she gave you the job based on looks alone?”
Adrian had been staring off but now flashed me a big smile. “Why, Sage, you sweet talker.”
“That’s not what I meant! What happened?”
He shrugged. “I told the truth.”
“I’m serious. She asked me what my greatest strength was. I said getting along with people.”
“That’s not bad,” I admitted.
“Then she asked what my greatest weakness was.” And I said, “Where should I start?”
“Stop saying my name like that. I told her the truth. By the time I was on the forth one, she told me I could go.”
I groaned and resisted the urge to beat my head on the steering wheel. “I should’ve coached you. That’s a standard trick question. You’re supposed to answer with things like ‘I get too devoted to my work’ or ‘I’m a perfectionist.”
He snorted and crossed his arms. “That’s total bullshit. Who’d say something like that?”
“People who get jobs.”
FTC Advisory: Razorbill provided me with a copy of Bloodlines. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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