Written By: Richelle Mead.
Synopsis: 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 unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.
The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.
My Thoughts: The main reason I wanted to read this series is because I really wanted to see what happened to Sydney, Eddie, Jill and of course Adrian. When Last Sacrifice ended, we got to see that after everything that Rose had been through, it had seemed like she had finally gotten her happy ending… These four, not so much.
The Good: I loved Sydney from the moment she was introduced in Blood Promise. Even though she was more than a little judgey, I didn’t blame her. Just like the Moroi and Dhampirs were raised with certain beliefs, so was she and she couldn’t help that. Soon, we did see that there was something a little different about this Alchemist even if she didn’t know it. Bloodlines just expanded on that. Even though I had a feeling it was there, I was still very pleasantly surprised. She is much stronger than she gives herself credit for and I am not talking about the whole I-keep-myself-in-control thing she does, either. I am referring to the fact that she does not back down. She says what is on her mind and is always honest (except for when it comes to her father of course) and she puts herself on the line for what’s right and for the people she cares about like she did with Rose in VA and what she was trying to do with her sister, Zoe at the beginning of Bloodlines. (She and Rose have a lot more in common than one might think.) She is a firecracker and I am excited to see how much she grows throughout the series.
Another thing I respected about Sydney was that she took responsibility for her actions and made no excuses for them. She knew that by Alchemist standards, what she did was wrong and even though she made up a bootleg excuse, she was always pretty honest with herself which is hard to do. Even though she was constantly at war with herself over what was right and wrong based on what she was raised to believe and what her new experiences were showing her. She was starting to form her own opinions, even if only internally. I loved the way she interacted with Jill, Eddie, and even her mini reunion with Rose for about .02 seconds. Most important was the way she interacted with Adrian.
I love her relationship with Adrian. The banter they had going on was always entertaining, even when the storyline was a little dull. They had natural chemistry (not Rose/Dimitri status, but I am hoping that comes later.) She is the first person to trust that he was capable of being better than he was (kind of, I mean Rose knew it too… she just also knew that she wasn’t the person who could bring that out of him. We all knew it too because he was still acting foolish when he was with her.) Sydney held Adrian accountable for his behavior and didn’t hesitate to show him when he had stepped out of line. Those are things that Adrian needs, a kick in the ass. Their friendship is so important and I think that that is what is going to help Adrian push himself to be a better person. They have something special and I am excited to watch it flourish.
I also loved seeing Eddie. While he was present in VA and actually had a lot to do with the story despite not being a main character, I am really happy that we get to see more of him and we are going to get to know him better. It was obvious that he was going to make an amazing guardian so it is pretty cool that we get to see him in action. As soon as he met Micah, I knew exactly why he treated him so differently. It made me sad, but it was good to know that, even though no one could ever replace Mason, he could still find people he could connect with the way he had with his late best friend.
The Bad: I was very disappointed in Adrian. He was one of my top favorite characters in VA and, yes, I do understand that he just had his heart broken, but I was just not there for the pity parade. Instead of looking at this as a learning experience and taking this time to look at himself and improve, he is just acting like a big baby. I am not excusing what Rose did and I know the side effects of spirit magic make it that much worse, but his behavior isn’t helping him or Jill any. What can I say? I am just not a fan of people who victimize themselves.
Jill is definitely a Dragomir, a petty brat. I know I know, her life was turned upside down and anyone her age human, Moroi or dhampir (well maybe not dhampir) would be upset about that. But she also has to realize how lucky she is. She has a lot of people who really care about her and that are putting a lot on the line to keep her safe. I mean, yeah okay, they don’t was Lissa to be dethroned over a stupid outdated law, but more importantly, they don’t want Jill to die, otherwise they would have just kept her on lockdown in royal headquarters. Sometimes Moroi just don’t know how lucky they have it compared to their dhampir counterparts who put their lives on the line for them.
I really love Adrian and Jill’s brother sister relationship. He is one person that she knows that she can trust. I mean obviously she can trust Eddie too, but she always had a special thing for Adrian. The issue I have is the “special” connection they have. I just don’t find it necessary. It has already been done, we already have experienced this before and I can do without it.
The Ugly: Honestly the first 80% of the book was slow and lackluster. It was nice that Richelle took the time to set up the story and the characters, old and new, but come on. I was honestly going to rate this 3 stars, before the Strigoi showed up. I also hated that the bad guys in the story were so obvious from the beginning. I may not have known why, but I definitely knew who not to trust and in the end I was right. Also, Jared Sage is a total asshole and he should not be able to have kids.
I did NOT appreciate the way they basically made Lissa, Rose and Dimitri out to be the devil. Like, yes, I understand how Jill feels and honestly she does have a right to feel that way. We also have to remember that Lissa just found out that her dead father, whom she loved and respected, was a lying cheater and that she had a long lost sister. We also have to remember that she just inherited rule over the entire Moroi race as an 18 year old girl! She isn’t perfect and shouldn’t expected to be. Yes, Rose broke Adrian’s heart and I completely understand that he is not her or Dimitri’s biggest fan, but I am not here for him blaming her for everything bad that happened to him, Sydney, Eddie and Jill. He admitted it himself that he always knew that she loved Dimitri and never stopped, yet he basically served her up on a platter to Dimitri. Now, I am not saying that what she did was okay (she definitely should have broken up with Adrian before hitting the sheets with Dimitri, but it was a crime of passion), but he really has to stop being so bitter. Eddie made the decision to help Rose blindly, she told him that he did not have to, but he insisted. Yes, it sucks that he got caught up in all of it and got in trouble, but he knew the risks when he left. Also, Rose can’t be blamed for him killing the Moroi, she wasn’t even there. Sydney knew what kind of person Abe Mazur was, but still decided to get into bed with him. She was paying off her debt, that wasn’t something that Rose asked her to do, it was all Abe. So they need to stop with the shade, because it is not cute. I hope this isn’t like a running theme, because I will start docking stars.
I give Bloodlines 4 Stars.
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