Friday, June 10, 2016

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb: I wasn't free of my past, not yet.

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.

My Review: I'd put this book on hold for a pretty long time now, mainly because I'm not particularly fond of immediately starting a spin-off after finishing a series. I really, really liked Rose in Vampire Academy and always liked Adrian better than Dimitri so maybe that's why it took me so long to pick up this book. I wasn't ready to let go of my Adrian-Rose ship. Nevertheless, I started Bloodlines and although it took me a day to finish this, I still felt that it was too...slow. I had the same problem with Vampire Academy but with the second book, the series became one of my favourites so I'm hoping that something like that happens with this series too because even though I loved the characters and the story, in general, I just didn't feel like it had that much matter in it. I actually skipped a few pages now and then just because I knew the story isn't going anywhere and I guess that's the only reason I'm giving this book a 3 stars.

If I ignore the slug pace of the book, I actually really loved the characters. Sydney was a little annoying in the beginning with her bigoted views about humans and vampires but she goes through some major changes as the book proceeds and her character development was really interesting. I could understand how difficult it is to alter what she's believed in all her life and I think she did really well adjusting to the situations she was thrown into. She still has a long way to go though and honestly, I can't wait for it to happen.

Adrian was just..perfect, as usual. Considering how I finished Spirit Bound, the last book in the VA series, like 5 years ago, you'd think that I would've been over Adrian Ivashkov by now but noooooooo, he still happens to be one of my favourite book boyfriends and perhaps the only reason why I was able to finish the book as quickly as I could. I really didn't like the fact that Sydney and Adrian weren't thrown in together that often because it reduced his appearances in the book.
But the way Richelle Mead slowly built up the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian was really intriguing and engrossing.
They both come a long way at the end of the story and I just really enjoyed watching them transform in their own ways.

The story itself was alright. I wouldn't say it was something spectacular because halfway through the book I could figure out most of what was going on so I didn't feel any surprise or shock as such when the mystery is unraveled. However, I can tell that there's a lot to come and the first book was just about covering the surface so I'm not exactly disappointed..or elated, for that matter.

Overall, I'd say that it COULD'VE been better BUT I'm not too upset about this. It's just how Richelle Mead works. She creates some major foundations in the first book itself and builds upon those foundations in the next books which is exactly what makes the series as a whole so strong and least that's what happened in VA so I'm just going to assume the same for Bloodlines and hope for the best.