BLOOD DOESN'T LIE. 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...
My thoughts:I have to say I had huge expectations to this book, as I loved both Vampire Academy and the Succubus books also by Mead, and so I had to download Bloodlines to my Kindle as soon as it was released. Needless to say, I did not get a lot done at work or at home yesterday.
Bloodlines picks up where Last Sacrifice, the last book in Vampire Academy, left off. This time the story is told from the point of view of Sydney Sage, the Alchemist who helped Rose earlier. She did not have a big role in VA, but she definitely comes into her own here. It's fun to see how freaked out she is by working with Moroi and dhampirs, even if she's considered a "vamp lover" by her fellow Alchemists, and I loved seeing how she developed and got more used to this when the situation left her no other choice. It was also nice to see how both human Sydney and Moroi Jill had body issues: Sydney envying the vampires' stick thin figure, and Jill thinking she's too skinny. If you've read VA you should remember Moroi bad boy Adrian, and he's back and better than ever. I love how he always has a snarky comment ready no matter the situation, and yet there's a part of him that holds a seriousness he doesn't show off often.
The story starts out with action and excitement, and keeps it up through most of the book. Some parts might feel a little slow, but I had the same feeling when I first read Vampire Academy, and that series picked up the pace a lot from the second book and out. I was completely taken by surprise a couple of times, while I figured out other parts long before the characters, and that's just the way I like it. I loved the small interaction Sydney had with Rose, but it was very weird reading about Rose from someone else's point of view after spending five books in her head with VA. Another thing I really liked is that even if there were hints of a possible romance to come, it was not something that took up a lot of time, which is so much more realistic than all these YA novels where everyone falls in love as soon as they see someone hot. A fair warning: Bloodlines ends on the worst (or best) possible cliffhanger, so if you're anything like me you'll be cursing at Richelle for ending it like that. Either way I am very excited to read The Golden Lily when it is released in May 2012.
I like it, but I don't love it. Face pictures on covers have a tendency to ruin things for me as the characters never look anything like what I've imagined.
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Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Published: August 23 2011
Pages (hardcover): 421
ISBN: 1595143173 (ISBN13: 9781595143174)
Full disclosure: Purchased for my Kindle