Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

August 23, 2011; Razorbill

Summary

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. (courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

Wow! That's my review of Bloodlines. As a huge Vampire Academy fan, I was eagerly awaiting the release of the first book of the companion series. Not only do I think Bloodlines lives up to Vampire Academy, but I think it may be better!

The chief reason for that is Sydney. I love Rose as a narrator. I love her boldness, her aggressiveness, her passion, her loyalty. But those qualities make her difficult to relate to. Sydney is a lot more like me. Cautious, thoughtful, ambitious, responsible, subdued, self-conscious. The little we learned of Sydney in Vampire Academy makes much more sense now. She is the product of an overbearing father and can never measure up to his unrealistic expectations. But she still wants to live up to them. I wanted to shake her low self-esteem out of her at times, but her inferiority complex fit perfectly with her upbringing. I loved how Sydney was cautiously open-minded. She's been taught her whole life that dhampirs and moroi are an abomination. Knowing these people in real life, she's willing to change her views but it's a gradual process. She's also proud, stubborn, and holds grudges (when justified). She places other's needs above her own. That's an alchemist's job, but it's also Sydney's personality.

Another main reason is Adrian. Yay Adrian! If you liked Adrian in Vampire Academy (and who didn't?), you will adore him in Bloodlines. He's irresponsible, impulsive, reckless. It would be easy to hate him if he wasn't also thoughtful, intuitive, hilariously sarcastic, and generally swoon-worthy. It is so wonderful to see him away from Rose. Like Sydney, Adrian needs the opportunity to escape from the image and pressure his family and friends have always foisted upon him. Adrian grows in this book toward a person who is not just a fun guy but to someone who is becoming a truly good, solid man. I can't wait to see where he goes from here.

Bloodlines is not as chock-full of fighting and action as most of the Vampire Academy novels. I didn't miss the action at all. Mead manages to keep the novel flowing smoothly. There's a lot of background information to learn. I felt like the world-building of Alchemist society was a bit underdone, although there was enough information for a first book. I don't entirely get the society. On the bright side, there was never an info dump. Even without action, there were plot devices and character developments that left me gasping. Some in horror, some in shock, and some in delight. The book ended at a fabulous point. Bloodlines formed a complete book whose main plot was summed up at its end. But there were interesting bits introduced in the book that will surely be explained more in later books and the novel ended not with a cliffhanger per se, but at a point that left me dying to read the next book.

Unlike most of Mead's books, there is very little romance in Bloodlines. But what is there is done perfectly. I wish more authors understood how sexy even the most subtle possibilities of a relationship can be if written well.

Bloodlines is a companion series to Vampire Academy. Can you read Bloodlines if you haven't read Vampire Academy? I hesitantly answer yes, but you shouldn't. Bloodlines is a story unto itself. If you're new to the Vampire Academy universe, you'll learn enough about the vampire lore and the individual characters to mostly follow the book. However, Bloodlines assumes that you are already familiar with the entire Vampire Academy series. It begins soon after Last Sacrifice ends. It fully reveals the conclusion to the last book. While it does give some background information, the reader isn't coddled. You'll know what's going on, but you won't really get it unless you've read Vampire Academy. Plus, you won't form the relationships with the characters that are essential to appreciating these books.

If you enjoyed the Vampire Academy books, you must read Bloodlines. It is a perfect start to a new series. Perhaps better than its sister series! If you haven't read Vampire Academy yet, read the entire series and then pick up Bloodlines.

Rating: 5/ 5

22 comments:

  1. I'm sitting here nodding along to your entire review. I, too, found it easier to relate to Sydney and I loved the way she handled everything thrown her way. Plus, yep, Adrian...I fangirl him hardcore so I couldn't be more pleased with the bigger focus on him here. I can't wait for the next book!

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  2. I'm so fail. I haven't read the VA series yet, but I plan to. Adrian sounds like my kind of guy.

    I will definitely take your advice and read the VA books before trying this one out.

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  3. Wow, awesome review! OK you made me want to read it now. I wasn't sure how I felt about it because I'm not a massive fan of Sydney but it seems it could be worth a look!

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  4. ADRIAN!! I think an entire review with just his name repeated 250 times over would suffice :D I loved him in VA, but he's just outdone himself in Bloodlines. Every single scene he had was WIN! I really adored Sydney too. I think I liked this even better than the first VA book too - can you imagine it as a series whole? SO EXCITED! Love your review!

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  5. Great review! Had to skim it a bit since I'm still waiting on my copy, but have seen similar reviews praising the book! So can't wait to read it either!

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  6. I haven't read VA yet because I didn't want to get into another Vampire book, but the buzz for Bloodlines has piqued my interest so I'm dying to get this book and then read VA. =) Great review!

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  7. SO EXCITED TO READ THIS! I just adore VA so much, and it makes me happy that everyone seems to be loving this one as much as the VA series. I always enjoy a good subtle romance, and Richelle Mead does that so well I think:)

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  8. I'm starting on this one tomorrow and I'm so excited about it. I love the less is more attitude that's being taken with the romance - that's fantastic. I'm so happy to see Adrian again. I can't wait.

    Megan @ Read It, See It

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  9. I'm still on the fence about whether I'm going to get it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  10. I'm so happy we get to see Adrian again. I didn't like how the VA series ended for him so I'm glad he gets some more action this time.

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  11. Loved this book! I missed Adrian so much! Can't wait to read the next one!

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  12. I have read so many mixed reviews about Bloodlines. Some loyal readers of VA found this one lacking. I am glad to have read that you enjoyed it. I have not read VA, but I am going to try Bloodlines- I want to see if it could actually be read without having read VA. Thanks for the review!

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  13. I'm looking forward to this one, although I've read mixed reviews.
    Great review!

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  14. So glad you enjoyed this one, Alison! I have a hardcover waiting for me, I must get to it soon!

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  15. Better than VA? Wow! Can't wait to read this, really glad you liked it! I really liked Sydney so looking forward to reading more about her! Great review :).

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  16. I haven't read Vampire Academy, but do I need to do that before reading Bloodlines? Will I be completely lost?

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  17. Okay, you've convinced me. I'm going to order it right now! Sounds wonderful. Plus, I do love Richelle Mead. Thanks for a great review!
    Mary @ BookSwarm

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  18. I've been rather nervous about this book, but it seems that I'm not alone in that and have had a lot of my nerves assauged by reading reviews like this one. Here's for hoping my copy arrives soon!

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  19. Even better than VA you say? Well, that's awesome because though I haven't read VA yet, I hear consistently good things about it, so to hear that this companion series is even better is very exciting!

    "I wish more authors understood how sexy even the most subtle possibilities of a relationship can be if written well." Agreed. Don't really have anything to add to your statement, just that I agree wholeheartedly!

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  20. Oh gosh, you've got me much, much more excited about picking up this book. I need to get my hands on it soon even if I'll go crazy waiting for the next one to come out. I loved VA and from what you've said, I'm sure I'll feel the same way about this new series. Excited!!!!

    Glad you liked it :)

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  21. Great review. I loved this book too, not as much as the first VA probably because there wasn't as much humour and drama as I liked maybe but this was still a great read. I could relate to Sydney a lot more too though her attitude towards her size 4 figure had me cringing. A size 4 is so tiny and I was so pleased when Adrian told her she was too skinny xD. I also like how the romance is taking a slower pace than Rose and Dimitri its so realistic considering how Adrian is still healing and Sydney's views on vampires. I think it'll make the romance so much more heartfelt :).

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  22. Oh my its sounds amazing!!

    **Goes to find a copy**

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