Review: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines
            1. Bloodlines
            2. The Golden Lily
            3. The Indigo Spell (release date: Feb. 12, 2013)
Format: Hardcover (421 pages)
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, YA, Drama

Rating:











Summary


Sydney's blood is special. That's because she's an alchemist - one of a group of himans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worls of humans and vampire. 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 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 hiding, the drama is only just beginning. Source


Review

Warning: This review may contain spoilers for those who have not yet read the Vampire Academy series.

Plot: In this spin-off series of Bloodlines, we follow Sydney who is an Alchemist and friend of Rose Hathaway's. Bloodlines begins with Sydney being assigned to Jill, Lissa's half-sister, to protect her after many extremists threaten her life. Sydney and Jill are sent to a California prep school to lay low for awhile until much of the chaos has blown over. At first, I was hesitant about a spin-off because many of them never measure up to the original. However, I was ecstatic it was a spin-off to Vampire Academy and that many of my favorite characters (*cough* Adrian *cough) would be in it. I loved how Mead intermingled not only a continuation of VA but also a new plot that seemed logical and exciting. I can't give away much without spoiling both this series and VA, but Mead is making a new series in itself. It is interesting to see how Moroi deal with leaving in a place like California and more of the background of Alchemists. Again, without giving spoilers, it is a great starting plot that does leave more to happen later on and new characters to come into the mix.

Character(s): Sydney - Already knowing a little about Sydney, I would say that I'm glad she got her own series in a way. I love her attitude when it comes to her duties and being rebellious. We saw Rose, who does as she pleases to help the one she loves, but Sydney is a complete 180 from Rose, which is something new to their world. Sydney has a soft spot with her sister and protecting her, but she also has the determination to prove herself as an Alchemist as well as gain her reputation back because even though she mostly follows the rules, at this point, other Alchemists she her as a disturbance.
Jill - Jill seems a lot like the Lissa for me, which shouldn't surprise me because they're sisters. Unlike Lissa, she's more shy and reluctant to speak her opinion but you do see that she an hold her own when she needs to. Mead did an incredible job with making Jill mature for her age, but also make decisions and have opinions that are not so mature. She wants to have a life as a normal teenager but also knows she has more responsibility that keeps her from having that option.

Cover: The classic VA cover still resonates with Bloodlines! I love how she puts models that look like the characters. I wish they would be a little more whimsical but they are iconic for me when I think of her because she has down them with each VA cover so far. But I do like how Bloodlines has more of an edgy but yet elegant feel to the title and colors.

Closing Thoughts: I give this book a four out of four because it is an  incredible start to a spin-off. The characters all have their faults and own personalities, which all contribute to the plot. The plot is something nice and quick to start off the series so the characters have room to grow and also have new plot ties for future books. If you're skeptical about reading it like I was, I would give it a try. It does have secondary characters and is a spin-off but it also seems to be on its way to be a series that can stand on its own as well.

Where to find Richelle:
Website l Facebook l Twitter l Goodreads
My post for a Bloodlines casting on Open Book Society

Peace and Fangs,
Alisha
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