Author: Richelle Mead
Pages: 421 (ARC copy)
Release Date: August 23, 2011
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.
My Thoughts: I liked the Vampire Academy series. It was entertaining enough, but I never felt that reading it was a top priority. For some reason, though, I REALLY wanted to read Bloodlines. I was way more excited for it than Last Sacrifice. I think knowing that Sydney, a human and an Alchemist, would be the main character made it sound very interesting to me. I liked Sydney from the VA series, and I wondered how different her story and her character would be from Rose's. Also, although I might not have cared as much for Adrian as other readers did, I was still really curious about what happened to him. So when I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Bloodlines, I went for it.
About a month after events in Last Sacrifice, Sydney Sage's life continues to be effected by her decision to help Rose Hathaway. Other Alchemists, including her father, don't trust her, and she has nightmares of being sent to a re-education center, a secretive place where an Alchemist who has gotten too close to vampires is taken to "learn the errors of their ways" and eventually become a person less than themselves. When she is given orders to pose as Jill Dragomir's sister at a California human boarding school in order to prevent a Moroi civil war, she accepts so that she can protect her younger sister Zoe and prove her loyalty to the Alchemists. Right away, though, Sydney learns just how difficult it is protecting a vampire princess in a human world and that Alchemists may not know as much about vampires as they believed.
I don't feel like you should go into Bloodlines without at least knowing what happened in the Vampire Academy series; however, if you haven't read it, you'll just be like Sydney, missing details and information that VA readers would already know. The great thing about Sydney is that she's very intelligent. Her intelligence is her biggest strength, and she'll eventually figure out what she doesn't already know. People's first impressions of her is that she's spineless and lacking in some social skills. She is a little oblivious in certain social situations, but that's part of who she is and I really liked that about her. And the truth is Sydney's an observer and someone who likes to make sure her job is done efficiently without any problems. She likes to follow rules, but knows there are times when rules shouldn't always be followed. And she may not be a kick-ass fighter, but she's kick-ass in her own way. She has a sharp mind and is smart enough to handle herself in dangerous situations. I just thought Sydney was such an awesome character, and I found myself able to relate to her more than I could with Rose. She's part of the reason why I cannot wait to read the next book.
The supporting characters in this book were Adrian, Jill, and Eddie. Adrian played a much bigger role than I expected. I'm really glad for that because he was amazing! Hilarious and perceptive. Usually bickering with Sydney and protective of Jill and everyone. I feel like I understand him a whole lot better now, and I can't believe I never noticed how great he was while reading Vampire Academy. I know readers are wondering what happened to him after Last Sacrifice, and well... Like I mentioned, Bloodlines starts about a month after LS. He really is trying though. He just needs people to trust and believe in him. So far he's doing a very good job, and I admire his efforts. I'm definitely rooting for him; he deserves it!
Another thing I'm sure readers are wondering about is the romance and if it involves Adrian. If you're looking for romance in this book, I think you'll be disappointed. Romance was not a main focus in this book. I do believe something is developing, and I'm completely fine with the pace because I would much rather prefer a relationship and a romance to grow gradually instead of occurring instantly. That being said, I really can't wait to see where it goes! I'm crossing my fingers that it ends up how I'm hoping it will.
Now that I've read Bloodlines, I have to say that I'm already liking it more than Vampire Academy! I didn't want to put the book down. There wasn't as much fighting in Bloodlines (only because Sydney isn't a guardian like Rose), but there was definitely enough action and everything to keep me interested. I highly recommend Bloodlines to VA fans looking for a fresh start and a new heroine to root for and for those who just love Adrian! I know I'm extremely excited for book two, The Golden Lily!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Thanks to Once Upon a Twilight for hosting the ARC tour!