Book Two of the Bloodlines series
By Richelle Mead
Available now from Razorbill (Penguin)
I received BLOODLINES to review, but couldn't review it since I hadn't finished the Vampire Academy series yet. I don't know about you, but I dislike reading series out of order. But now I am all caught up and ready to review THE GOLDEN LILY!
If you're a fan of Richelle Mead, then you know what to expect. There's humor, romance, and plenty of action. THE GOLDEN LILY may be pretty thick, but it's a fast read. Mead's world is an intricate one and she sometimes addresses heavy topics, but she always keeps things moving along.
Sydney, an Alchemist, is adjusting to living with a group of Moroi and dhampirs. The Alchemists are a group of religious humans who clean up after the vampires and protect humanity. But she's not comfortable adjusting, because it means questioning the truths she grew up with. She has even more questions about the Alchemist's ways when she discovers a branch group of vampire hunters.
She's also been introduced to the guy of her dreams. He's sensible, loves cars, and enjoys the pursuit of knowledge. But Sydney can't help but feel there's a spark missing. While Sydney may be involved in a love triangle (as much as she would deny it), I love that Mead isn't afraid of complicated geometry. I'd explain who is in love with who, but you'd be lost unless you're reading the books. It's a bit of a soap opera, but it feels more realistic that a neat triangle. (It's also hilarious since everyone thinks Sydney, Jill, Adrian, Eddie, and Angeline are related.) I'm usually annoyed by love triangles where one of the people is obviously going to lose out, so I'm happy that Mead shows Adrian moving on from Rose and falling in love again. It's time for him to have an epic romance.
I like that it's hard to define who is good and who is bad. Sydney seems mature, but she still has a ways to go when it comes to believing in herself and her abilities. Part of that is deciding who to trust on her own. Part of it is facing up to her unhealthy eating habits. In THE GOLDEN LILY, Adrian finally calls Sydney out about what she's doing to herself. I thought Mead handled the difficult topic well. I also liked that Sydney decided to take self-defense classes. It's a very sensible move, but one few characters take, which is - of course - very Sydney.
If you like supernatural drama and hormonal teens fighting for their lives, you'll enjoy the Bloodlines series. I recommend starting from VAMPIRE ACADEMY, but there's probably enough summary that you could follow along with THE GOLDEN LILY even if you haven't read the previous novels.
Mead will be signing THE GOLDEN LILY in Houston on June 19th. I hope to make it to that signing, so maybe I'll see you there!