TBT: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

bloodlinesIn Bloodlines, 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 humans 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 allegiences 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 Rose Hathaway. 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. (via Goodreads)

Before I start this review, I’m going to remind everyone that this is a spinoff series of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. If you haven’t read those books, I think you’ll be entirely confused as to what’s going on. From other reviews that I’ve read, this seems to be their main issue – they wanted a book that stood up alone from the VA series, and this does not, in my opinion.  The main characters all had awesome parts throughout the VA series, and that’s part of why this is so awesome.

I would also like to say that I really love Sydney. She is sensible, loyal, and brilliant. She’s also not a fighter, which is something that readers will have to get used to. It’s a very definite shift in perspective from action-driven Rose to pragmatic, logical Sydney. There’s also the difference in that Rose is always very sure about what she’s doing and very comfortable in the vampire world.

Sydney is very uncomfortable with basically relating to vampires, but she pushes through that discomfort to end up caring about the whole gang,  She’s somehow still loyal to the Alchemist order, despite the way they’ve dropped her every time she’s been in some trouble, because of her fraternization with vampires and dhampirs. Sidney is shy, has a poor body image, and has never been in a real school setting, which makes it harder for her to fit in to the school in Palm Springs, not to mention she is more than a little bit of a goody-two-shoes.

I did love that Sydney was eventually able to stand up to Abe,  and I’ll be interested to see what the future holds for Keith, given his circumstances at the end of the book.

While Mead does a great job getting us into Sydney’s head and letting us get to know Jill and Adrian some more, she doesn’t do a great job with most of her minor characters on a regular basis. I wanted to know more about Micah and Eddie, and I hope we’ll get more of them in the next books. I did love that Sydney was eventually able to stand up to Abe,  and I’ll be interested to see what the future holds for Keith, given his circumstances at the end of the book. However, she did do really well with Ms. Terwilliger, who I expect great things from in future books. She was such an intriguing character, and I can’t wait to see more of her, despite Sydney’s issues with her at the end.

That being said, she does do very well with foreshadowing throughout this book. Things that might seem insignificant in the beginning are definitely not by the end of the book, and I won’t say anything else about the plot, because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it.

I have to say, even having read this probably four or five times, the ending still shocks me. I think my favorite moment was when I think Adrian first began to realize he loved Sydney.

“My God, Sage. Your eyes. How have I never noticed them?” … “The color,” he breathed. “When you stand in the light. They’re amazing… like molten gold. I could paint those…” He reached toward me but then pulled back. “They’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.”

His entrancement in as small a thing as the color of her eyes… it was so much the Adrian that we all knew was there, the part of himself that he hides. Also the fact that he’s okay with letting Sydney get away with having Keith’s eye taken.

I think my Bloodlines rating is gonna have to be 4 stars out of 5. She does great with her main characters and foreshadowing, though she could use some work on her minor characters. Also, I can’t wait for some anniversary covers, because I hate these ones. You can pick up a copy through Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller!

four stars and one empty one meant to signify a four star review

I’ve reviewed Vampire Academy as a series, Soundless and The Glittering Court. Check back on the third Thursday of the next few months for the #TBT reviews for the rest of the Bloodlines series!

Richelle Mead has written over twenty-five novels for teens and adults. She is the author of the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series and its spinoff series, Bloodlines. Her recent standalone novel, Soundless, draws upon Chinese mythology and history, and her forthcoming series, The Glittering Court, follows the adventures of girls destined for arranged marriages in a fantasy world inspired by colonial America. A lifelong reader, Richelle has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses to wear on tour. She is a self-professed coffee addict, works in her pajamas, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

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