Book Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

8709528Genre: 

Young Adult, cure Paranormal

Pages: 

348

Part of a Series?:

The finale to the Bloodlines series

Release Date: 

February 10th, stomach 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, about it 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.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

My Review:

Please keep in mind, while there will be NO spoilers for The Ruby Circle, there might be spoilers for previous books. Please check out my past reviews for those books!

I feel like I have been waiting for this book to come out forever, and really, it hasn’t been that long. But I WHIPPED through this thing and I’m so completely satisfied.

I love this story and I love that Richelle Mead was able to take the world that she built in the Vampire Academy series and continue it so well in this series. The relationship that she builds between Sydney and Adrian, especially after their marriage in Silver Shadows, is so real, and feels like it was just meant to happen all along. Who knows? Maybe it was haha. But I love the continuation of their relationship in this book. Now that they’ve got the chance to be honest about their relationship…they have the struggle of getting everyone else on board with it. But they also have the struggle of figuring it out themselves. What they are willing to do for each other, how they fight together, how they trust each other. Its a beautiful, real relationship and I enjoyed every single minute of it while reading this book. The love that Sydney and Adrian have for each other…its just beautiful.

But what I really love about this book is how it concluded the series. It was GREAT. I’ve had such wariness with authors lately on how they conclude series. They’ve been sloppy or rushed, all kinds of things. This ending was great. From the beginning, they’re on the hunt for Jill and the hunt for Jill takes a lot of time, effort, hard work  and a lot of super fun fight scenes. What I love about this is that everyone has their piece in it. We get to see Sydney using her magic, Adrian using his spirit magic, the guardians fighting their way. I love every bit of it. In Vampire Academy, it was centered on the fighting of the dhampirs and a few Moroi but in this book, we get such a hodge podge of people working together: Moroi, dhampir, alchemist, human witches, the Warriors of Light, etc. Its amazing.

We also get to explore and discover more. We see a commune of dhampir women who have chosen a life different from a guardian. We have new revelations about dhampirs and Strigoi and spirit magic. We have a super fun revelation about Dimitri and Adrian that I won’t go into because SPOILERS. We get to meet new characters and revisit old characters and I just loved every single minute of it. It was action and romance and drama and it was a great ending. I loved seeing Adrian and Sydney’s story conclude and I loved seeing new things happen but I also loved seeing Rose and Dimitri together. ESPECIALLY after the epilogue!

But I’ll also say this…I love the things that Richelle did with this book. She concluded the story, left us with a satisfying ending, all the loose ends tied up. For the most part. She opened up some new ideas, left us hanging a little, left us wondering. I think that means we just might get some more VA stories soon and I’m ALWAYS okay with that.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Fictional Book Couples!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Well, online almost. But its nearly there and to celebrate, price this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is getting a little romantic. Now, I know this is a post that I’ve already done but that was QUITE a long time ago and I’ve read so many books since then…its hard to narrow it down!

However, my poor sentimental heart was finally able to do so and I present to you my top ten favorite fictional book couples!

10. William Herondale and Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices Series

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Will and Tessa have one of those romances that, if it actually existed in real life, you’d be torn between being massively jealous and also massively apt to throwing up all the time. Its incredibly beautiful, tragic, deep, genuine, intense. Its one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve read and what makes it even more beautiful is the love that the two of them share with Jem as well. Its just…amazingly written. It should be a love triangle but it doesn’t feel that way because the three of them love each other so much. Plus, there’s just something amazing about their love of books and how their love of words bring them together, and how they fight alongside each other…sigh.

9. Cara and Aelyx from The Alienated Series

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This is one of my newest favorite couples to come into my life, just this past summer. I met Melissa at ALA and got an ARC of Invaded and knew I had to read the first one and I am SO glad I did! This two part series is AWESOME and I’m massively in love with Cara and Aelyx and their story. What makes it so great is how annoyed and disgusted (especially on Aelyx’s part) they are with each other and how it slowly builds to something else. I love how they figure things out. I mean, Aelyx GOOGLES how to kiss. Its silly and sweet and intense and I love every single moment of it.

8. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games Series

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DUH. I know its cheesy and so completely unrealistic as far as fictional relationships work out but I still love every minute of it. Because despite everything that their world throws at them, they still make it through. I tend to like Gale more as a character but I love Peeta more for Katniss and I think its because they balance each other out SO much. Plus its kind of bittersweet how they work so hard to protect each other and it always seems to fail but they never ever give up on it. I don’t like the conclusion, so to speak, of their relationship, I don’t think it makes sense with the characters at all but I love their relationship.

7. Four and Tris from the Divergent Series

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This is one relationship that I love, not just because I’m absolutely obsessed with this series but because it turns out to be completely opposite of what you expect. When you meet Tris, she’s unsure, unconfident, struggling to figure out who she is, while Four seems strong, confident, sure. But the closer they get to each other, the more you realize that its Tris that helps Four, brings him out, makes him a better person. He relies on her, looks into her for strength and I love that. I think its better when a couple is equal but I love seeing that a female character can be seen as the strength in a relationship.

6. Aly and Nawat from The Tricksters Series

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This is one of my favorite relationships, so easily because it is one of the most unique ones I’ve come across in any book. Aly is a born noble girl, trained in the ways of a noble lady but also the fighting and stealth of a common born spy. She’s kidnapped and sold into slavery for a wealthy family in an enemy kingdom. She meets Nawat, who is a crow turned man. They each have their own journey to take, though they are inevitably intertwined with each other, and what I love is that they each do the things they need to do before they came together. Its beautiful. It really shows…you don’t need a guy to get where you need to be, and that a really great guy will be there, even if you can’t be there yourself.

5. Levi and Cath from Fangirl

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Okay, I love this relationship because I want this relationship. Seriously. I want this relationship so bad. I love 1-4 so badly on this list but if I had to choose a relationship that I genuinely wanted more than anything…it would be this one. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that I feel very connected to Cath. She feels like me in so so many ways and I can understand her fears and her concerns and her anxiety and her struggle to become close with people because she’s afraid they can’t handle who she is. But Levi comes in and just loves her, for every single thing that she is. And he’s a goofball, which I just love, and he just is so genuine and real and I love everything about their relationship. This is relationship goals.

4. Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov from The Vampire Academy Series

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I want to be Rose Hathaway. Or I want to be with her. I can’t really figure it out. Maybe both. That’s kind of weird ;) Either way, the Vampire Academy series is one of my favorites ever and I love that it takes legitimately all six books for Rose and Dimitri to get where you finally wish them to be. Their relationship is SO tragic BUT neither one of the characters are tragic. They always focus on their job as dhampirs, as guardians and getting the job done, and that’s why they’re one of my favorite relationships. They are awesome together, but as more than a couple, as a team.

3. Adrian Ivashkov and Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines Series

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When I first started reading the Bloodlines series, it was clear that the couple that would come out of this series was Adrian and Sydney. Having met and fallen in love with both of those characters in the VA series, I was so confused on how these two would even WORK. But as the series continued and you watched them fall in love with each other, I was panting alongside everyone else. I just finished the finale book, The Ruby Circle, today, release day and I won’t say much because of spoilers but I’m so happy with this relationship. They both changed from book one to book six and they did it together. They were equals from beginning to end and I love that. They rely on each other and they save each other and I ship it so hard.

2. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series

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All you haters can sit down and shut up. Everyone says that Ron doesn’t deserve Hermione and all that junk. I myself read way too much Dramione fan fiction, admittedly. But this is one of my favorite couples because I think they work together. They are different, but I think that’s what makes them work. Ron loves Hermione, even though she’s much smarter than him and is constantly berating him and all that kind of thing. Hermione loves Ron, even though he can be selfish and unthinking. Love, real love, is about accepting each other’s flaws and still loving each other anyway. Of course there’s a limit to that but I think Ron and Hermione are the example of a perfect imperfect relationship. Relationships aren’t beautiful and amazing and all that. They take work and they don’t always go the way its planned and that’s exactly what this relationship is.

1. Jace Lightwood and Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments Series

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They continue to be my favorite couple and I think that’s because of when I read the book. You want to talk about an overdramatic, tragic story of a relationship? This is it right here. Book One: Jace can’t admit he has feelings. Finally kind of does…oops, him and Clary are brother and sister. Or wait they’re not brother and sister. Oh, wait, he’s being possessed by Lilith, oh, wait, now by the real Jonathan Morgenstern. I mean, seriously. Its the most dramatic relationship that takes place over a period of, like, five months. But I love both of these characters. I love the way they fall in love, I love the way they balance each other out, I love the way they eventually fight together, I love every single bit of them. And that is not going to change.

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Who are some of YOUR favorite book couples? Make sure to share in the comments!

Book Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead (Spoiler Free)

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Note: There will be a spoiler filled review uploaded on YouTube within the next couple days.

Genre: 

Young Adult, medical  Fantasy

Pages: 

380

Part of a Series?:

This is the 5th novel in the Bloodlines Series

Release Date: 

July 29th, diagnosis 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Sydney Sage is 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.


In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. 

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

My Review:

Please note that while this review will have no spoilers for Silver Shadows, there will be spoilers for the rest of the Bloodlines series. 

When I first picked up the Vampire Academy series just about a year ago, I didn’t know that it would lead to me to two incredible series that would literally change my life. The characters, the stories, all of it, means so incredibly much to me and in such a short period of time. I already have a VA tattoo because of it. After the end of VA, I felt empty, until I picked up a copy of Bloodlines, and literally sped through that series. To say that I was dying to read Silver Shadows at the end of the Fiery Heart would be a vast understatement.

I woke up on Tuesday, on release date, and immediately got ready and went out to buy my copy. I found it, clutched it to my chest and didn’t let it out of my sight until I got home. I then warned everyone that I would be disappearing for awhile while I read the book. I read it in less than four hours, which already goes to show you how much I enjoyed this book.

When I read Fiery Heart, I wasn’t a huge fan of the split point of view. I understand why she did it but it helped me keep my resolve as Indigo Spell as my favorite. Now in Silver Shadows, the split point of view was definitely necessary to the point of the story. Adrian and Sydney are separated, Adrian remaining in Palm Springs and Sydney in some unknown location as the Alchemists attempt to “re-educate” her. In this novel, I found myself eager for each of their points of view, hoping, with each turn of the page, that their stories would finally intersect and they would be back together. I really enjoyed the split POV and I hope she continues this in The Ruby Circle.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this novel, something that just kept me pushing page after page, until the end was Sydney Sage. I know that sounds weird because she’s the main character of the series but I’ve mostly read for Adrian more than Sydney. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Sydney but I think she really became one of my favorite characters, period, in this book. The strength that she shows, the resolve, the fact that she is determined and doesn’t stop trying. She is absolutely incredible in this novel. She blows me away, and I always kind of held her second best to Rose Hathaway but I think she’s her equal, just in a different way. I really began to truly appreciate Sydney in this novel.

I also liked the story of it. There was a lot more built into it than just the recovery of Sydney. It was a struggle for Adrian, handling his spirit and his vices and that sort of thing. He is miserable and he literally sends himself into a spiral. Its about his relationship to other people besides Sydney (and Jill and Eddie and Angeline), and his family, and even his friends back at Court, like Lissa, Rose and Dimitri. I love that Sydney’s story is more than just her own in the re-education center. We really get to see the person she’s become and what she’s willing to do to help not only herself but others as well.

And I mean, keeping this as spoiler free as possible, but there are some truly excellent Sydrian moments in this novel. Truly. There’s an entire segment with the two of them that I honestly thought I would be horrified by but instead, I was so full of joy and happiness, I could barely handle it. It made sense to the storyline, which is why I liked it. I don’t like things like this happening just for the sake of it. I know this is so vague and you can check out my spoiler filled review for more on that.

Loving all the appearances that Lissa, Rose and Dimitri make. My loves!

And OHMYGOD that cliffhanger. I can’t handle that cliffhanger. Just when you think …okay, everything is going to be okay, I can handle this, Richelle leaves us literally panicking on the last page, wondering what on earth could possibly happen next. Literally, I would sell my kidney to find out what happens next, maybe even a lung or two. I mean, those aren’t important right? I’m just saying. With a cliffhanger like that, anyone would want to read the next book!

Stay tuned for my spoiler filled vlog coming soon!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

Fictional Crush of the Week-Adrian Ivashkov from the Bloodlines Series

In just a few days, dosage the fifth book of the Bloodlines series, physician Silver Shadows, will be hitting bookstores. I’ve been rereading the series and remembering just how much that I love Adrian Ivashkov. I can’t wait to read more of him when the book releases on Tuesday.

Character Name:

Adrian Ivashkov

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Book or Series They Appear In:

The Vampire Academy Series (Secondary Main Character)

Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice

 The Bloodlines Series (Main Character)

Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, The Indigo Spell, The Fiery Heart, Silver Shadows (out July 2014), The Ruby Circle (out 2015)

Author/Creator:

Richelle Mead

Played By: 

No One (RIP Frostbite)

Who They Are:

Adrian Ivashkov is a secondary character in the Vampire Academy series and a main character in the Bloodlines series. He is a Moroi, a so-called good vampire who has mortality, and is sensitive to sunlight but won’t burst into flames because of it. He is the nephew of the late queen Tatiana, and has the rare elemental power of spirit which includes things like compulsion, dream walking and healing. He is volatile, using alcohol as a solution to the “crazy” that comes with spirit. He has a sarcastic sense of humor, always looking to crack a joke, or have a one-liner. He briefly dates Rose, and she tries to make him a better person but he doesn’t quite succeed. When he brings Jill Dragomir back from the dead using spirit, he’s sent to help keep her safe in Palm Springs and falls in love with Jill’s human protector, Sydney Sage. Sydney is the one who gets him to change and he quits smoking, cuts back on drinking, starts going to college and stops sleeping with random girls.

Why I Am Crushing On Them: 

Oh Adrian Ivashkov. I was in love with Dimitri Belikov in the VA series because I was in Rose’s head and I wanted her with Dimitri so badly but I always had a soft spot for Adrian. As soon I started reading Bloodlines and I realized that he was going to fall massively in love with Sydney and vice versa, I knew that I was done. I love his sarcasm and his darkness. You know that I love those bad boys who are really good deep down. In real life, its so annoying but in books, they’re just so irresistible. That snark just gets me every single time. And I love that we see this beautiful slow change in Adrian in the Bloodlines series. I love that, while his personality remains the same, he becomes a better person around Sydney. That’s how you know that’s real. With Rose, he had to force himself but with Sydney, he genuinely wanted to be a better person and I just love it. Every thing that comes out of his mouth is a total win.

Notable Quotes: 

“You, know I’m the Queen’s favorite great nephew, Well, yeah I’m her only great nephew, but that’s not important, I’d still be her favorite…” 

“Takes a lot of tries before you hit perfection.” He paused to reconsider that. “Well, except for my parents. They got it on the first try.” 

“I tried to be a better person for her– but it was to impress her, to get her to want me. But when I’m around you, I want to be better because… well, because it feels right. Because I want to. You make me want to become something greater than myself. I want to excel. You inspire me in every act, every word, every glance. I look at you, and you’re like… like light made into flesh. […] You have no clue how beautiful you are or how brightly you shine.” 

“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.” 

Adrian returned to his crossword puzzle. “Well, you can think what you want, so long as you remember-no matter how ordinary things seem between us-I’m still here, still in love with you, and care about you more than any other guy, evil or otherwise, ever will.”

“I don’t care if you say we can’t be together. I don’t care if you think I’m the most evil, unnatural creature walking on earth. You can think whatever you want, go whatever you want. I’m going to just go on loving you, even if it’s hopeless.” 

“But when I touch you, your aura … it smolders. The colors deepen, it burns more intensely, the purple increases. Why? Why, Sydney?” He used that hand to pull me closer. “Why do you react that way if I don’t mean anything to you?” There was a desperation in his voice, and it was legitimate.” 

“I know I’m not supposed to say this, but I love you.” 

I totally support Chase Crawford as Adrian ;) I just want Frostbite made so we can cast Adrian…

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The Golden Lily: A Bloodlines Novel Review

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead  

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You Can Find the Books At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, nurse 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.
Sydney would love to go to college, viagra sale but instead, cost she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

 

My Review:

Please keep in mind, while there will NOT be spoilers for The Golden Lily in this review, there will most likely be spoilers for Bloodlines. You can read the review for that book here. There also will definitely be spoilers from the Vampire Academy series. 

This series just keeps getting better and better. With Golden Lily, you really begin to see the changes that are going through the main character, Sydney, and I think that’s a huge basis for the entire series. The Sydney that we meet in VA is someone who is willing to help out the right people, in that she helps Rose, but she’s also very adamant in her ways. She was raised by the Alchemists. She deals with Moroi because she has to, but she still finds them frightening and unnatural like Strigoi, and she feels the same about dhampirs too. She’s ingrained in this, and she is scared of it as well. I love that in this novel, you start to see the breakdown of that. She is still scared, definitely, but she is learning. Being around two Moroi (Jill and Adrian), and a dhampir (Eddie) really starts effecting some change in her, which really is going to effect the story later.

Plus, Adrian. Oh, Adrian. You can tell even more in this novel how insanely crazy he is about Sydney, and she just doesn’t see it all. I spent this entire book just dying for her to figure out, but I knew she wouldn’t be okay with it. A human and Moroi? No way. Not in Sydney’s life.

But I love the direction the story is going on. It seems like there are different conflicts in each book. In book one, it was Lee and his desire to become a Strigoi again. In book two, it was the Warriors of Light (tiny baby mini spoiler there). Which seems kind of weird, but I don’t think so, not when I’ve read book three. I think that each step in the story is creating a larger picture in the transformation in Sydney’s personality, her views and her beliefs and I think that’s where the story is leading. I think she’s beginning to transform and that her transformation is part of a larger picture. Just a guess there but thats what I’ve been getting and I’m definitely enjoying it. I think a lot more is going to be revealed in the later books and I love that.

I’m not going to lie, the last few pages of the novel were my favorite. I felt a great moment of triumph and then the quick pain of disappointment in a matter of about five pages. It was incredible that it could do that. I finished it at about 3 a.m. and I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to move on to The Indigo Spell SO badly. Just finished that book a couple hours ago (as I’m writing this) and I really enjoyed it as well. The series just keeps getting better and better.

Now I’m off to go read The Fiery Heart, to read more of Sydney and her journey as a closeminded Alchemist to a battle ready girl.

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

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Book of the Week-Bloodlines

I am so proud of myself. It took me awhile to get back into the groove of reading, about it reading a lot like I do, adiposity but now I’m back in it. I busted my way through the last three Vampire Academy books and now I’m reading the fourth and most recent of the Bloodlines series, more about The Fiery Heart. Which means I have some SERIOUS catching up to do as far as book reviews go.

I absolutely loved the Vampire Academy series, more than I thought I would, because, honestly, I try to avoid books with vampires. And now that I’m reading the Bloodlines series, I’m even more in love. That may have something to do with Adrian Ivashkov, but hmm, I’m not sure ;)

For now, enjoy the book of the week.

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

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GoodReads Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

Part of a Series?:

The 1st Novel of the Bloodlines Series, a spin-off to the Vampire Academy Series

Please keep in mind that while this will not have spoilers for Bloodlines, there may be spoilers for the Vampire Academy series.  

You May Like if You Liked:

Rachel Caine’s The Morganville Vampires, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series

Age Recommendation:

14+

Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. 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 last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

My Review: 

I am blown away by the continuation of the Vampire Academy world. I am surprised any time that someone can write a series that is longer than a trilogy and keep it really good and awesome, keep it compelling, the story fresh. Richelle Mead definitely did that in the Vampire Academy series. I was interested from page one to the very last page of Last Sacrifice. I was even more surprised and blown away that she was able to continue the story in the spin-off. I currently am reading book four, but this is about book one, so we’ll focus on that.

First off, the characters. The main characters are Sydney Sage, who is the main point of view in the story, and her companions are Jill Mastrano Dragomir, Adrian Ivashkov and Eddie Castile. These are NOT new characters in the slightest. We have seen them all in the Vampire Academy series and got to know them, at least a little bit. Taking them away from the overwhelming personalities of Rose, Dimitri, Lissa and Christian though…we really get to learn about them more, understand them better, and fall in love with them the way you fell in love with the main characters of VA. Sydney kind of annoyed me in VA and I also have a ginormous crush on Rose Hathaway. Adrian seemed…likable but too tragic for me to handle. Jill and Eddie seemed likable as well, but distant except the parts they had in the vampire world.

But in this novel, you’re given the chance to love them all and I immediately do. I definitely am more of a Rose fan than a Sydney fan BUT I do love Sydney. I love that she presents such a contrast to Rose. She’s more of a strategy girl, using her intelligence and logic to solve problems, though she’s more than willing to fight when she needs to. Jill and Eddie prove their worth, and I love them both. I loved their humor, and their commitment. Jill has a lot to deal with. She’s an illegitimate heir to the Dragomirs, which makes her relationship with Lissa very awkward, and her life is on the line, and she has to learn to be a royal. She handles it with grace but you can see her youth and uncertainties and she’s a very real character. I also really liked Eddie as well, especially with the internal conflicts he has between his emotions and his duty. It was very real, and its was good to see a different point of view of a dhampir besides Rose or Dimitri.

But I think the character that really made me love this book (and the following books) is Adrian Ivashkov. In VA, he just seems…I like him, definitely but he seems to be going about things the wrong way, dealing with his issues, and his spirit with alcohol and cigarettes and dark humor. But getting to know him through Sydney’s eyes, especially when its so obvious to everyone except Sydney that he’s falling for her, was amazing. I am madly in love with Adrian, way more so than I was with Dimitri. Dimitri was too perfect, but Adrian has faults, and he has that wicked sense of humor. He’s the “bad boy”, and you all know how I feel about those guys.

I also really love the story. I love how Richelle Mead took a problem, an issue from the first series and made it very important in the second series, and put it in the hands of a different main character. I also like that it involves so much of the high school drama as well, and introduces the idea of magic. I love that we are introduced to such a adamant character such as Sydney, and hopefully will see her change as time goes on. I also think the story is great because we get to see problems solved by a totally different character. Rose always had a weapon in her hand, or was the weapon herself. Sydney is a weapon as well, but she is in a different way, and I love that. I’m interested to see how her mission to protect Jill from assassins changes her and her ways, and the way she was raised as an Alchemist.

Now, I’m on book four so I know a lot of what happens next, and let me just say this: this book leads into an incredible series. I am so glad I read this book as quickly as I did and I can’t wait to finish The Fiery Heart…but also not because then I have to wait months for the 5th book. I’m not excited for that. But I’m urging you all to get involved in both of these series. You will NOT regret it.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?:

Definitely! I think you should the Vampire Academy series first, definitely but if you read that series, and didn’t read this one, you’re missing out. This book starts the story perfectly and propelled me into finishing the rest of the series as quickly as I could. I am now reading the most recent novel, The Fiery Heart, and am sad to finish it because I don’t want to wait for the next one! I adore Sydney, Adrian, Jill, Eddie and the rest of the Bloodlines cast.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured book. Stay tuned for more reviews soon!

Happy Reading!

Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice Book Reviews

I don’t normally do dual book reviews but I read this so quickly, case and they sort of blended together, so its easier for me to do that. Also, since then, I’ve read three more books and I need to review those as well, so it would just be easier for me to review them together.

Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

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You Can Find the Books At:

GoodReads-SB/LS

Amazon-SB/LS

Barnes and Noble-SB/LS

Book Depository-SB/LS

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Please keep in mind that while there will be NO spoilers for these two books, there will be spoilers for the previous four books. You can read the reviews for Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise by clicking their titles. 

For Spirit Bound:

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won’t rest until Rose joins him… forever.

For Last Sacrifice:

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.
Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

My Review:

I am incredibly impressed with how much better each of these books get as the story goes along. I’ve made it clear before: series that go longer than a few books don’t usually hold up. At least I don’t tend to think so. Its hard to continually keep a story going. But Richelle Mead does it, and does it very well. After the complete heartbreak that was Blood Promise, I was immediately hooked back into the story, and finished these two books quickly.

The characters become so much better than what they were in the first four books. They become more complex, they are more than just teenagers. Rose and Lissa and Adrian and Dimitri and Christian, and all of them, its more than just the typical teen problems. They are now so much involved in their world, in the politics and the sort of dramatics that are going on that they just didn’t see when they were in school. I also think this is the novel where they begin to grow up. They are starting to experience things that make them older, wiser, smarter. Rose went through the entire experience in Russia with Strigoi Dimitri, and that has changed her. The journeys that the characters take as Dimitri returns, as a murder occurs and Rose is framed for it, as Lissa embarks on a challenge that will change her life…they all change. I think Richelle Mead really realizes that her characters are not children anymore and she reflects that so much in these last two books.

I also really enjoyed how she wrapped up these novels. I didn’t expect the things that happened to happen. I know that’s very vague but I don’t want to ruin the story in the slightest for those of you who have never read it. I think she creates all this drama, in the unexpected plot turns, like Rose being framed, and Lissa’s…challenge and I didn’t expect the outcome for any of it. I was gripping my Nook in excitement, staying up until all hours to finish the books. There was so much tension, so much mystery to the end, and it keeps you wondering how on earth it was going to end. I honestly didn’t see it coming at all. I also love all the feelings the books gave me. There was so much heartbreak but also romance, and happy endings too. I had these times of emotions that I could barely handle. There is a part with Dimitri, Rose and a little boy….and that part drove me to tears.

I think that Richelle Mead creates an incredible world, with really well developed characters. Her books have it all: action, romance, politics, coming-of-age-ness (yeah, I just made that up), humor, and so much more. It took me years to read these books because I don’t read vampire novels, but these are so much more than vampire novels. In fact, it wasn’t hard for me to forget that these characters were vampires. Her world is wonderful, and I love Rose and the rest of the characters. Its no wonder that she returned to that world for the Bloodlines series. Its addicting and fun, and I am truly in love with these books.

My Rating:

Spirit Bound: 5 out of 5 Stars

Last Sacrifice: 5 out of 5 Stars

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