Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead
Publication date: 23 Aug 2011 by Razorbill
Category: Young Adult Paranormal/Mystery
Keywords: Paranormal, romance, Vampire Academy, vampires, alchemy
Format: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
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.
Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy was one of the first series that I really got into when I started to read YA books. I loved the world of the Moroi and Strigoi and the fact that Mead's characters weren't perfect and were fallible. Since then, Mead has become one of my favorite writers. From YA to urban fantasy to romance - if Richelle Mead writes it, I'll read it. However, I was hesitant to read Bloodlines because I was afraid that it would not be as good as VA. Sydney also wasn't my favorite character, which also added to my reluctance to start this series. But I finally decided to take the plunge and I am so glad I did because Bloodlines is so fun and absolutely addicting.
Bloodlines is told from the point of view of Syndney, the alchemist who aided Rose in Vampire Academy. Her actions have put her in hot water with the alchemists, who believe that she may be getting too friendly with the vampires. Sydney must prove her competence and loyalty on her new mission posing as the sister of Jill Mastrano, sister to Moroi queen Lissa Dragomir. Sydney moves to Palm Springs with Jill along with her guardian Eddie, and VA favorite Adrian Ivashkov.
I was never a huge fan of Sydney. While helpful in Vampire Academy, she always came off as sort of snobby and judgmental. In Bloodlines, we get to understand Sydney a little more and what originally came off as snobbishness is more likely attributed to social awkwardness. Living with the alchemists her entire life, she hasn't had much practice interacting with people her own age. She is also very uncomfortable around the vampires, having been told that they are evil and unnatural her whole life. But she isn't narrow minded and must reconcile what's she has been told with her own experiences with them. In many ways, she is the opposite from Rose. In other ways, she is very similar. She is smart, determined, protective, and every bit as fierce as Rose when it really counts. And I love that she doesn't let Adrian get away with things and calls him on his bullshit.
Now we get to Adrian, the partying playboy. While I felt bad for what happened with him in Vampire Academy, I have to admit that I have always been annoyed by his spoiled and self-indulgent attitude. While he hasn't changed in Bloodlines, there's a definite shift in him. I think we're finally starting to see some of Adrian's true potential come through. He and Sydney also have some great chemistry together. Unfortunately there wasn't a ton of romance in this one, just a lot of banter. And you know what that leads to. :) Mead is a master of drawing out the tension though and I am excited to see where their relationship goes.
The plot moved quickly with plenty of action and intrigue to keep things interesting. Even though I figured out the bad guy pretty early on, I still had fun watching it unfold.
I am so glad that I finally decided to read Bloodlines. I loved jumping back into the VA world and learning more about the alchemists and vampires. Richelle Mead has done it again. I am totally hooked on this series and can't wait to read the next installment. Bring on The Golden Lily!