Thursday, 25 August 2011

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Love and Loyality Run Deeper Than Blood
 Genre: Fantasy > Vampires
Age Group:Young Adult
Release Date: 23/08/2011
ISBN-13: 9781921518881

Sydney's blood in special.  That's because she's 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.  But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists.  And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line.

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 unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California.  The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires.  And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds.  Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.


When I pick up a book I’ve been longing to read, a wonderful and indescribable feeling builds up inside me.  The sight of the title and author printed on the beautiful cover spreads a grin across my face, and the feel of printed pages running between my fingers makes my heart race. But most of all, the sense of excitement and anticipation for the story that will unfold epitomises the very reason I love to read. Because for the time that I am reading this precious bound form of ink and paper, I am lifted from the ordinary into a world of magic and infinite possibility.

And Bloodlines by Richelle Mead is one of those rare books which does exactly that.
I’m sure many VA fans were busting for the release of Bloodlines, but at the same time, dubious as to how the story would unfold from Sydney’s fresh perspective. But honest to goodness, Richelle Mead does not disappoint. Bloodlines is another embodiment of Mead’s power to draw the reader in with intricate plotlines, a unique set of characters and a captivating world.

Mead’s writing is deceptively simple and straightforward, but somewhere within the paragraphs, she weaves a story that immediately captures the reader’s imagination and transports them to another world. This intricately crafted alternate universe, where a complex world of vampires live secretly alongside the human world, is so intriguing and fantastical that it has spawned six books – comprising the Vampire Academy series – and now this new spinoff series, Bloodlines.

The first few chapters start off with little action, but Mead quickly builds up a vivid depiction of the enticing vampire world fans of VA have come to love. Sydney is a very multi-faceted character, but quite the polar opposite of Rose. Where Rose is outgoing, strong-willed and completely badass, Sydney is an intelligent observer, somewhat naïve socially, but with no less determination and passion. 

Sydney’s mission to protect Jill Dragomir is accompanied by the witty and slightly unstable Adrian, and Jill’s guardian, Eddie. I love the way Mead builds on these previously minor characters while weaving new relationships between them. However, the forbidden love story at the heart of Vampire Academy was an enchanting, and irreplaceable part of the original series, and I can’t see a love story stronger than that one building up in Bloodlines. 
Book 2 comes out 1st of May 2012...
that's way too long to wait. Sigh.

But what completely drew me in, and had me reading late into the night, was the story itself. With Mead’s usual plot twists and mix of good and bad forces, this book stayed glued to my hands as its words carried my me away. I begged myself to stop reading at the end of every chapter, but every new twist was an invite drawing me back in. And Mead leaves readers hanging on a plot twist so big that I’m already counting down the days until the release of Book 2, The Golden Lily.

If you’re a girl (age 13 and up), RUN OUT NOW AND GET YOUR HANDS ON A COPY. While Bloodlines is no Vampire Academy (not yet anyway), it’s still an amazing, captivating book filled with dynamic characters, and carries a killer plotline that will keep your heart racing until the very last page.

Oh, and check out these awesome Bloodlines trailers.