In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series 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.

This book was a whirlwind of awesome. As you know from my other reviews of this series, you guys know that I absolutely adore Sydney. This book completely threw me, though. Sydney finally started questioning the Alchemists, which I’d been waiting for her to do since Bloodlines, not to mention she met the “Moriarty to her Holmes” – and defeated her!

I want to talk about Adrian, though. He’s very bad at the whole ‘loving from afar’ idea. He’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen at it, in fact. He very rarely takes no for an answer, which really made me dislike him for parts of this book. When a girl says no and pulls away, she means no, whatever her aura may be telling you with your super magic powers. Other than that, I loved him being his usual incorrigible self. One thing that I missed in this book was Sydney trying to get him to stop drinking and smoking. That’s been a constant in the other two books, and while there was a lot of sexual tension there, that conflict was basically missing.

I know I’ve criticized Richelle Mead before on her handling of her minor characters, but she did significantly better throughout this book. I really liked Marcus Finch as a character. He’s a brilliant character. He was mysterious, flirty, and incredibly rebellious – just what I like in my rebel faction leaders. And he didn’t pressure Sydney to stay at the end even when he really wanted her to become part of his group. She also did a good job with keeping Trey in the story, though I’m not particularly fond of the way he stayed in the story. I’m hoping he’ll be able to move forward in the story and figure out some more of his life.

Obviously I’m all for Sydney making her own decisions, and she generally makes smart ones , but I want to criticize one of them – She left the gun in the car!. Seriously, Sydney? You’ve been trained for this – your weapon does you no good when it isn’t on you. Come on. Otherwise, good for you, girl. You rock. I totally love your decision to stick with the Alchemists and try and change them from within. However, what happens when they decide they need to re-ink her?

The ending completely blew me away. It seemed like everything was going perfectly for Sydney for once, and then we get hit with a big surprise.

These book covers still make me cringe. I’ve wanted to do a cover redesign for these, and I might just wind up doing it one of these days. That aside, I really liked this book, so I’m rating it four stars!

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

 

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