Bloodlines – Richelle Mead

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“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.”

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When the stunning conclusion to the Vampire Academy series was released late last year fans of the series were then hit with the realization that that. was. it. No more VA! Nooo! How? What about Adrian?

But wait! There was more to come. The spin-off series, Bloodlines was announced and fans let out a collective sigh of relief – even though it wouldn’t be from Rose’s perspective we wouldn’t be completely leaving the world of Moroi and dhampirs behind.

The series centres on the alchemist, Sydney, who was a relatively minor character in the VA series but steps into the forefront in Bloodlines. Along with Adrian, Jill and Eddie they’re faced with a whole new challenge – someone wants Jill dead. With her out of the way, Lissa would lose her crown and be ineligible for the throne. In order to keep her safe the guardians relocate her to Amberwood prep, a boarding school in California, with Sydney posing as her sister and Eddie as guardian. And Adrian? As always he has his own agenda.

Those who may not have read the Vampire Academy series could probably still read the series and find it enjoyable but would miss out on why certain issues are such a problem – such as who is Lissa? And why do we like her so much to want her to stay as Queen? That type of background knowledge can only be found through reading the VA series.

As expected, Richelle Mead’s writing completely sucks you into the story. The storyline in Bloodlines is definitely interesting, detailed and complex with so many twists and turns, it’s obvious how completely well thought out everything is. I was disappointed however to find some plot points a bit predictable, or rather, I figured it out before it all happened. A few things resolved themselves quite quickly but I have a feeling we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complications for this series.

While reading it it’s obvious that Sydney is definitely not Rose. Though I still liked her, Sydney’s composure and logical thinking is a complete contrast to Rose which makes her a little less….fun to read. There’s definitely a spark in her though and her compassion and cleverness made her incredibly likeable. Finding out more about her back story was also great since you then understood her reasoning for her actions so much better.

Then there’s Jill – she’s young, she’s struggling to adjust to her new lifestyle and still coming to terms with having Lissa as a sister, who hasn’t been completely excited by having a new sibling. I didn’t really like Jill much but she might grow on me…maybe.

Adrian, ah Adrian! He was as always his charming self but it’s obvious he’s still hung up on Rose which at times was frustrating to see, plus he clearly has a bit of growing up to do. As a whole he completely added to the story so well (how could he not, it’s ADRIAN), his snark helped to lift the scenes that might’ve otherwise come across as a bit uneventful.

Eddie remained more in the background in this particular book but I’m really hoping to see more of him in the next one.

For those wondering, yes, Rose, Lissa and Dimitri do make cameo appearances – it was SO good to see them on the page again.

There wasn’t much in the way of a love plot in this book, though there was a lot of talk before it’s release that seemed to be pointing at something romantic for Adrian, but it doesn’t come up in the book.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Richelle Mead book without a completely huge OH EM GEE moment right at the very end which left me completely surprised and dyyyyying for the next installment.

I didn’t love it as much as Vampire Academy, but that doesn’t mean the series won’t improve or that this series isn’t worth starting – it definitely is.

Richelle Mead, make no mistake, I love you like a fat kid loves cake……but I’m giving this one a…a…….4!

Pages: 421
Publication Date: August 2011
Publisher: Penguin
Challenge: n/a
Rating: [rating:4]

Teaser Quote: “They’re waiting for you. Go on in.” Adrian leaned close to Keith’s ear and spoke in an ominous voice. “If.You.Dare.” He poked Keith’s shoulder and gave a “Muhahaha” kind of monster laugh.”

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