Monday, September 19, 2011

Bloodlines - Richelle Mead - Blog Tour Review

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.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: Bloodlines
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Blog Tour: Penguin
My rating: 5/5

Sydney Sage is an alchemist, and has recently returned to duty after having helped Rose Hathaway on her cross-country quest. Now, she is tasked with another near impossible situation; go into hiding with the Dragomir princess and keep her safe from those who would hurt her. Certainly she will be able to redeem herself, and show everyone that she is efficient and professional, worthy of being an Alchemist. 
We first met Sydney in the Vampire Academy series, specifically in Blood Promise, though we glimpsed more of her as the series progressed. This spin-off series though is so far absolutely riveting. Sydney is part of a faction that brings to life curiosity. She's an Alchemist, and she is human, most decidedly not Moroi, dhampir, or Strigoi. She has to fight her revulsion of Moroi and Strigoi alike if she is to oversee the safety of the Dragomir princess. She is strong, snarky, and I have to say, I enjoyed getting inside her head to see how she viewed her reality, and her duties. We only see one side of her in the Vampire Academy series, so it was refreshing to see her play a focal point in the spin-off series. 
Many characters from Vampire Academy have transitioned into this new series, and I was ecstatic to see all of the familiar faces, particularly since things don't end well for some characters in the first series. You probably could read this book first, however to gain an appreciation for the world, and all the events that transpire, I would suggest first reading the original series before starting this one. I absolutely loved Bloodlines and loved seeing my favourite characters return. It is always hard when a series ends, because you have to let your favourite characters go, but with this spin-off we see side-characters gain the attention they so richly deserve. 
Mead drops enough hints for the reader to clue into the big picture, however she holds back enough to still blow the reader out of the water when she reveals the plot twists that come about at the end of the book. I honestly was shocked and intrigued by the big reveal and cannot wait to see what else she has in store for the characters and the vampire world in general. Questions arise, which will hook the reader enticing them to read the next book, as well as the rest of the series. 
All in all, I fall more in love with the Vampire Academy world with each book that I read. I was ridiculously happy to see some of my favourite side-characters get more face time in this spin-off series, and I am really loving the twists that Mead is throwing our way. I cannot wait for the next book to be released, as Mead has raised the bar with Bloodlines. With Sydney at the forefront, delving into life as an Alchemist, we gain a different perspective to the world of the Moroi and Strigoi, and we finally see just what the Alchemists' role is in this society. Fans of the series will be clamoring for the next book to be released, because Mead just keeps on spinning gold. 


Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I really want to read Bloodlines. I haven't read Vampire Academy yet. They are sitting in the plastic waiting for me.

Charlie said...

Great review. I've never really been into vampires, but this makes me think I might give it a try. :-) thanks
C.K. Volnek