Series: Bloodlines #1
Author: Richelle Mead
Pages: 448 (Kindle)
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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.
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.
I feel like I’ve waited way too long to finally read Bloodlines. It was good, but not great. It certainly didn’t live up the hype that had built up in my mind after multiple reads of Vampire Academy. It’s about a month after the ending of Last Sacrifice, and Jill’s life is in danger as the only relative to the Moroi’s teenage queen. Things are getting out of hand at Court, so the Alchemists step in to protect Jill and thus protect humans from learning that vampires exist. Sydney is assigned to be Jill’s sister at a boarding school while they wait for the laws to change. Easier said than done.
Bloodlines started off really rough. I mean, really rough. Nothing about this set up makes any kind of sense, and every attempt by the characters to explain it felt forced. The Alchemists despise vampires and yet they’re going out of their way to help them. They keep claiming it’s to make sure that humans stay ignorant to their existence, but attacks on the royal family have nothing to do with humans. Furthermore, they already have issues with Sydney being “too close” to the vampires after she helped Rose, so why have her live with one and pretend to be her protective older sister? It really felt like a forced way to use Sydney as the main character but still have the original cast around.
The plot of Bloodlines reminded me a lot of Vampire Academy in the sense that it involves teenage drama and doesn’t seem too serious. Except that it does become serious later on, which is what saved the book overall for me. The kids at Sydney and Jill’s school are all obsessed with these metallic tattoos, eerily similar to Sydney’s, which give them a high or increased athletic abilities. Obviously that’s suspicious and Sydney has to investigate. I solved it long before she did, which made it feel dragged out. But there’s an additional twist at the end which had me furious flipping pages! There’s the potential for a lot of really interesting world building in the following books.
Bloodlines definitely wasn’t all bad though. That last quarter was pretty fantastic. The last line in particular had me super excited to pick up the next book! The main saving grace was Adrian though. He’s hilarious and heart-breaking and I couldn’t get enough of him! I didn’t buy him as a love interest for Sydney yet, but this author always surprises me when I least expect it.