Current Giveaways:

None :(

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (REVIEW)

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Genre: YA urban fantasy -- Publication date: August 23, 2011 -- Source: purchased

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. (

Anybody who has been reading this blog for a little while probably knows that I have been unbearably excited for this book for what seems like an eternity! Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series is my absolute favorite and awaiting the debut to this new series was agony. It's really difficult for me to write an informing review without spoiling this book or Last Sacrifice, which is the latest book in the Vampire Academy series, but I'll do my best.

First of all, it was delightful to be back inside of the world of the Moroi, Strigoi, and dhampir. And now the alchemists, of course! All of the politics and societal rules and different moral values of the species has always been so beautiful to me and re-entering is like a splash of cold water on a dry day in Palm Springs.

Now, I was never a skeptic of viewing the world through Sydney's point of view, but I strongly doubted that I would love her as much as Rose, considering Rose is, like, the epitome of amazing female protagonists. But Sydney Sage is amazing in her own ways - and equally infuriating. A recent stunt that was looked upon as the betrayal to the alchemists had put Sydney in a rocky patch with the rest of her kind, not really trusted, but not exactly UNtrusted by anyone other than the repulsive Keith Darnell. Sydney takes a lot of consideration into every single word she says, not wanting to give the alchemists a reason to believe that she is traitorous, but also wanting to be polite to her diverse company who she believes are vile, unnatural creatures of the night.

Throughout the novel she struggles with what she was taught as an alchemist and what she is experiencing before her. She is witnessing Moroi and dhampir dealing with inner turmoil, feeling real human emotions, and she WANTS to care for them, but it goes against all she is as an alchemist. Also, her easy submission to the alchemists is so infuriating because it is, well, easy. She hardly defends herself d doesn't put up much of a fight.

But here's the kicker...

She knows that. And she hates it. She wishes she were different, but she doesn't see much of a choice.Which is why she doesn't want her younger sister, Zoe, sucked into the oppressive world of alchemy. As the story progresses, the reader gets to see Sydney sort of tossing aside that meek nature and taking action to stand up for herself and her friends. It's quite miraculous, actually, the slow transition she makes.

Another problem she faces is body issues. Compared to the Moroi, she feels frumpy and overweight and like she could never be perfect enough. I think that is important because it is something that a lot of younger girls face nowadays. I think it is very easily relatable.

This book definitely had an 'opening novel' feel to it. It isn't incredibly suspenseful or riveting, but it does keep the reader guessing. Little hints and remarks are dropped here and there that make you HAVE to keep reading. There are a lot of different conflicts thrown out on the table that are very obvious will be built on in later novels. And there is definite foreshadowing that I detect, which is super exciting!

This series could very easily be started without reading the Vampire Academy series, but I feel like it is a lot more enjoyable because I have read the predecessing series. The characters are much more intriguing, and it helps that I already love them!

The writing and pacing is beautiful as always, because Miss Mead sure has a way with words! I must say that I'm surprised at the lack of romance, but it makes sense because of Sydney's character.

The ending, though. Man. That was what took my breath away. Darn you, Richelle! It's not a huge cliffhanger, but it did leave me literally hyperventilating. All in all, The Golden Lily, which is the next installment in this new series, is much too far away! This was an excellent introductory book that I think would definitely please all vampire and Vampire Academy fans alike!

  • Sydney. Sydney has such a good heart (though she made a pretty shocking deal with a very familiar devil) and it was impossible for me not to gradually love her. I know a lot of people either loved her or hated her in the Vampire Academy series. I didn't feel strongly about her, though. I was pleased when she had another role in Last Sacrifice, but I still felt like I didn't know enough bout her. I can honestly say that is no longer the case. I felt so connected to Sydney throughout this whole book, and she faces a lot of realistic problems that are very easy relate to. Like the pressure to be perfect, and trying to make everyone around her happy, and bottling what she truly feels. I began feeling so bad for Sydney throughout the story because she does everything with the best intentions but never receives the appreciation she deserves.
  • ADRIAN. MMMMMM. If you haven't guessed, I love Adrian. I was never able to actually choose between him and Dimitri, because I love them for different reasons. But, my god. ADRIAN IVASHKIOV. I'm not going to go into major details, once again not wanting to reveal spoilers for Last Sacrifice, but I will say that we get to see a whole new side to him in Bloodlines. In Frostbite he is introduced as the vampire party boy with a great appreciation for women. However, as the Vampire Academy series progressed it was very obvious there was a lot more to him than that. In Bloodlines you get a good idea of what that is, though I'm sure there's a lot more to come. I mean, he literally gets his hands dirty. Adrian! His healing powers have certainly improved. He shows a great deal more of independence. And, brace yourself, ADRIAN IS AN ARTIST! Shocker, right?
  • The mention of Mason. Okay, so I think this may be a spoiler, but it doesn't give away anything huge. In this book, there is a mention of Mason. Mason was one of my favorite characters until he, you know...but hearing about him was so amazing. I loved loved loved Mason and I still cry every time I think of him.
  • Representation of high school. Honestly, I think Richelle Mead did a very good job representing a high school. I mean, I happen to know. I've been to my share of them.
  • The realistic struggles. As I said before, Sydney deals with a lot of things that many young girls have to deal with on a daily basis, and it is refreshing to see those kinds of things in a vampire book!
  • The religious content. It's no secret that Sydney and the rest of the alchemists are extremely religious, but it's not distracting. I mean, obviously it comes into play when Sydney has to make decisions and whatnot, but the book isn't focused on it, like, "PRAISE THE LORD!" Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with any religion, I just don't like books that preach to me. That's what church is for. 

I thought that this book was an absolutely perfect opening novel, but I have a feeling the following books in the series will be better, and pack an even stronger punch!

If you like...

The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast
The Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz
The Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow

then you'll love Bloodlines!


  1. I loved Bloodlines, too. Sydney is a wonderful character, and I'm really looking forward to seeing her grow and change. Her reactions and hesitations made sense to me, even if I didn't always like them...and Adrian! Oh, Adrian. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with him, too. :)

  2. I haven't read the Vampire Academy series, but think I'll like it a lot. Great review! New follower!

    Tia @ Falling For Books


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I love to hear from my readers, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion :) I do my best to get back to every commenter, though I am not always successful. Heh...Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you have to say! :D

~ Gabbi