Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bloodlines #1 - Richelle Mead; Review.

Book Details: 
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Penguin (25 Aug 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0141337117
ISBN-13: 978-0141337111

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning..

Links to buy: 

If you know about Vampire Academy, then you’ll know about Bloodlines. If you don’t know about Vampire Academy, then where have you been hiding?

From the successful and hugely admirable Vampire Academy series, comes the spin off collection that starts with the first book Bloodlines. Here we are reunited with the notably handy little helper, the Alchemist Sydney, the arrogantly loveable Adrian, steadfast and strong Eddie as well as cute little Jill who claimed the throne in the Vampire Academy series.

While this is a new series, and the books are standalone  it would be useful to read the VA books, simply because 1. They’re amazing and 2. It will actually help in getting background on the current characters in this book. Anyway! Moving along to the review.

I was excited when I heard there was going to be a spin off to VA, since it meant that I get to follow some of the characters I had come to love, *cough Adrian cough* and others on a brand new journey with new dangers and missions.

Narrated by the strong, ever present Sydney, we see her get thrust in to protecting Jill Dragomir from threats she faces from those who want to sabotage her of her newly acquired throne. Reluctantly, Sydney has no choice but to help and is stationed alongside Eddie, and bored Adrian who’s looking for an escape from his current life, over in California, where new troubles face the group.

While at first I was a little wary of Sydney being the narrator, as her character was one that I didn’t immediately connect with in the previous books, I found myself pleasantly surprised. Mead allows us to see more to the strong and almost silent Sydney we briefly encountered and constructs her in this series as a useful, clever, and determined individual who knows which rules to follow and which are worth breaking. While some may find her character a little bland and not crazy enough, I found Mead’s representation and portrayal of her refreshing; it’s always good to see a nerd take the lead!

The pace was a little slow and too rushed near the end, and while it may have been to help build the suspense, I would have liked a more steady progression that would keep me enthralled from the beginning, all the way to the end. However, to make up for that, I was particularly fond of the way we found most of the details and events in the book, through Sydney’s narration. As she discovered and made sense of events, we as readers did too – which allowed me to feel like I was on a journey beside her and make my own deductions as we go along.

Despite it being a good read, I’ve rated this a 3 star simply because having read the Vampire Academy series, and being totally enamoured by it, I found Bloodlines to be not crazy and passionate enough. While I did try to keep an open and separate mind as I read this, attempting to read it like it was a complete new standalone series, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Mead’s great previous works and therefore feel like I wasn’t as in love with this as I should. Nonetheless, if you’re a newbie to Mead’s work, then it’s definitely worth picking up this series and you’ll be in for a treat.

Be sure to check out the review to her second book in the series, called "The Golden Lily" which can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. I just read and reviewed this one a few days ago and completely agree. this is the bloodlines book I've been waiting for! I was at an "okayish" level with this series and still mourning the end of VA but then this book came out and I was so giddy and so in love with it!