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Bloodlines Paperback – May 29, 2012
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A lot of people ask me if I’m sad that the Vampire Academy series ended. And honestly…I’m not. There are a couple reasons for this. One of the biggest is that I’ve always known how Rose’s story was going to wrap up, and it was time for her to get a little happiness. She’s had a rough time in the series!
The other reason I’m not sad about Vampire Academy ending is because…well, it hasn't.
Technically, Bloodlines is the first book in a new series (which is also called Bloodlines), but it picks up almost right after Last Sacrifice ended. Fans aren’t going to have to wait long to find out what’s going in the Moroi world--and that’s the key point here. We’re still in the Moroi world. Bloodlines takes place around all the Moroi, dhampirs, and other supernatural intrigue and romance we loved in the first six books. We even get to see how a lot of familiar characters are doing--including Rose and Dimitri.
The biggest difference is that Sydney, the Alchemist we first met in Blood Promise, has taken over as our narrator. She’s telling the story now--and with good reason. Things have gotten a bit crazy in the Moroi world, and Sydney finds herself dragged into the heart of it. Jill Mastrano, the young Moroi girl who learned about her royal status at the end of Last Sacrifice, is being targeted by assassins who want to remove her sister from the throne. To keep her safe, Jill is sent off into hiding--at a human school in Palm Springs, California.
To say this is a bit of culture shock for Jill is an understatement, but it’s just as difficult for Sydney. Sydney has to go undercover with Jill, posing as her sister, in order to make sure things run smoothly with a vampire hiding out in a human society. Eddie Castile, the well-intentioned dhampir always getting into trouble for Rose, also comes along to work as Jill’s bodyguard. Rounding out the cast is the notorious Adrian Ivashkov. He’s not posing as a student, but he has “helpfully” invited himself along to keep a brotherly eye on Jill--and torment Sydney with his constant jokes and party boy habits.
Rose was a great narrator, and Sydney’s fun in a lot of different ways. She gives us a human take on the Moroi world, which isn’t something we’ve really seen yet. Vampire life, through Rose’s eyes, is a very normal thing. For Sydney? Not so. It’s made worse because she’s been raised to believe vampires and dhampirs are wrong and unnatural, but spending time with them in Palm Springs begins to change her mind. The Alchemists don’t look favorably on those questioning their beliefs.
What’s also interesting is that Sydney has a much more analytic view of the world than Rose. Sydney overthinks where Rose rushes in, and both styles are fun to watch. Sydney’s super smart and can memorize reams of material—but is a little oblivious to how a normal social life works. That’s never been an issue while she was working as a field Alchemist, but in the midst of a high school—with guys who want to ask her out? Yeah. There are a few complications! Roll in the fact that sinister, supernatural activities are going on in Palm Springs, and Sydney suddenly finds her mission a lot more complicated than even she expected.
All in all, I think readers who loved the Vampire Academy series are going to adore Bloodlines. I purposely left a lot of questions at the end of Last Sacrifice…and those are going to get answered. And like I said, Vampire Academy hasn’t really ended. It’s just going to go on in a different form and give us a look at the vampire world in a new way. Fans of Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian are going to love learning more about them. So, have fun, and get ready for the story to continue!--Richelle Mead --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Richelle Mead is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series and its spinoff series, Bloodlines. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington.
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For those of you that didn't read Vampire Academy, Sydney is an Alchemist. What you need to know in a nutshell is that Alchemists know about the existence of the Moroi and dhampirs and they are there to basically act as a team to keep humans from finding out about them. They are religious and think that the Moroi (and even the dhampirs) are unnatural demonic beings.
Sydney is the heroine of the series, whom we met in the VA series when she worked with Rose as she tracked down Dimitri. She became rather fond of Rose and even began to like her, something she's had to keep hidden from her peers. In Bloodlines, she's assigned to help keep Jill Dragomir safe, as there have been threats to her life. Much to her dismay, she has to pose as family Jill and Eddie (Jill's guardian).
The best part of this series is Adrian. I was elated when he shows up in Bloodlines. His sharp and witty commentary adds so much to the story and helps to loosen up an extremely uptight Sydney. I liked watching him get under her skin!
I felt like Bloodlines was a good "setup" book much like many other series books from Richelle Mead. It sets the stages and leaves several storylines ripe for future exploration. In its own right, I thought it moved a little slow, perhaps due to being in Sydney's head. I really like Sydney but she isn't a very interesting narrator (at least in the beginning).
I don't have much to add by way of audiobook comments. This series is narrated by Emily Shaffer. Her narration style is straightforward, without a lot of flair. But I enjoy the tone of her voice even though she doesn't "put on a show."
* I borrowed the audiobook from my local library but I own the eBook and a physical copy, too. :)
This is also true for "Bloodlines." Sydney is still trying to redeem herself after being accused of assisting vampires and turning her back on the Alchemists. So when she's pulled into a meeting with her father and other members of the Alchemists, she confused to find that they want to put her back into the vampire pit; this time as a guardian for Moroi Queen Lissa Dragonmir's sister, Jill. While Sydney's younger, inexperienced sister, Zoe, was specifically requested by the Alchemist liason in Palm Springs, Sydney ultimate got her way....even when put face-to-face with Keith; a inconvenient, hostile blast from her past, and the one who wanted Zoe and not Sydney.
After Sydney and Keith's arrival in Palm Springs, they head to the home of an older Moroi, Clarence, to get acquainted with him, as he agreed to provide a feeder to the Moroi being sent there, and pick up Jill and her guarding, Eddie. Surprising to Sydney, there are others in the home that she's had contact with before. After arrangements have been made, plans discussed, and strategies laid out, Jill, Eddie, Sydney, & Keith head to the Prep school that "siblings" Jill, Eddie, and Sydney, have been enrolled in.
While this installment doesn't really deal too much with the "mortal danger" that Jill is in, the group isn't exempt from problems. Jill, being Moroi, has dangerous issues with the sun and when Sydney contacts Keith for a note excusing Jill from being outside, he shirks his duty and refuses to help (which is the whole reason everyone in the group has been dispatched to California-the help and protect Jill). Jill also has a human male that is interested in her, a jealous classmate causing trouble, and depression because she's lonely. When she meets Clarence's son, Lee, Jill finally finds something to look forward to and they begin dating and hanging out together whenever they can. There is someone murdering young women in the area, which also complicates matters. The attacker is a vampire who finishes the killings by slicing the throat of his victims. And someone in the area is using metallic inks to tattoo kids in the Prep School - just like the ink on Sydney's face.
This is just a sneak peak at the goings on in Palm Springs. There are multiple story lines in "Bloodlines." Some are obvious and others sneak up on you. As much as I thought I would miss Rose as the lead character (she is the lead in the Vampire Academy series), I love Sydney in this new, main role. She is fierce, if not a bit misguided by her upbringing in the world of Alchemists. Her loyalties are tested and she's put in some highly uncomfortable situations but does well in handling them.Sydney is constantly reminded by the Alchemists that vampires and dhampirs are unnatural and unholy. Yet, she manages to find an unlikely ally in the irresponsible, chain smoking Adrian, who actually complements her well. He becomes her unsung hero and that alone, would keep me reading the series. But there's just so much more to the story. The depth and breadth of the plot keeps you hungry for more.
In order to fully understand the characters and the background history, I will strong advise reading the 6 Vampire Academy novels prior to picking up Bloodlines. You won't be disappointed!
Adrian wasn't one of my favorite characters in VA.He was kind of an annoyance,I din't see what everyone saw in him.But in Bloodlines he grew on me and I am loving Sydney and Adrian's growing friendship and snarky comments.
I enjoyed being in Sydney's head and trying to figure things out as she did.I have to say,one conclusion I drew before she did but another one smacked me straight in the face because I never saw it coming.Sydney seemed like a shy nerdy character in VA but she has grown a lot since her encounter with our VA friends.She paid a high price for helping Rose in VA and now she has a chance to prove herself.She does this with flying colors.
Sydney,Adrian and Eddie must keep Jill safe from Moroi who want to remove Lisa from the throne by taking her out.The Alchemist hide them out in the hottest,driest place the can find,Palms Springs,CA.Posing as siblings at a private school they try to blend in with other students.However,things don't go so smoothly and they encounter a threat they didn't perceive. Can they keep Jill safe and hidden? Can Sydney work with vampires while proving she wasn't a vamp lover? Will they uncover the threat before it is too late?