Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill (August 23, 2011)
Source: My Choice; Library

If you haven't yet read the Vampire Academy series:

1) What are you doing? Go read it! 

2) You might not want to read this review because some information may be spoilery to the Vampire Academy books. 

(For my review of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, check here.)

From GoodReads:

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.

After reading the Vampire Academy series, I knew I needed to get my hands on Bloodlines ASAP. Sydney was an interesting character and I was always intrigued by the Alchemists, so I expected a pretty good read. Once I began, I was even more pleasantly surprised to see so many familiar faces pop up, particularly Adrian.

Adrian was a difficult character for me in the Vampire Academy books. I really, really liked him...but I wanted Rose with Dimitri more. I always assumed they'd end up together, so the sweeter moments with Adrian actually hurt me. I knew his heart would be crushed when he couldn't have Rose. I'm so glad to have Bloodlines so we can see what happens with him (and Sydney) next. 

As a protagonist, Sydney is such a contrast to Rose. While Rose was strong, impulsive, and sexy, Sydney is obedient, strategic, and self-depricating. By all means, she's no whiny push-over. Sydney has such a different kind of strength. Her position within the Alchemists is even more tenuous than Rose's was with the guardians (when she was getting into trouble). I get the sense that Sydney has less options available to her, so she always thinks critically before acting and picks the path of least resistance (though that is changing). Her strength is her ability to buckle down and do what's necessary. If it needs to be done, she'll make sure it gets done, regardless of how inconvenient or unhappy it will make her.

Throughout the novel, I enjoyed watching Sydney grow as a character. She starts out feeling very stuck and, in many ways, helpless. Throughout the story, she finds her voice. She's no longer content to just do whatever anyone tells her to do, though she knows the boundaries and restraints in place in her world. I also really liked reading about the view Alchemists have of Moroi, Strigoi, and dhampirs, and how Sydney is torn between loyalty to the Alchemists and forming her own opinions based on her experiences.

Overall, Bloodlines is a really enjoyable read. While you don't have to read the Vampire Academy books to read Bloodlines, I'd highly recommend reading Vampire Academy first. If you have any inclination that you may be interested in reading Vampire Academy, DON'T read Bloodlines first. You'll be majorly spoiled.

Final thoughts: Buy it.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I also love the contrast between Rose and Sydney. I think I like her better than Rose. I loved the story. Especially Adrian's growth and the little bits of romance.