Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: ‘Bloodlines’ by Richelle Mead

“When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.”
I can’t tell you how excited I was to get back into the world of Morois, Strigois and dhampirs!  Bloodlines is the start of a brand new series set in the Vampire Academy world.  I must say, I worried a bit about the new series being narrated by the uptight Sydney, but I should have known there was more to her than what we saw in the last series.  Under pressure from the Alchemists because of her involvement in helping the vampires, Sydney is desperate to prove her loyalty, even if it means entering the vampire world once again. 
Even though this is a new series,  I strongly feel readers should read the Vampire Academy books first.  There are many overlapping characters—Adrian, Jill, Sydney, Eddie, Abe…even Rose & Dimitri—and in order to get the full effect of this book, you need to have a full understanding of their back stories.   I’m not saying that the book can’t stand on its own, the plot is solid and complete, but without the background knowledge, the reader would not get the full effect.   And while the story was contained, Mead also laid a whole new framework for plotlines to come.  I’m so excited to keep reading!
The new setting of Palm Springs was also an interesting choice.  Basically, as Queen Vasilissa’s only living relative, plenty of enemies in the Moroi community want her dead.  For her protection, she is sent off to a human boarding school.  The heat and sun of southern California serve as a natural Strigoi deterrent, but this time, the villains may not be so obvious.  Sydney and Eddie are sent with Jill for her protection and Adrian is forced to go because of his new supernatural connection with Jill.  Along with many old favorites, we are introduced to a plethora of new people.  At times this feels a bit confusing, but I’m sure as time goes on, they will start developing their own personalities. 
Overall, I give Bloodlines
Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks
Character development – 5 bookmarks
World building – 5 bookmarks  (Love the new stuff with the Alchemists!)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Emily Browning (Sydney), Ed Westwick (Adrian), Josh Hutcherson (Eddie), Nick Verreos (Abe), Elle Fanning (Jill)

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