By Richelle Mead
Okay, so if you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I am a total Richelle Mead fan. I was religious about Vampire Academy, and I can see now that I will be religious about Bloodlines.
Remember Sydney Sage? Sydney was the Alchemist in Russia who did some “clean up” for Rose in an effort to protect humanity from the knowledge of vampires back in the Vampire Academy series. That’s what Alchemists do—they help to hide the supernatural world from the human one. The Bloodlines series begins with Sydney, who is put in the awkward position (for an Alchemist) of being Jill Dragomir’s new guardian. Although Sydney is no stranger to vampires, she doesn’t particularly like them—no Alchemist does (it’s part of the code apparently) so when she’s assigned to a boarding school to pose as Jill’s roommate, she isn’t thrilled. But, Jill’s life is of the utmost importance; in order to prevent humans from discovering vampire existence, the vampire political realm must remain calm. Since Jill is the only remaining relative to the new queen (Lissa Dragomir) she has to survive to keep the monarchy intact. Seems like a simple enough assignment for Sydney, playing babysitter, until she realizes that games are afoot at Amberwood Prep and someone knows that Jill isn’t who she seems to be.
Besides the well-crafted mystery of the secretive skill-bringing tattoos, I enjoyed the fact that characters from Vampire Academy appear in the new series. Particularly, Adrian, whose bad-boy persona fades a bit into the background as the reader gets to know Adrian through Sydney’s eyes. Eddie and Jill are also welcome additions to the “cast” even though they get less stage time than one might think in the first book. I really enjoyed getting to know Sydney, who is lovingly OCD, has a genius IQ, and a true moral north. In short, she is the polar opposite of feisty Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy. Yet, I adored Rose Hathaway, and I adore Sydney. They are like the two older sisters you wish you had—one for solid advice, and one to kick the posterior of your ex who cheated on you. Mead truly has a gift for character development. Make no mistake however, it’s not all introspection here, there is plenty of action in book one. Jill’s life truly is in danger, and there is intrigue around every corner. Sweeter still is a light sprinkling of Sydney’s own sweet revenge, although unlike Rose, Sydney doesn’t savor that revenge so much as measure whether or not she obtained it in a righteous fashion. In short, this is another thrilling blastoff to what promises to be another action-packed and entertaining series!