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Review: Bloodlines

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead was released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A paperback edition will be available on May 29, 2012.

Published by Razorbill, the print edition is 432 pages.

Bloodlines is the first book in author Richelle Mead’s series of the same name. The sequel, The Golden Lily, will be available on June 12, 2012.

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Goodreads description:

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.

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Sydney Sage was desperate to get back into the Alchemist’s good graces. Still in fear of being sent for re-education and that her sister, Zoe, would be recruited to take her place as the family’s next Alchemist, she was willing to accept any assignment they had for her.

Even if it meant being sent to Palm Springs to become babysitter and roommate to one of the royal Moroi, Jill Dragomir. Even if it meant pretending to be related to vampires, the unnatural creatures with magical abilities that she feared. And even if it meant being forced to work alongside Keith Darnell, an Alchemist she despised possibly even more than the vampires, themselves.

But getting the chance to attend private school didn’t sound all bad. Especially to someone who had been home schooled their entire life and who would probably never have the chance to go to college.

How was she to know just how complicated things really were and that humans could get themselves into nearly as much trouble as the vampires? And how could she have possibly foreseen an enemy she didn’t even know existed?

With no one she could turn to for help among the Alchemists and feeling there was no one she could really trust, Sydney would have to find answers on her own. Because her only other option would be to get help from a vampire. And that worked out so well for her the last time….

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Fast-paced, exciting and absolutely spellbinding, Bloodlines meets every expectation and then some for this spinoff series by author Richelle Mead about vampires, alchemists and humans and the dangers that exist in a world that includes them all.

With a mix of old characters and new, a brand new setting and a whole new mystery to solve, this introductory book into the series is a definite must read. The writing is engaging, the plot is intriguing, the characters are witty, interesting, likable, detestable and mysterious and the ending will leave readers craving book two.

In Bloodlines, Sydney Sage, the Alchemist who put a lot on the line to help Rose Hathaway is back. And this time she’s the main character and the story is told through her eyes as she uproots her life and heads to Palm Springs to Amberwood Prep where she is tasked with watching over Jill Dragomir, the Moroi Princess whose life is at risk now that Lissa has been made Queen.

As tricky of an assignment as it is, it’s made more difficult by the fact that Sydney has never attended school and learned to socialize, there are secrets the vampires are keeping from her and the Alchemist who is supposed to oversee things is one of her biggest enemies and doesn’t want her there.

Once again, Richelle Mead captivates readers with her lovable and relatable characters, with writing that is inviting and enticing and with the promise of something even more thrilling in books to come.

Fans of the author’s Vampire Academy series will not be disappointed. And new readers will be easily ensnared by the ever-charming, witty and self-deprecating Adrian Ivashkov, the adorably sweet Jill Dragomir, the fiercely protective Eddie Castile and the kind, clever and sympathetic Sydney Sage.

Full of surprises, danger, suspense and betrayal, Bloodlines is utterly riveting and the start to a series not to be missed.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

Bloodlines totally rocked. I was so worried I’d spend the entire read missing Rose and Dimitri. And while I did miss them just a little bit, I loved getting to see things from Sydney Sage’s perspective.

And I loved getting to see Adrian through someone else’s eyes, see how he acted when Rose wasn’t around and see how he interacted with girls other than Rose.

I loved Sydney’s character in the Vampire Academy series so I wasn’t worried about getting to know her in this spinoff series. And I instantly liked her again, though she did frustrate me at times. As clever as she was when it came to things like schoolwork, she could be really dense about nearly everything else.

Which was somewhat of a surprise at first. Especially as she was supposed to be pretty good at figuring things out and yet no warning bells went off in her head about certain characters’ behaviors. But even with the short-term cluelessness, which I don’t think will happen again, she was an awesome character to get to know better.

Between her restrictive upbringing, the fears and prejudices that were instilled in her from a very early age and the rigid and unbending principles and rules that the Alchemists lived by, Sydney could have been just as unlikable a character as her father, or Keith. But she wasn’t. She still managed to think for herself, she was still able to see the good in “people” and she still managed to be kind of bada** when she wanted to be.

But while I loved getting to know Sydney and having the story told from her point of view, Adrian Ivashkov was my favorite. I found myself looking forward to every scene he was in. Just as I did when I first met him in the Vampire Academy series. He was one of my favorite characters in that series, so that automatically made him my favorite in this one.

Adrian was every bit as charming and lovable as always. And even though he was heartbroken, he didn’t stop being a total flirt. He was fun. He was adorable. He was maddening. He was delectable. But it was also nice seeing his protective side come out for someone other than Rose.

And just like in the Vampire Academy books, when he let things get intense, let his nonchalance slip away, he was absolutely hypnotizing and kind of breathtaking. I sort of forgot that about him. That one line of his at the end…. Well, nope, I can’t say what that is, but I could swear it made my heart skip a beat.

Oh and I loved the cameo appearances. While I won’t be all spoiler-y and say who showed up in this book, I will say that it was awesome that they did. Though it was definitely different seeing them from another character’s perspective. And I am so looking forward to just who will be showing up in the next book. Yes, that surprise was dropped at the very end.

Speaking of The Golden Lily, I am so freaking happy I waited to read this book. Because there is no way I would have been able to suffer the long, long, long wait from when Bloodlines was released until the sequel’s release. As it is I’m dying. Absolutely dying.

I was totally caught up in Richelle Mead’s world once again. And I didn’t want to move on to another one. I was totally invested in her characters and I was not at all prepared to let them go.

And while I was able to solve the mystery long before Sydney did, I loved seeing her figure it out for herself. And I loved the way things ended. Especially after that one scene where…. Oops.

If I had to describe this book in just three short sentences they would be: Awesomely awesome. Super fun. Totally delicious.

So, yes, I want to re-read this book right now. Yes, I want to go back and re-read the entire Vampire Academy series. Yes, this book was absolutely fan-freaking-tastic. And yes, I am keeping fingers crossed that this time around Adrian gets his happily ever after.

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I have a favorite passage. And no, I can’t reveal it here. Because it will totally ruin that moment. So, I thought I’d just post the highlights from two great scenes with a favorite character instead. And there’s really no surprise who that is….

“…I can say you’re okay for an irreverent party boy with occasional moments of brilliance.”

“Brilliant? You think I’m brilliant?” He threw his hands skyward. “You hear that, world? Sage says I’m brilliant.”

“That’s not what I said!”

… As I drove away, I decided the Alchemists needed an entire department devoted to handling Adrian Ivashkov.

And…

“Adrian, we’re focusing on Jill here. This isn’t about your personal entertainment.”

“Not true,” he said, green eyes sparkling. “Everything’s about my personal entertainment. The world is my stage. Keep it up–you’re becoming a star performer in the show.”

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The extras…

Be sure to check out the Bloodlines series website for some fun extras and an app, HERE.

To read an excerpt on Scribd, CLICK HERE.

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The trailer…

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15 Responses to “Review: Bloodlines”

  1. Patricia says:

    Great review. I loved seeing so much more of Adrian and you’re absolutely right, it was pretty awesome seeing him through someone else’s eyes as well as seeing him around other people without Rose around.

    I loved both of the snippets that you picked. It shows just a bit of Adrian’s charms.

    I can’t wait until you read TGL, you’re going to love it.

  2. T____________T it’s 2:43am there is NO way I’ll be able to love you and your review as much right now as I know I will tomorrow when I’m sane and well rested :D
    But I saw your picks for the teasers, well ‘passages’ you decided to share O_O
    I’m intrigued by how, when you review books I’ve already read you just make me want to reread it all over again!!!

    Night *O* <-yawn

  3. Great review. I loved this book and can’t wait to read The Golden Lily. Go Adrian…

    Books Live Forever

  4. I so so so soooooo can’t wait to see what you think of TGL!

  5. Addie R. says:

    Great review! I didn’t like it as much as you did, but I definitley enjoyed reading it. :) And I just love Richelle’s writing!

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks! It was definitely enjoyable. I definitely think there’s room for the series to progress, but it caught me at just the right time and in just the right mood and I happen to be a huge fan of Richelle Mead – like you, I love her writing! – and while Sydney will never be Rose, I found her entertaining to read about. I did love the Adrian moments a bit more. But I do miss Dimitri.

  6. I’ve never read any Richelle Meade books and def. need to start. he’s a good writer i hear. nice review!

  7. Avery says:

    I KNOW RIGHT! Seriously, I just reread this the other day and then read The Golden Lily right after. GAH! These books make so so happy! And I am totally with you- I want Adrian to get his HEA (which I find kinda shocking because in VA I was a total Dimitri fan, but Adrian is slowly starting to give D a run for his money in my eyes).

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      I need happy right now. Though I’m also in the mood for something gruesome. I have a lot of angsty twisty books on the pile. I’m so tired, I just need happy or dreadful, LOL. I love Dimitri, but he and Rose were perfect for each other. Adrian deserves a HEA so much. He’s so charming, but they were just too different so I never saw him with Rose, though I <3′d him in Frostbite. And yes, he has that snark and charm, like Tod. But good to get a hint of what’s to come in TGL iff Adrian is giving Dimi a “run for his money.” Can’t wait and glad you <3′d it!

      • Avery says:

        I have a lot of angsty twisty books on the pile.

        Oooooohhhhh, like what? I am totally intrigued!

        And let me know if your postman decides to eat your ARC because if so I would be more than happy to send mine your way!

        • Fiktshun009 says:

          Thanks Avery! But if it eats it, I’m sure I’d get the eBook download on June 12th quicker. BUT TYSM. Am really hoping it gets delivered on Saturday… Today? Haha. I’m re-reading If I Die. I’m also reading a non-YA book, One Foot in the Grave AND Some Girls Bite. Definite angst in both. Am also reading Embers & Echoes and feeling totally twisty with that one. And ooooh, Demon Eyes. Oh and I started reading Something Strange and Deadly. I really can’t focus on any one book, LOL. Plus am about 25% through CoFA. But totally feeling all twisty with RV’s Shadow Bound. Yes I read it before, but it’s different now. *sigh.*

  8. I’m glad you finally read this one! I really loved it, and I actually was missing Rose and Dimitri, because they are my favorite couple ever. I also was a Dimitri girl, not so much an Adrian girl so I was afraid I wouldn’t love this one, but I did. I can’t wait for The Golden Lily.

  9. I loved your review, and I’m super excited you loved it a lot! :) I just recently read the VA series last month, after reading your love letter reviews for them, and I fell hard for the series. And I wonder what your favorite passage is, but I still loved the two you gave. Gotta love Adrian! (Though I still like Dimitri more ;) ) And like you, I seriously want to read the VA series again!

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