Bloodlines is the first book in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spin-off series. V.A. was one of the best YA series I’ve read, so this series is a welcome addition to my world. I held off on reading it for over a year because I can’t standing waiting for sequels. Now there are three out. THREE.
If you haven’t read the Vampire Academy books and plan to, don’t read this review. Go get yourself a tasty snack instead and go read the first series. You’ll be hooked after the first chapter, guaranteed.
Remember Sydney the Alchemist from the last few V.A. books? Well her escapades with Rose got her into a heap of trouble with her people, who aren’t supposed to befriend vampires and Dhampirs let alone help them escape prison. The last thing she wants is to be sent to a re-education center, so when a critical assignment presents itself in the middle of the night she fights for it.
Syd’s mission is to protect the queen’s sister Jill from rebels. If anything happens to her sister, Vasilisa would lose her throne due to a dumb archaic Moroi law. The plan is to hide Jill in a human high school in sunny Palm Springs where neither Strigoi or Moroi are likely to look. The full team consists of Jill and Eddie, posing as Jill’s siblings. And Adrian!
The set up is fairly tight and the familiar cast of characters feels like a party with old friends – even Rose makes brief appearances. I liked Sydney much more in this book. She’s smart and trained to observe and over-analyze so her point of view keeps the reader on her toes, looking for holes. As an alchemist, her life revolves around concrete scientific certainty and paper work. Spending time with vampires and the magic they wield terrifies and challenges her.
Naturally there’s a spark between her and Adrian, which serves as a fun whack-a-mole for them to take turns bopping down. He’s still hung up on Rose and she skipped the whole dating thing. Plus he’s a blood sucking monster.
My only complaint is that Syd’s prickly standing with the Alchemists makes her frustratingly meek and reluctant to investigate a number of strange coincidences at the school and suspicious murders nearby.
While not a perfect book, this is a fun read. Without Rose blazing the way there’s less bum kicking, but Sydney shares a few qualities with her. She has the same laser-like focus on who she thinks she wants and a pleasing ability to make a nuisance of herself when things don’t add up.