This week I’ve got the much anticipated spin-off series to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Series, and I’m giving away an ARC at the end of this post!
Please note, this review contains SPOILERS about the Vampire Academy series. This is your warning. Turn away if you don’t want to know anything more.
What It’s About:
The first book in Richelle Mead’s brand-new teen fiction series – set in the same world as Vampire Academy.
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.
What I Thought:
I’m not exaggerating when I say the Vampire Academy series is my favorite. I mean, how can it not be with that gut-wrenching cliffhanger ending to SHADOW KISS? And Rose Hathaway is my all time favorite book protagonist. The only solace I had in that series ending was knowing there would be a spin off with the most intriguing secondary character as the protagonist…and the love interest who didn’t get chosen by Rose would become the love interest in Bloodlines. I LOVED Adrian. But I wanted Rose to end up with Dimitri. They were perfect together. So I’m thrilled I get more Adrian in this 6 book series and can continue loving him for that many more books!
Cracking open this book was like reuniting with old friends. Instantly I felt at home in the world I’d grown to love. I connected immediately to Sydney and loved learning about her family in the opening scene. The opening had a very Hunger Games-like beginning that made Sydney extremely sympathetic while also establishing some mystery that kept me turning pages. In fact, there were several mysteries going on and that worked to keep me guessing. And I loved the way it all came together.
I wasn’t sure which new character I could trust, which amped the suspense. And speaking of characters. Adrian. I’m sorry, I mean ADRIAN. SWOOOOOOOON. I loved him even more in this! He brings the perfect blend of humor, bad boy goodness, and oh yeah, sexiness! I’m so impressed with the way Mead makes this guy who drinks and smokes in excessive amounts extremely likable. In most YA, a guy who does this would be the bad guy, not the love interest. But it’s good to see a love interest who isn’t morally perfect, who does wrong things when he knows they’re wrong, and still makes me love him while doing it! So snaps for that!
It was also great to get more Jill and Eddie. Eddie was another favorite of mine from Vamp Academy. He started as sort of a background character whose name was tossed around here and there but you didn’t really know him or care about him in Book 1. In Book 2 he got the brunt of the abuse and my Care Meter for him rose. (haha, pun.) By Book 3, I adored him and wanted more more more. So I’m thrilled by his presence here. I love how very Guardian he is. And Jill’s a character that radiates personality from the moment she first entered the series. Like Lissa in Vamp Academy, she’s the one everyone needs to protect.
Speaking of that, ever since I heard this book would take place in a human high school in Palm Springs, California, and that Sydney would be the narrator–and I knew she was already out of school, I wondered how the dynamic would work. And I have to say it’s all pretty brilliant how it happens! Reading about these vampires in the normal human was a refreshing change of pace from the original Vamp Academy series, which was set almost entirely in the vampire world. This time the characters dealt with friend issues, mean girl issues, crazy homework assignments, and oh yeah, magical tattoos.
Wait…tattoos? We know that alchemists have magical tattoos. That was one thing I wanted to learn more about. And learn more I did! All I have to say is just you wait and read on. I found that particular plot line to be captivating! And it’s no coincidence that book two will be called THE GOLDEN LILY (Sydney’s cheek tattoo is a golden lily).
I was also fascinated by Sydney’s alchemist abilities and how they worked into the story. Each time she created an alchemist potion, I was riveted to find out what it would do. I loved the blend of science and magic. She solved both human and vampire problems using her alchemist skills. Unlike Rose, Sydney fights with brains instead of brute force. In fact, she’s the opposite of Rose in a lot of ways. Rose acts without thinking, Sydney overanalyzes. Rose blows off school work, Sydney excels at it. Rose is fully immersed in the vampire world, Sydney has to work through her prejudice against vampires. I loved seeing the same vampire world from the opposite perspective. And even though Sydney thinks a lot, this book has plenty of that good old fashioned Buffy-like action I loved so much in the original series.
Oh, OH. That ending. WHY MUST I HAVE TO WAIT SO LONG FOR BOOK 2?!??!?!
All in all, I loved this book so much. And the events in this book set up what promises to be another favorite series of mine.
And now’s your chance to win my copy! The rules are simple.
- Enter as many times as you like.
- Each comment will be one entry (you may comment on either my livejournal blog or the one at http://www.shana-silver.com).
- Each retweet advertising the contest with a link to this blog entry (http://bit.ly/iulzJN) and including @shanasilver (so I can find it) will count as an entry.
- The context closes Wednesday June 22nd at 11:59pm EST. I will announce the winner next Thursday during my Bookanista review.
- US and Canada only please.
- Random.org will pick the winner.
Don’t forget to check out what the other Bookanistas are reading this week:
- Myra McEntire invites POSSESSION author Elana Johnson into the Fort
- Shannon Messenger croons over UNCOMMON CRIMINALS with a giveaway
- Elana Johnson invites us to her Virtual Launch Party for POSSESSION with TONS of giveaways!
- Shana Silver gushes about BLOODLINES with an arc giveaway
- Christine Fonseca and Rosemary Clement-Moore devours BAD TASTE IN BOYS
- Stasia Ward Kehoe is stunned by GIRL, STOLEN
- Beth Revis interviews HOURGLASS author Myra McEntire with a giveaway
- Jen Hayley is mesmerized by IMAGINARY GIRLS