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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
ISBN: 9781595143174
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: August 29, 2011
Page #: 421
Source: My local public library

"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 allegiances 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 the 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."
First Lines:

"I couldn't breathe.
There was a hand covering my mouth and another shaking my shoulder, startling me out of a heavy sleep. A thousand frantic thoughts dashed through my mind in the space of a single heartbeat. It was happening. My worst nightmare was coming true."
Page 1

I will preface this review by telling you that I absolutely loved the Vampire Academy series. I consider it one of the absolute best vampire series out there. I've recommended it, I've talked it up, I've thought about owning them (a big deal, I promise)... basically I think they're wonderful. All of this to say, I'm probably preconditioned to love Bloodlines. And I did. I'm not sure if it's because I love VA so much... or if it's just that good. I'm gonna say it's just that good.

Bloodlines picks up Sydney's story post-VA. She's gotten into trouble for her involvement with our previous cast of characters and she's looking to redeem herself in the eyes of her father and the larger Alchemist group. She begs to be put on an assignment that takes her far away from things she has known in the past. She fights through her Alchemist training and learns to live with vampires and dhampirs... while her one nearby ally is actually an enemy from the past. In a tough situation, she deals with strange mysteries, teenage love, and learning to protect her charge.

All in all, I thought it was a clever divergence from the Vampire Academy stories. You are still looking at boarding school life - but from a whole different place and perspective. Not to mention that it's actually a human school... but it's a similar setting. The one thing that's not familiar is Sydney's outlook on the world. She was brought up differently and her view of the Moroi and Dhampir's is absolutely the opposite of what I'm used to. I think that's one of the things that makes this book a great companion to the VA books.

One thing that I seriously wonder is if someone who hasn't read VA would get lost in this book. I think the author did a really good job giving you some recap on what the world is like and how things work. I just wonder if it would get confusing for people who aren't into it already. Hopefully all is well. I've already recommended it to someone who hasn't read VA, so I'll let ya know :).

This author officially has my vote for the best endings. She does such a great job of wrapping up the story you're currently following - enough that you have closure to the issue in the book. But then she hits you with a little zing at the end to let you know what's coming and why you should get excited. I know I got excited at the end of this book - the second one is already in my pre-order cart. I just appreciate the author's ability to continue the story without keeping you from having an ending. Bravo!

As I mentioned earlier, I've already recommended this book to at least one person. I'm not done yet! I think it's a great urban fantasy novel - and I'm 100% positive that VA fans are gonna love it (and already do, from what I can tell). I applaud Richelle Mead for another great start to a series and I will be waiting desperately for the second book!
Other Blog Reviews:

Missy's Reads & Reviews
That Chick That Reads
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Moonlight Book Reviews
IB Book Blogging
Feeling Fictional


Katie said...

YAY you liked it! You might hate me, but I think I might like this series better than VA.

Live Out Loud said...

That first line is great!

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