As a reviewer, I can be very picky about what I read. I don’t read just any book; there are certain things that attract me to the books I review. Sometimes it’s the cover, sometimes it’s the back cover copy, sometimes it’s a post from a fellow reviewer, but most of all, it’s an author I know I love.
When an author closes the door to a series that is really good, it’s hard to move on. If you’ve been reading it for years and it ends, you almost go through withdrawal. I mean it – it sounds like crazy talk but it’s so true. This was the case for me when Richelle Mead wrapped up the Vampire Academy series. I think for big fans like me, it was hard to part with the characters, the world building, all of it.
I’m not going to lie: I was a little skeptical before getting ahold of Bloodlines. I looked at the cover – didn’t do it for me. But the covers from VA weren’t great either. I read the back cover copy, and it was interesting… but not the, “This is an emergency; I need to read this book now,” kind of interesting.”
Yet, Richelle’s name is on it, so I held it close to my heart. There is always a certain skepticism when a beloved series ends and the author begins a new one right after. Most times, we are scared that the second try might not be as good as the first. Let’s be real, disappointment from an author you loved sucks. Feels exactly like a bad date when you thought you were going to like the guy.
In this case, all those fears were a bunch of B.S.
Bloodlines is the story of Sydney. Yes, little human Sydney, the Alchemist. Do you remember her? From Russia? Big huge help to Rose in the last two VA books? For those of you that are not familiar with the series, Alchemists are special humans, gifted with a lily tattoo on the left side of their faces. The mark looks like metallic ink, but it’s not a simple tattoo. It gives the Alchemist super-human powers. Alchemists’ marks allow them to heal faster and to see what others can’t; the tattoo even expands their minds. The alchemists’ true function is to hide the vampire world from humans. With the help of their chemical abilities, Alchemists can disintegrate vampire bodies in mere seconds. Pretty powerful little minxes.
Sydney is sent to be a roommate for Jill, the vampire queen Lissa Dragomir’s newfound sister. Her task is to keep Jill safe, but after a mysterious attack on the palace, Jill is sent away for safekeeping. Without Jill, there is no crown for Lissa Dragomir, who needs a blood relative in order to stay queen. But Lissa’s little sister needs to be protected and hidden from everyone, at all costs. And what better place to hide a Moroi vampire princess and her alchemist compatriot than a desert boarding school in Palm Springs, California?
Now, who do they send with Jill and Sydney on this hideaway mission? I’m not telling, but if you missed the VA characters as badly as I did, get this book as soon as it hits the shelves today.
What do I love about Bloodlines? Everything. I love that it shares the amazing universe I know from VA, but with a fresh perspective. Sydney’s narrative is so rational and strong. It is great to see the crazy VA world through the eyes of a human girl, someone who’s an outsider to the vampire culture. That perspective is part of what fascinated me while reading Bloodlines.
This is an amazing adventure with so many twists and turns, it’s hard to put the book down. I forgot how much I love Richelle’s writing and how much I’ve missed her world building, the colorfulness of her characters, and the truth behind their words. Bloodlines kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will tell you that Bloodlines begins with Sydney in trouble. Huge trouble.
My advice? Get your copy of Bloodlines, pronto. In the blink of an eye, you’ll be staring blankly like me, wondering when the next installment is coming out. Because that cliff hanger ending?… Made my jaw drop, just saying. Go read Bloodlines. Now. So we can chat about it.
The Golden Lily, the second installment of this series, will be available in spring 2012. Did I mention how much I can’t wait for book two to come out?
Kay Fraser is a book designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina, residing in Minneapolis. Her dark secret? She is bilingual. When she’s not designing, reading, writing, over-drinking coffee, or chasing around her two little monsters, she’s on Twitter at @kaymfraser or blogging at designcomma.com.