Blurb: Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher. - (Goodreads)
Just for the record, don't worry guys I read this back on the very date of its release last year. However I've found myself compelled (< see what I did there?) to review it for two important reasons. Firstly, it's amazing and I really loved it. And secondly, its sequel, The Golden Lily, is set to be released in less than a month! - 21 days to be exact but who's counting right? Anyway I must admit that before I picked this one up I was a tad skeptical about a spin-off from the renowned Vampire Academy series. I loved that series and wasn't keen for a spin-off that could potentially distract or ruin Rose and Dmitri's well deserved happily ever after. To clarify, I am a strong Dmitri and Rose supporter. This added to my uncertainty in relation to this book which revolved largely around Adrian, whom in the Vampier Academy series I found to be a nuisance and threat to my precious Rose and Dmitri happily ever after! I relent however that after Bloodlines, my perspective of Adrian has completely altered; even nudged me a little in the direction of Team Adrian. Don't get your panties in a twist, my number one fictional love will most probably always be my Dmitri but hey, Adrian could sure break into my top 5!
First off, the story follows Sydney, the alchemist we were introduced to in Blood Promise, as she is sent along with Moroi Princess, Jill Dragomir, to a Californian human boarding school. I think I'll start off by saying how well Richelle Mead is able to develop her characters from what we already know about them as a result of the Vampire Academy series. In the Vampire Academy series I must admit that I was never a big fan of Sydney, or maybe it's more that I never perceived her to be a major character. Bloodlines was a really big eye opener in that respect. We learn a lot more about alchemists and the way in which they live. We are introduced to Sydney's family who are not anything like I expected. I actually grew to like Sydney immensely. As a protagonist, she is strong, protective and fierce and in some ways reminds me a lot of Rose Hathaway minus the whole kick-ass fighting and combative skill set. However, it must be said that in other areas Sydney is perhaps a little superior to Rose, making her just as worthy protagonist as Hathaway was. For instance, I would say Sydney is a little more mature than Rose. Also more sensible, level headed and in some ways more selfless. Also, the way in which Mead develops the relationships between Sydney and the other characters, may it be; Jill, Eddie or Dmitri is really admirable. The various types of love and other feelings that Mead conveyed through Sydney felt almost tangible!
Next the plot line. Admittedly, I had my suspicions earlier in in connections to some secondary plot lines and character involvement, though I must admit I was never able to truly predict the final outcomes. I thought the plot was well developed and highly original. Though the novel is very much centred and revolves around relationships I would not necessarily consider that to be a bad thing. Personally, I think it was really important for Mead to address the relationships and feelings between some of the charcters. I loved most of the character in the novel and must admit I never saw what would unfold in the final chapter. Now; Sydney and Adrian! I love them toegther. I think they are perfect. I wish more happened between the pair in the novel but I guess I'll just have to wait.
Don't worry guys plenty does happen between the two and Mead does develop their connection realistically and thoroughly but at times I just wanted them to fall into each others arms and just get to it (What can I say I'm a hopeless romantic!) In some areas of the novel I found it a little irritating that Sydney would not admit to herself what she was feeling for Adrian, though at the same time, I can completely understand where Sydney is coming from in correlation to her upbringing as an alchemist and her own persona. Also in relation to Adrian; what is that boy doing!? Sometimes he is perfect in others he is just plain ridiculous. I really think that he needs to sought out what he feels/felt for Rose so that he can move on with his life -and Syndey ;) - though I understand it may take time. I guess I'll just have to wait for The Golden Lily which hopefull contains some serious Sydney/Adrian action.
Lastly, I won't spoil, but the ending.. Wow. I never saw that coming. Oh and the cliff hanger! My god my stomach was legitimately in knots. Overall I loved this book. It has managed to completely win me over and erase all of my earlier scepticism. Most of you have probably already read this one, but if you have't I suggest you run off, emerge from under the rock you've been living and buy a copy ASAP. Oh and maybe preferred that copy of The Golden Lily you know you'll need. Loved it. Can't wait to see what happens in the next instalment with Sydney, Adrian, Jill, Eddie and the rest of the gang.