Friday, June 14, 2013

"Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #1
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

I am a very big fan of Ms. Mead's works, and I absolutely love this series. I read her Vampire Academy series, and when Bloodlines came out, I couldn't wait to devour it. I was extremely pleased.

Note: This series is a follow-up to Ms. Mead's Vampire Academy. Though not necessary, it is strongly encouraged that you first read Vampire Academy, simply so you're not lost in the details.

Alchemist Sydney Sage is still being questioned for her work with vampires. To try to prove her devotion to the Alchemists, she takes on the role of protector for Jill Dragomir, the Moroi princess who is Queen Lissa's only family member. If Jill is killed, Lissa loses her position, and even the Alchemists realize that Lissa needs to be queen to get some better things done. So they are sent to Palm Springs, one of the warmest, sunniest places, and a good bet of a place that won't have many Strigoi attacks. Along with Eddie Castile, a dhampir who is a good friend of Rose's, and Adrian Ivashkov, the devilishly handsome Moroi whose heart was broken by Rose and who is now Shadow Kissed to Jill, Sydney just wants to do her job and get home. However, strange things are happening around Amberwood Prep. Kids are getting mysterious tattoos that do a range of things, like seem to enhance physical performance. Sydney believes the tattoos to contain Moroi blood, like her own Alchemist lily tattoo. To keep Jill and her new friends safe, she delves into the case, hoping to solve the mystery.

I really enjoy Sydney as a character. Though not as physically strong as Rose, she's just as extremely stubborn and determined to protect her friends and family. She's also extremely smart, which I can relate to, but so non-social it cracks me up. I always laugh at her obvious lack of knowledge on simple things like how to make friends and tell whether or not a guy is interested in her. Her attitude is serious with hints of sarcasm as she begins to feel more comfortable around Jill, Eddie and especially Adrian. It's also cool to see her feelings change and develop into actual concern and caring for a race that her people see as pure evil.

The story line was definitely a nice starter for this new series. There was just one problem for Sydney to deal with and focus on – besides protecting Jill – and it didn't dwell on any romantic feelings, unlike Vampire Academy, with Rose being all obsessed with Dimitri. Sydney and Adrian were just friends, and it was nice just to get to see Adrian again, and see Sydney encouraging him to get over Rose and be the guy she saw in him.

Overall, a nice beginning that had me hooked and waiting for the next, which I devoured just as happily as this first one. Definitely recommended.


Richelle Mead:

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