Title: Bloodlines 1-5 Review
Author: Richelle Mead
The Flavor: Twilight meets 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
The Short Version: We go back to the world of Vampire Academy, and with the addition of what I consider to be a superior entourage, the adventure is arguably even more fantastic.
The Description: Sydney Sage—an alchemist we first met in the Vampire Academy series—returns. She spends the majority of the series running around, shepherding various vampires to activities, putting out miscellaneous fires, and insulting all magical people. She teams up with irreverent party boy Adrian Ivashkov, and together, they take down a magic tattoo ring, escape a witch, trick the alchemists, and a whole bunch of other things. I know it sounds weird. But trust me, it all works.
Unlike Rose, Sydney does not spend the majority of the books kicking ass and taking names. Sydney is more of the mom/big sister type, always worrying over the other characters and putting out fires. At first, her disdain for my vampire friends and superstitious attitude were enough to turn me off. But she eventually won me over with a strength that, while different from Rose’s tendency to jump in and act, is equally important—knowing when and when not to act.
Also, I didn’t trust any guy who used more styling products than I did.
Our hero, Adrian Ivashkov, also made his first appearance in the Vampire Academy series. I didn’t think it was possible, but he is even more enjoyable in this series. His flippant attitude is surprisingly charming. I’m pretty sure he is just perfect—despite the whole spirit-induced craziness and drinking problems.
“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.” – Adrian Ivashkov
The Dialogue: Much like Vampire Academy, the story isn’t moved through dialogue and quick wit. But Adrian is delightful and is the reason I love this book so much.
“Thanks 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 okay...for 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 brilliant.”
Adrian gave the picture a nod of approval before handing me the phone. "Okay, even I can admit that's pretty cute."
I found myself overanalyzing the comment. What had he meant in saying 'even he' could admit it? That I was cute for a human? Or that I had just met some kind of Adrian hot-girl criteria?
These books have a surprisingly large focus on the academic part of high school, which is fun from a bookish perspective.
Eventually, the world really opens up into the world of the alchemists. And yeesh. You do not want to invite those people to a party.
Extra Credit: Once again, Mead has the talent to give her main characters some major flaws and still make us care about them. Adrian spends a majority of the series in a drunken stupor, but I am still convinced that he is the perfect man for Sydney and they both needed to figure out how to make that work.
Parting thoughts: While not necessarily the most popular opinion, I believe that the Bloodlines series is superior to many of the books in the Vampire Academy series--mostly because of Adrian. I always thought Adrian got the short end of the stick, and this series sees his redemption. Team Adrian for life.
The series starts slow—mostly because of Sydney’s disdain for magic—but by the end, Sydney really wins you over.