Published: Razorbill (August 23, 2011)
Series: Book 1
Source: Jamie picked this up for me at BEA (THANK YOU!)
GoodReads Summary: The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.
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. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.
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.
My Thoughts: Let me first start out by saying that I am beyond ecstatic to be back in this world. Last Sacrifice left me with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, given the way that one of my favorite characters was treated. I thought that Mead was giving the shaft and was really disappointed in the ending of the VA series.
I now take back any of the less than stellar things I may have thought about Last Sacrifice and should trust in the higher literary power that is Richelle Mead and the fact that IT IS ALL IN HER ALMIGHTY PLAN. I now beg her forgiveness.
While the transition from Rose's to Sydney's POV was difficult for me, after about 50 pages, I effortlessly slipped into Sydney's brain. Seriously, is there anyone Mead CAN'T write? Sydney is the total opposite of Rose Hathaway: uptight, prudish, naive, completely self-conscious, relies solely on logic and science. And yet, I totally believed this character. She was relateable. She, of course, wasn't entirely without flaws, but that's what makes Mead's characterization effing beautiful.
The storyline centered around Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian. I wasn't expecting it to be as vampire-centric as it was, but I am so glad it is. After the years long affair I had with VA, I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to give up the Moroi/Strigoi storyline. Good news: WE DON'T HAVE TO! Why give up writing about such a good thing? I was kept in suspense the majority of the time and there's lots of Adrian to keep me satisfied. He is as irresistable as ever and is ever-so-slowly showing us a deeper side to himself. Swoon to the umpteenth power.
As far as the romance? SLOW BURN. Similar to the first VA book, we get more of a backstory and character development than romance. There is a butterfly-inducing inkling of a "moment" interspersed in all the dramz and it's just enough to make me googly-eyed and YEARN for the next book. This series is going to be ginormous. My fear of venturing outside Rose Hathaway's POV was unwarranted. FEAR NOT, SKEPTICS.
And there's a cliffhanger that will make you question how you'll go on living until you get your hands on book 2. Which doesn't have a title or a cover yet. [EDIT: yes it does! But it didn't when I first scheduled this review. Sorry for that! ] if you'll excuse me, I have to go research human cryogenics so I won't have to suffer through the next year and can wake up happily on the release date of the next book.