This is a great series for those that loved Richelle Meads Vampire Academy series and is pining for more. Bloodlines is set in the same world as Vampire Academy, with some of the same minor characters being brought to the fore-front. Mead purposefully left some loose strings at the end of the series to be explored and the consequences people would face for helping Rose in Last Sacrifice. Bloodlines can be read on it’s own, but I would recommend reading the Vampire Academy series first and then reading Bloodlines.
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, part of a large organisation that help Vampires cover up their existence to protect humans. They believe the Moroi (Vampires) and Dhampirs (half-Vampries) are evil and Sydney was taught from a young age to fear them and believes they are evil monsters. Lately, she’s been in some trouble with her Alchemist superiors for helping those very same monsters, and thus, is on rocky ground with her job. The Alchemist’s send her undercover at a school in Palm Springs with Moroi Jill Mastrano in an attempt to save Jill’s life. All she has to do is protect Jill, but Sydney’s beliefs are ingrained, and she fears having to spend so much time with the unnatural beings that she has spent her life being taught to hate.
With Sydney are familiar friends: Eddie, Jill and of course Adrian. I got completely emotionally invested in the characters, mentally cheering them, and hating others for defying them. Every character was complex and had a convincing motive for every action, all connecting in a web of plot lines. I really like Richelle Mead’s voice, in any of her books. Bloodlines drew me in with serious events one moment and then will flip on it’s side and have a humorous scene involving Adrian’s witty banter the next.
Ah, Adrian. Where do I begin? He’s had an unfortunate time with Rose and is now drowning his sorrows in booze, cigarettes and Moroi women. He was brought along in an attempt to give Jill a familiar face and because, let’s face it, he had nothing better to do. At first, he comes across as self-pitying and selfish, but he’s devil-may-care, he’s bad-boy and his witty quips are hilarious.
At the beginning, I was not completely sold on Sydney. I certainly am now. She was everything Rose wasn’t at the beginning, she’s mature, level-headed and over-thinks everything instead of rushing in situations without a moments thought. Sydney has her own issues with Vampires and their magic, she is conflicted between what her family and the Alchemists have brought her up thinking and what she’s seeing before her. She has father issues as well, with insecurities about her weight, as she compares herself to the Vampires perfect shape, which was somewhat her fathers fault.
One of the reasons she is such a brainiac was because her father strictly homeschooled her and this meant that she had little normal social interaction. She was socially inept which was utterly hilarious, her cluelessness made her unaware of any simple social dynamics. Sydney also had a tendency to help and protect everyone and everything, which sometimes backfired on her. Nonetheless, she was an efficient, competent woman who stood up for herself when needed and did not cower. It was enjoyable to see such a strong, intelligent character that didn’t need brute force, but had brains. Rose and Sydney both are strong characters, and I liked the stark contrast between their personalities. Bloodlines proves to readers that mental strength is just as important as physical strength.
Both Sydney and Adrian have their issues, and I believe they’re perfect for each other. Their relationship is slowly starting to grow into friendship as they begin to trust each other. They do not jump in each other’s arms five minutes after meeting declaring their love, for which I’m extremely grateful. I immensely enjoyed the slow build-up and found it more believable.
Mead has once again created a fantastic, funny and complex world, bring on The Golden Lily!
Rating: 3 Stars