Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Shelf: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead

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.

Blurb from Goodreads.....

Review: (Contains some spoilers both from this and the Vampire Academy series)

There has been so much talk about this book in recent months. Those lucky enough to get their hands on ARC’s have seemed to think that Bloodlines isn’t as good as VA and while I do see what they mean, I don’t exactly agree. Going into this book I was sooo excited about it. VA remains one of my all time fave series and I had high expectations for Bloodlines and, for me, it didn’t disappoint. I can see the differences in this and VA, but I loved it none-the-less.
The world within this book is very different from that in VA. The minor characters in VA now have a larger role and they have the chance to shine. The world within the Amberwood boarding school was quite normal, and the book lacked the Moroi magic found in VA, but I discovered that I actually didn’t mind that. The pace of this book was slower as Richelle Mead set up the characters and storyline, but I enjoyed the pace and everything that happened.

It was nice seeing the new characters in this book. After the way the Vampire Academy series ended, there were a lot of questions left unanswered and a lot of loose ends left untied. In Bloodlines those characters whose stories weren’t completed are front and centre and we get the beginning of their own tales. Sydney, Jill and Eddie are all back and their lives are now our focus.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Sydney. I liked her in Blood Promise and I knew she had promise, but I wasn’t expecting to love her as much as I did. And I did actually love her....a lot. She has her issues and fears in regards to Moroi and vampires, but she’s strong too. One of the things that was a stand out about her for me was her morals. I liked that she still has issues with vampires and still considered them and their world to be evil and unnatural at times, and yet unlike the other alchemists, she treated them with respect and decency; interacting with them in a way that was kind and not unnecessarily cruel. Throughout this book Sydney continued to grow and her ideas change and I think she has the potential to be an incredible heroine as the series continues. Personally I can’t wait to witness her becoming the kind of lead I know she can be.

I can’t say enough how much I love Adrian. While Dimitri always had my heart in the previous series and I always wanted him to be with Rose, I’ve always thought highly of Adrian—ever since he appeared in the VA books. He’s such a great character. He’s funny and charming and underneath he’s got such a great heart. There’s so much about him that’s a front and not completely the truth that I adored the moments when his kindness and his true feelings shone through. It’s clear from this book just how much Rose’s betrayal hurt him at the end of Last Sacrifice, but at the same time I could see that he’s ready to move on and that he can be okay again. There’s nothing I want more than him to reach his potential. The relationship he has with Jill is so adorable. He’s always cared about her, but in this book it’s finally clear how strong that affection is. He treats her like a little sister and I don’t doubt that he’d do anything to keep her safe and happy.

I can’t deny that Bloodlines lacked the romance that VA did and yet I wasn’t disappointed by this—not in the least. The chemistry is there between Adrian and Sydney and Mead has set up a great stage for what I can foresee being a terrific romance. The seeds have been sown and I’m excited about the prospect of seeing their relationship develop over time. It’s obvious from the way they interact with each other that something really deep could develop between them in future books. While they’re very different in a lot of ways, they’re also very similar and I think they could find strength in themselves from each other. Adrian certainly is charming enough to help change Sydney’s thoughts on Moroi and sweep her off her feet and I can’t defiantly see her helping to heal his broken heart. I cannot wait to see how this relationship changes in the next few books—it’s so exciting.

I liked the side story of Jill and Lee, although I saw Eddie and everything he feels coming. I’m eager to see where this leads and what it means. There were enough twists and turns in this book to keep you on your toes and the entire time I was reading I didn’t want to stop. I think there a tonnes of possibilities for the characters in this book and the ending was one that left me wanting more....stat!
Bloodlines proves that Mead can indeed keep her VA world alive and has captivated me once again. I think this the start of what looks to be a brilliant series and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Golden Lily, although the wait is going to kill me!

Source: I bought
Format: Paperback
Recommend: Yes, but make sure you read the Vampire Academy series first.
Recommend borrow or buy: Buy
Cover: I love it! It looks so nice in the flesh
Read sequel/continue with series: Yep, yep!

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