Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead
Published Date: August 23rd 2011
My rating: 4 out of 5
Blood doesn't lie...
Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is 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 last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California.
But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning..
It took me a few times to get into this book. It's been on my ´to-read' since it came out. Mostly because I wasn't that interested in the Alchemists when they featured in the Vampire Academy series. Sydney Sage was an interesting character in the story but I didn't think she had the charisma to pull off a spin-off series.
Well, I'm happy to say I was wrong. But if you're looking for something that equals Vampire Academy then this isn't it. It doesn't really compare with the series nor hold the intensity of life at Court with Lissa and Rose, and the wheelings and dealings of dhamphirs and moroi. Part of what kept most people addicted to VA was the fiery relationship between Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov and how their love story pans out.
Bloodlines isn't a love story. Sydney Sage becomes more of a detective and caretaker, unravelling the secrets of her new life in Palm Springs. What makes this book compelling are the other characters that have been brought over to this series. Eddie, Jill and of course the wonderful Adrian, and if you haven't read Adrians Lost Chapter then read it here!
Back to Bloodlines, after the happenings of Last Sacrifice, Jill, Sydney, Eddie and Adrian are all moved to Palm Springs. Jill needs her education and also needs to stay hidden from the political world of the moroi. She's the only other Dragomir and Lissa's throne depends on her being alive. New characters come into play. Jill starts dating. Sydney wants to keep her Alchemist head on but things start spiralling out of control when moroi girls start dying. Plus a new tattooist in town is giving tattoos to the rich kids who can pay, and the tattoos are spelled to give extra abilities be it strength, speed or popularity. Enter Sydney and her Alchemist knowledge, and Adrian, who has nothing to do all day. Together they start to figure out that something more sinister is at work in Palm Springs and it needs to be stopped.
The ending leads into a interesting cliffhanger that made me immediately want to grab Book 2, The Golden Lily.
Overall, this spin-off has an interesting premise and I was surprised at how much I really liked Sydney. And there is a certain chemistry going on with her and Adrian that will, I'm sure, develop into more. A good start to the series, now lets see if The Golden Lily can hold its own as the sequel!