Series: Bloodlines #1
Published by Razorbill on August 23rd 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
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<p><p><strong>Blood doesn't lie...</strong></p><br />
<p>Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. 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 last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...</p></p>
Earlier this year I binge-read the entire Vampire Academy series, finally! As I mentioned back then, it was never my intentions to ever read these books. GASP! I know, I know. Nothing personal against Ms. Mead, I just wasn’t interested in vampires much. But the fanfare for both that series and the spin-off series, Bloodlines, had me extremely curious. I mean, so many bloggers I love and look to for recs read and enjoyed the books, even flailing hard over them, so why not give it a whirl, right? Needless to say, I took the chance and ended up finding a series which will forever be a favorite!
Binge-reading them was an amazing experience I don’t get to do often enough. Being able to jump from one book to another right away, without the year gap in between releases, was an absolute joy, and one I absolutely recommend others to do. Since two books were still to come I decided to hold off on starting on Bloodlines right away after finishing Vampire Academy but the time has come and here I am!
Bloodlines builds off of where Vampire Academy ends with a few characters we met already combined with some new ones. Sydney, the Alchemist, is our new protagonist. As an Alchemist, Sydney’s job is to help keep vampires a secret from humanity. Feeling a little shunned with her people for her part in helping Rose, Sydney is out to prove her dedication to the cause. She is assigned to help hide Jill Dragomir, the Queen’s sister, in the last place those who are after her would look – a human boarding school in Palm Springs.
Sydney is the huge difference between these two series. Vampire Academy had Rose. Rose was a strong woman who kicked some serious ass. She was sassy and sarcastic, intriguing, a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type gal, and all around a delight to read. Sydney is very different, meticulous with facts and logic. And where I appreciate the different feel from a character who is so unlike what we are used to hearing from in this world, Sydney can often come across rather… boring in comparison. Not to say I didn’t like her because I did still find her compelling. I mean there are times her naivety on the social front can be quite hilarious, but I was lacking that spark from the main character like I am used to with these books. It’s hard to fill Rose’s shoes.
Which leads me to what is probably most important about this series… ADRIAN! *dreamy sigh* Poor Adrian got the shaft in the last series and admittedly he is a huge selling point in Bloodlines. From the moment he entered the book I was squee-ing with joy! And his entry had me laughing with his usual antics.
“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.
I cannot even tell you how long I laughed at that quote. Adrian trolling those who fear vampires is so Adrian. This book NEEDED him. Whenever he was missing, I felt it.
As for the plot, I really enjoyed the setup this book provided for the rest of the series because that is really what this book read like for me, a setup. I remember feeling that with Vampire Academy as the first book in that series as well. There were times that were a little slow going for me but I really enjoyed it on a whole. We were introduced to some really cool ideas regarding the Alchemist tattoos and also the after effects of Strigoi that turn back that I look forward to exploring further. And of course I am desperate for more Adrian and seeing other favorite characters pop up! Very excited to see where this series will take us!