By Richelle Mead
Published 2011, Razorbill
hardback, 421 pages
The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.As a huge fan of the Vampire Academy series, I anxiously awaited this book. What little I knew of the Alchemists fascinated me, and I felt like Adrian got the short stick in the final book of the series, Last Sacrifice. Richelle Mead does not disappoint in this book, and she keeps just enough mystery in the plot to keep me engrossed to the last page. Rose and Dimitri even make a few appearances, which was neat to see how other characters viewed them.
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.
Sydney is the central character, and at first glance she seems to be the antithesis of Rose's personality. She wants to be obedient and cooperative with her bosses, and she had no interest in rebelling against the system. Unfortunately, her innate desire to do good and root out evil forces her into some rough situations. Her extreme phobia of magic also creates some interesting conflicts and a very promising revelation that I can't wait to see play out in further books.
Adrian's role is at first a secret, but with a few clues from the previous series allowed me to figure it out before Mead revealed it. Gone is the Adrian that Rose brought out -- instead he is back to as much smoking and drinking as at the beginning of the previous series, back when I did not like his character. BUT, this all seems to be a facade after awhile, when Adrian shows an avid interest in painting.
Jill is the one that Sydney is protecting, along with a collection of other new and old characters. As a fifteen-year-old girl also striving to have some semblance of normal life, Jill gets mixed up in problems of her own as she strives to define who she is. While her character could have had more development, as the first book in the series, there is plenty of room for growth.
I could not get through this book fast enough, and I can't wait for the second book, Golden Lily.
The Cover: I'm not crazy about the way the design seems to be cut off -- from the swirls around the title to only half of Adrian's face. I do like having a visual for the golden lily, though.
First Line: "I couldn't breathe."
While not particularly enlightening, because I am familiar with some of the characters from the Vampire Academy series, I still want to know what is happening.
Favorite Quote: "You know, you can be scary as hell sometimes."
Read For: Young Adult Challenge
*I received this book free of charge from a random draw.*