By: Richelle Mead
Copyright Date: June 12, 2012
Format: YA Paranormal Fiction
Reason for Reading: to continue the series
Source: Jehara: Kindle / Izzybella: Nook
Jehara’s Rating: A
Izzybella’s Rating: B+
The Gist: Alchemist Sydney Sage is back in book 2 of Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series. Blurbage: Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
And just because we can, some amusing quotage: “Day 24. Situation is growing worse. My captors continue to find new and horrific ways to torture me. When not working, Agent Scarlet spends her days examining fabric swatches for bridesmaid dresses and going on about how in love she is. This usually causes Agent Boring Borscht to regale us with stories of Russian weddings that are even more boring than his usual ones. My attempts at escape have been thwarted thus far. Also, I am out of cigarettes. Any assistance or tobacco products you can send will be greatly appreciated. -Prisoner 24601”
Jehara’s Thoughts: So far the Bloodlines series is following in the footsteps of Vampire Academy. The first book was good and hooks the reader, but the second one is exponentially better. If the series continues in this vein, each book should be better than the last, which is exactly how I like my series to go.
Sydney is such an interesting character. Her perception of herself quite differs from how those around her see her. She is strong, smart, and quick on her feet but it’s her flaws that make her so fascinating to read. She is deeply insecure. She knows she is smart but she hasn’t a clue just how pretty she is or what great shape she is in. Despite the fact that Sydney has an ingrained aversion to vampires, she compares herself to the Moroi women all the time. She wants to achieve their level of beauty and thinness, and has developed quite the disordered eating habits. She basically subsists on coffee and sugar is anathema.
There is an introduction of a love interest for Sydney, but he is basically a foil for one of the more delicious male characters we are already familiar with. If you are reading the series, you know exactly who I am talking about. If you aren’t then I don’t want to spoil the fun of witnessing this development. Thankfully, Mead steers clear of the love triangle.
The Bloodlines series is so much fun to read because we get to revisit some of the more sideline characters from VA. But make no mistake, there is a developing story arc, absolutely. The first book gave us a taste of the underbelly of the Alchemist world. The Golden Lily cracks it wide open. Secrets are exposed and we get a sense of possible corruption within the Alchemist hierarchy.
Izzybella’s Thoughts: Richelle Mead just has a knack for creating strong, driven female characters. Like the opposing characteristics of Rose in the Vampire Academy series, Sydney Sage is a curious mixture of strong and weak qualities: in her case innate intelligence and drive coupled with an almost crippling insecurity. She is fully at ease in the company of career and mission-minded Alchemists, but an absolute mess with her own peers. Sydney Sage out of her element is good stuff and Richelle Mead delivers.
And Sydney is indeed out of her element, most particularly with her growing unease about the difference between her general viewpoint of Moroi and Damphir culture and her increasing affection for her Moroi and Damphir charges. She can’t help wanting to protect Jill Dragomir just as she can’t explain her growing friendship with Adrian. Add in her discovery of a possible underground faction of vampire slayers and Sydney is shaken to her core.
What does it mean to be an Alchemist? Are all Moroi and Damphir bad? Should they all be eradicated or are there good and bad of every faction-including the Alchemists? And what if everything she’s ever believed isn’t even true?
Bottom Line: Delicious follow-up to the first Bloodlines book. Want.to.read.the.next.one.now.