Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead0
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...
The Vampire Academy is over, Rose and all of her friends are living their lives in court with Lissa once the series comes to a close. However, there is another story tell and not everyone has had their happily ever afters, so now it is Sydney's turn. I remember her very well from the original story and I always thought she had a very original voice compared to many of the other characters in the series. Her distaste for vampires in the beginning is really what captured my interest. She grows to perhaps understand them but she still has a hard time being friendly with them because of her upbringing and the culture of the Alchemists. This book brings back characters such as Jill, Adrian, and Eddie as well. I love the growth that each character faces throughout Bloodlines, while staying true to their original nature. Richelle Mead's writing style brings to life a new world and I loved it!
Sydney, a girl those who have read the Vampire Academy series are familiar with, has always been loyal to those she cares about and from the beginning, she displays this characteristic from the first page. Not only is she still under punishment for her actions during the original books, no one believes they can trust her because she has become essentially a vampire lover according to their beliefs. When she accepts the job to assist in the protection of Jill, I think she still struggles with the initial disgust that she feels toward vampires. It will always be somewhat ingrained in her nature no matter how much she attempts to desensitize herself to it. I loved how easily she manages to take over the role of main character and carries the weight of a complex series that had Richelle Mead not done it, I would not have believed she would be able to handle it. This character brings to life the world of Vampire Academy in a way I never would have anticipated and yet, I love it.
Sometimes spin off series don't work but this one definitely does.
Jill has come into her own in this book. She continues to struggle with her identity after the shock of the finale for VA and she continues to struggle with the concept that she is anything but Jill. Her life has become tied to Adrian's much like Rose was tied to Lissa, which only proves to complicate matters further for the young Dragomir. It's hard not to love and feel bad for her after the story begins. This young woman has grown up a lot since she first was introduced to the VA series. I love, however, how naive she still proves to be, especially in the boy area and she takes to the whole romance thing quite easily unlike Sydney who would rather run from attractive men.
Poor, brooding Adrian still suffers from the emotional blow that he was handed at the end of VA and struggles to maintain his "I don't care" attitude. I think in this story, he truly comes into his own as his real aspirations come to the surface with Sydney's encouragement. He wants to be more than he is and move beyond the person who he once was - the one that apparently wasn't good enough for Rose. I've always adore Adrian with his attitude that always appears to be a facade and I love him more in this book than the original ones. And all I need to say about Eddie is that he is adorable.
I love the writer and I love the book. It works somewhat like a stand alone and is the perfect continuation of the Vampire Academy series for those who can't seem to let it go... like, well, me.