Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
- Book Stats:
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Genre: Paranormal
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Razorbill
- Release date: August 23, 2011
Series: Bloodlines #1 (Vampire Academy spin-off)
Reviewed by: Tynga
Source: ARC sent by Penguin Canada
I wasn’t free of my past, not yet.
Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s 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. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line.
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 RoseHathaway. 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 unlikeliest of places—a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.
The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside—and within—the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.
*Contains some Vampire Academy spoilers*
Sydney, a young alchemist, had to face severe consequences after helping Rose, a dhampir (half-human/half-vampire) break out of prison and clear her name. She thought she was rid of those unnatural creatures but after there was an attempt on the Vampire Queen’s baby sister Jill, Sydney is dragged in to pose as the Moroi’s sister in a boarding school, to protect her. Her situation makes her less than happy, especially since she’ll have to deal with Keith, a pain in the arse alchemist.
I honestly have mixed feelings about Bloodlines and it saddens me because Richelle Mead is my favorite author. Or maybe it’s because she’s my favorite that my expectations were too high? Anyhow, Bloodlines is a good read. If you’ve read the Vampire Academy series you’ve known the Moroi (good vampire) / Strogoi (evil vampire) / Dhampir (half-vampire) side of the coin and in Bloodlines we get to see the alchemist (human) side of the same coin. It was interesting to see their point of view and their politics and I really liked Sydney, but can’t help comparing her to Rose and she honestly fell a little short.
Character wise, I was extremely happy to see old friends: Jill, Eddy, Rose and Adrian. The latter was the star of this book and all of my favorite scenes involved him. He’s grown a whole lot in this chapter and he is more tortured than ever. I really felt for him, and I’m afraid it might not get easier for him in the future. We also get to know new characters and even though none of them earned a special spot in my heart, I enjoyed hating Keith and I think there is more to discover from Ms. Terwilliger, Sydney’s history teacher.
The story was honestly really slow to pick up and I was craving for more action. I was served at the end but I was expecting more from the first three-quarters of the novel. At page 250 or so, I thought I had the whole plotline figured out and thankfully I was wrong! Something just doesn’t sit right with me though. The plot started heading one direction, and then veered somewhere else entirely. So hopefully we’ll be back on track with the initial intrigued in Golden Lily, the second book in the series.
All in all, Bloodlines was good but didn’t meet my expectations. I’m really looking forward to the second installment though, because the end is a killer cliffhanger and I think more excitement will be on the menu. If you plan to read the Vampire Academy series eventually, I would strongly suggest you start by reading those books first, because you will really spoil the whole thing by reading Bloodlines first.
Here are some of my favorite *spoilers-free* quotes (from the ARC, subject to change in final edition):
“Adrian, we’re focusing on Jill here. This isn’t about your personal entertainment.”
“Not true,” he said, green eyes sparkling. “Everything’s about my personal entertainment. The world is my stage. Keep it up—you’re becoming a star performer in the show”
Keith was just bringing the glass to his lips when Adrian said, “Mmm. O positive, my favorite.”
Keith sprayed out the wine he’d just drunk and promptly started coughing. I was relieved that none got on me. Jill burst into giggles, and Clarence stared at his glass wonderingly.
“Is it? I thought it was a cabernet sauvignon.”
“So it is,” said Adrian, straight-face. “My mistake.”
“Sage, why’d you pick me to be your partner in crime in this?”
I though about it. “Process of elimination, I guess. Jill’s supposed to be kept out of trouble. Eddie’d be a good asset, but he needed to go back with her and Lee. Besides, I already knew you didn’t have any moral qualms about breaking and entering,”
“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me,” he declared with a grin.