By: Richelle Mead
Published: February 12, 2013 by Razorbill
432 pages hardcover
Source: Personal Library
(Goodreads / Amazon)
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.My Review:
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.
For those that follow my blog you know that it took me about 2.5 weeks to finish this book. For whatever reason I just had a hard time getting real invested in the story. I largely blame that to my growing irritation with Sydney over her hot and cold behavior towards the 2 things she seems most connected to - Adrian and magic. After 3 books of the same thing "Oh I can't be with you because...", "Oh I can't possibly have anything to do with magic because...", I just got burned out on that and wanted a fast resolution and to move on to something else in the story. I know I am probably in the minority over my feelings of this book and/or the Bloodlines series, but that's what makes us all different and how different books appeal to all of us. For me, the entire book just was average. That's not to say I hated it but I disliked some things that swayed my overall rating of the book. As much as I love Adrian, my adoration for him just can't redeem the entire book to a higher rating.
Another reason I struggle with my overall enthusiasm over this series versus the Vampire Academy series - which were all 5 star books for me, is because I don't relate to Sydney. In VA Rose is impulsive, has a fiery spirit, driven by emotion and spontaneous. I heavily relate to her and I was always very wrapped up in her story. Sydney is analytical, wound tight, and for the first 2 books and nearly all the way through book 3 - somewhere around page 325 it shifts, she STILL has her hang ups (which admittedly are due to her being raised as an Alchemist and possibly the magic laced into the lily tattoo). To alchemists humans are supposed to view vampires as tainted, unnatural, etc... She is taught that the 2 don't mix, that there can be no relationship (romantic or friendly) between them. But because of her growing relationship with all of the Moroi (and dhampirs) she is on duty in the field with, she struggles with the balance of keeping them at a distance emotionally while maintaining the facade of all being related. Along the same lines she has been helping her teacher, whom I affectionately call Miss T - because I couldn't quite ever figure out how to pronounce her name, transcribe magic books and perform experiments involving magic. Sydney's curiosity, knowledge and experience with magic begins to grow and become more prominent but yet she still feels guilty and still feels it's also unnatural, again what she was taught to believe. So again there's this back and forth, should I or shouldn't I, through the whole book.
Enter Marcus and his merry men. As ex-Alchemists they are trying to free those who want to be released of the mind control the tattoo brings and to expose the lies the Alchemists are involved in, specifically with the Warriors of Light. It's through Marcus and his challenge to Sydney that she eventually begins to see more of what the tattoo really does and what is really going on with the Alchemist leaders. Finally there is light to the end of the tunnel of round and round of "oh I can't do this...".
This book focuses more on Miss T and Sydney working together to uncover a rogue witch who is stealing the power and youth of younger untrained witches. However there is still the story of protecting Jill, and uncovering lies in the Alchemists.
"Girls liked artists just as much as bad boys, right? Even now, something stirred in my chest when I thought about the enraptured look on his face. I loved that he possessed something so powerful in him."
"We were just two people who cared about each other." "We connected."
"Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don't feel anything? Especially after what's been happening between us?"
SPOILERISH Favorite Quotes:
"It was a culmination of a long journey...or maybe the beginning of one."
"Let me get this straight. The future of our relationship hinged on advice from a fifteen-year-old girl, a probably untrue story from a one-eyed Chihuahua trainer, and me unromantically - yet skillfully - kissing you on top of silverware and china?"
Final Rating - 3.5 stars.