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2.5 out of 5 stars Here s why I normally love Richelle Mead Her books always contain Strong, kick ass heroines Fun action sequences Completely immersive urban fantasy Snarky humor Strong emotional story arcs Cute, cute boys.Always, that is, except in the case of her most recent book, Bloodlines, a new spin off series from her Vampire Academy books I ve read all thirteen of the author s previous novels, including her adult urban fantasy series Dark Swan and Georgina Kincaid, and I m sorry to say that I ve never before had such a hard time getting into one of her books.Sydney, the main character in Bloodlines, was never all that interesting to me in VA but if anything, she s even harder to connect with here Sydney has been maneuvered into a protector big sister situation with Jill, who has to go in hiding while her sister Queen Vasilissa tries to affect certain changes in court law The problem starts with the fact that this is a very similar dynamic to the Rose Hathaway Lissa relationship, and the parallel only serves to remind us how much interesting and kick ass Rose was as a heroine If the shadow of Rose wasn t enough, particularly in how she affects Adrian, she even makes an appearance a few times in person, as if Bloodlines could not stand on its own merits without her.And I m not sure that it actually can Sydney is placed in the thankless position of being a stick in the mud mom figure, constantly chiding Jill for this and Adrian for that She s also fearful, afraid to take action, cowed by her father and by the authority figure Keith, has severe image problems she thinks as a size 2, she s too fat compared to the thin vamps around her , she has no social skills she has no clue when boys are hitting on her and is confused by why other kids hate her for always volunteering the right answers in class , and if that weren t enough, she s also kind of a racist Yep, she s terribly suspicious and fearful of vampires and magic in general, which is a pretty big problem when you re totally surrounded by both those things There are steps taken to show a certain amount of growth and development in her character, but honestly she became so tiresome and uninteresting to me that I really wasn t all that convinced by it Certainly not enough to care about what happened to her one way or the next.Other problems included a self centered, whiny Jill if you thought Lissa was annoying, wait until you spend time with her sister , three boys who are into Jill although why there s even one is beyond me , a mopey Adrian it s incredibly disappointing to see so little meaningful time spent with one of my favorite characters, although he s technically always there , a villain that s all too easy to spot, and above all, supremely uninteresting plots and subplots Have we really resorted to juvenile Oh noes, where is Jill She s been sneaking out to see her boyfriend and Let s switch Jill s P.E period so she doesn t get burned by the unfriendly sun and Sweet heaven, will pretty pretty princess Jill get to participate in the fashion show type plots in the Vampire Academy world Really While I did enjoy the small amount of time spent on Sydney s Alchemy skills and the mysterious business of the magic tattoos, there wasn t nearly enough magic, action, emotional arcs, strong characters, or plot development to make this book worthwhile, so it felt very off the mark to me I will keep reading the series in the hope that it will get better, but this first installment is much less thrilling than it should have been.I am normally such a fan of this author s books, because even when they aren t perfect, they ve always had the elements I mentioned above and I ve always found them to be entertaining and fun But sadly, I can t say that I found Bloodlines to be either one of those things A big, big disappointment to me, in every conceivable way.Regardless of my feelings about the book, however, my thanks go out to Flannery over at The Readventurer for loaning me her ARC This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. My God, Sage Your eyes How have I never noticed them That uncomfortable feeling was spreading over me again What about them The color, he breathed When you stand in the light They re amazing like molten gold I could paint those He reached toward me but then pulled back They re beautiful You re beautiful The greatest changes in history have come when people were able to shake off what others told them to doI love this series I love this book Even though there is not romance here, I still love it It has adventure I liked Sydney when I read Vampire Academy Now, I love her character The book is from Sydney s POV, so we understand her a lot better I loved Adrian before and I still love him He is amazing and funny In half of the book I was laughing at something he was saying He is uniqueTakes a lot of tries before you hit perfection He paused to reconsider that Well, except for my parents They got it on the first trySydney is an alchemist, a group of humans who is keeping the vampire world a secret from humanity The alchemists don t trust Sydney any because she helped Rose Hathaway, a Dhampir So, they gave her a last chance She is assigned to protect Jill Mastrano Dragomir from a group of Moroi who are agaist the Queen Lissa Dragomir 1 I knew from the beginning that Jill and Adrian are bonded He came at Palm Springs but he didn t want to Then, Jill always knew what Adrian is doing and why she felt hungover every morning because of Adrian s drinking It was so obvious.2 I loved the relationship and trust between Adrian and Sydney.They understand each other even though Adrian is vampire and Sydney is human Their relationship is not romantic YET but they are so much fun to watch them The adventures and the jokes were the bestThanks for looking out for her, Sage You re okay For a human I almost laughed Thanks You can say it too, you know I walked over to Latte and paused Say what That I m okayfor a vampire, he explained I shook my head, still smiling You ll have a hard time getting any Alchemist to admit that But I can say you re okay for an irreverent party boy with occasional moments of brilliance Brilliant You think I m brilliant He threw his hands skyward You hear that, world Sage says I m brilliant3 Two bad guysHmmm I will start with the complicated it.Number One Keith I didn t like Keith from the start He treated Sydney bad all the time and he always wanted to find something to incriminate Sydney and send her to re education.Then, we learn that he raped Sydney s sister, Carly How ironic Syndey s father is literally worship him and Keith raped his daughter He was also supplying Never Moroi blood and saliva Never was place where a lot of people were having a unusal tattoo to make them stronger Sydney and Adrian expose him and Keith end up at the re educationThey re waiting for you Go on in Adrian leaned close to Keith s ear and spoke in an ominous voice If.You.Dare He poked Keith s shoulder and gave a Muhahaha kind of monster laugh4 Number Two Lee I just can t I liked him And he was so good to Jill I will admit that he gave clues But I ignore it How could he I did not see that coming Lee was a restored Strigoi and he killed several girls Moroi, dhampirs and humans He drunk their blood to reawaken , as Strigoi s say But we learn something new A restored Strigoi like Lee, Dimitri and Sonya can t turn again He wanted to try alchemist blood to see if that works But he couldn t drink from Sydney hmm..interesting Then, he called his his Strigoi friends using Sydney and Adrian as a bargain for being re awakened One Strigoi tried to turn Lee to a Strigoi but she couldn t and he end up dead Also, one Strigoi goes to drink from Sydney and once again she couldn t drink from her They feed both on Adrian Syndey created fire and she distracted the Strigoi Just then, Eddie and Jill showed up and with the help of Jill s water magic Eddie kills both Strigoi.5 The point is that Sydney has magic She is a witch I was so excited at first and then she said she didn t want to use magic again Mrs.Terwilliger is amazing I can t pronounce her name but I can write it I love her She is also a witch and with her way she introduced Sydney the human magic She also calls her Melbourne because her fake name was Sydney Melrose.6 I love Eddie He wants Jill and I want them together but he is stupid He wants to sacrifice his love for Micah Micah is his roommate and he looks like a lot like Mason his best friend who died 7 I loved the relationship between Jill and Sydney Sydney treats her like sister even though Jill is a vampire 8 Finally, we learn the secret between Abe and Sydney Sydney obeyed his commands because she asked him to attack on Keith and he ended up with a glass eye I still love Abe.9 Adrian was hurting at first because of Rose and Dimitri He was still thinking about her But then, Sydney gave him purpose To find job at first that didn t go well and at last she helped him apply for art classes and that made him happy But in the ending, Dimitri arrived in Palm Springs 10 The good thing is that Angeline arrived too She is so much funYou look too pretty to be useful Truer words were never spoken I decided the Alchemists needed an entire department devoted to handling Adrian Ivashkov 118 days, 30 hours, and countingIT HAS A COVER All I have to say is Adrian better be in this series, and he better find someone to love him, or else I m going to have to jump into the book and make him mine.Update According to Mead s blog Bloodlines is the spin off series to Vampire Academy it s the name of the first book and of the series It s set in the VA world but will be about different characters Sydney our narrator , Jill, Eddie, and one of the love interests from VA I m not saying who that last guy is, but it s mostly to protect those who haven t read Last Sacrifice If you have read it, then it should be pretty obvious who the other character is.So, clearly, this means it is 100% confirmed that Adrian is in it, so YAY Thank you Also, it sounds to me like it will be in first person, so I m not sure why it says otherwise on here, but we shall see Whack Pow Holy alchemist Punch in the face BatmanWhat a beginning and what an ending to a series kickoff that I just know is going to be a helluva ride Team Adrian fans get ready because what you didn t get in Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead delivers ten fold in Bloodlines Our favorite Moroi is back with a vengeance and fully loaded with squee worthy moments Can t wait for Yes, it s no surprise I m Team Adrian, and I have been ever since Dimitri uttered in Spirit Bound those sucktastic words I ve given up on you Love fades Mine has to Rose That was gut punch harsh and difficult to let go no matter his real purpose and ultimate choice So when Vampire Academy concluded and Adrian was left shattered and rejected, I knew he deserved so much and the hard lesson that the good guys don t always win was waved in the faces of Team Adrian fans But now we ve got a whole new story to be told and that s pure EXCITEMENT In this first installment of Bloodlines, the story picks up shortly after Vampire Academy ends I m thinking about a couple of months or less The court is in turmoil over Vasilisa Dragomir s reign as queen and some people want to see her gone However, rather than striking directly at the target, they go for her sister Jill because by getting rid of her, Lissa will be forced to forfeit her throne To circumvent this plan of attack, Jill is tucked away at Amberwood Preparatory Academy with a posse of guardians including the Alchemist Sydney Sage, the dhampir Eddie and our beloved Adrian They band together to keep Jill safe and try to move on and build some semblance of a life in the aftermath of VA.I feel Sydney was the perfect choice to narrate this story as the main character She might not be punk rock tough like Roseyet, but you can see her slowly developing from timid, yes girl to don t mess with me badass She has a lot to prove to her people because of her involvement with Rose s escape But as the story progresses, she realizes that sometimes she needs to take some risks and make some hard choices to discover the truth and uncover her full potential.Adrian is absolutely perfect in this book He delivers his ever smooth performance of carefree slacker, but when you take a closer look it s obvious he has some recovering to do in the wake of Rose s ultimate choice You can clearly see he s trying to get away from his past and find a purpose for himself He s realizing his love for Rose was misguided and begins to take strides to steady himself after the fallout.This book covers some heavy ground by showing how life lessons, character development and unpaid debts are just a few struggles to overcome The bond between the four main players, Sydney, Eddie, Adrian and Jill is forming and I can t wait to see where their journey will lead Great series kick off that Vampire Academy fans will enjoy Thank you so much to Alexa for lending me her ARC because she knew I couldn t wait one day for my Adrian fix HUGSXD Adrian Ivashkov.They re waiting for you Go on in Adrian leaned close to Keith s ear and spoke in an ominous voice If.You.Dare He poked Keith s shoulder and gave a Muhahaha kind of monster laugh Yeah Can you draw a skeleton riding a motorcycle with flames coming out of it And I want a pirate hat on the skeleton And a parrot on his shoulder A skeleton parrot Or maybe a ninja skeleton parrot No, that would be overkill But it d be cool if the biker skeleton could be shooting some ninja throwing stars That are on fire Now I see some family resemblance I was starting to wonder if Jill was adopted, but you two kind of look like each other So does our mailman back in North Dakota, said Adrian My God, Sage Your eyes How have I never noticed them That uncomfortable feeling was spreading over me again What about them The color, he breathed When you stand in the light They re amazing like molten gold I could paint those He reached toward me but then pulled back They re beautiful You re beautiful Dimitri Belikov had arrived Nough said. So, for a few days I ve been wanting to get back to these books Actually, I m feeling like re reading A LOT of 2010 2015 books.The older I get, the I miss these old books that were the talk among my friends I miss the old days.It s surprising how well this story has aged I don t know if Vampire Academy has aged this good but I always have loved the spin off. The short of it I m going to offer the unpopular opinion here and say that I enjoyed this book than some of the VA books and this is coming from someone who gave all the books three to four stars each I love Sydney, Adrian, Jill, and Eddie, and I love the chance to learn about the Alchemists. LOVED IT This was the perfect book for me to finally shake off the rest of the reading slumpy feelings that were hanging around I was surprisingly happy with Sydney s character and I love her banter with Adrian I can t wait to see where this series is going to go and I need the next book pronto Definitely recommend if you enjoyed the Vampire Academy series `Download Book ☉ Bloodlines ↬ I Wasn T Free Of My Past, Not Yet Sydney S Blood Is Special That S Because She S An Alchemist One Of A Group Of Humans Who Dabble In Magic And Serve To Bridge The Worlds Of Humans And Vampires They Protect Vampire Secrets And Human Lives But The Last Encounter Sydney Had With Vampires Got Her In Deep Trouble With The Other Alchemists And Now With Her Allegiences In Question, Her Future Is On The Line 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