- Bloodlines #2
Release date: June 12th 2012
Published by: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
This book is also known as "the book in which all my expectations are met, and destroyed at the same time". So much has changed in this series, and so much is still the same. I don't even know where to begin. Maybe I should do so by saying that The Golden Lily surprised me immeasurably. It's like Richelle Mead heard my screams over everything that went wrong in Bloodlines, and decided to fix all of them in The Golden Lily. Seriously, every single thing that I disliked in Bloodlines was non-existent in this novel.
Take Sydney, for example. She was boring in Bloodlines - boring as hell. I
The Syd I knew was changed over what happened in the ending of Bloodlines, and I loved that. She was intelligent without being arrogant, and fierce without having to fight. Her weapons were her words and her own experience as an Alchemist. I was still able to catch a few glimpses of ol' Sydney everytime she freaked out over something as simple as sugar count, or corrected someone automatically, or started to explain things that were totally out of context, simply because someone expressed curiosity. I loved that more than I thought I would, and more important, I was able to relate to Sydney and what she was thinking most of the time.
As with the plot... well, like I said before, Mead took a different route to everything in this novel, so the plot should be no different. The mystery wasn't as obvious as it was on Bloodlines - though it was still pretty easy to identify the villain. A novel like this, in which intelligence and quick thinking are some of the things that are highlighted the most, because of Sydney herself, the plot shouldn't be this predictable. It was better than Bloodlines, but it still wasn't as good as it should be. However, the secondary characters more than make up for the lack of a great mystery. Eddie, Angeline, and Sonya are fantastic characters, and I was more than glad to see their potentials explored. The relationship between them is promising as well, something that we can see through Sydney's eyes, but don't actively participate in.
And I won't even get started on Dimitri. I wasn't just glad to see my favorite character in the Vampire Academy series - not to mention my biggest crush - back in action. I was overjoyed. When he appeared for the first time in The Golden Lily, I swear I sat up straight and had to control my nerves not to start acting like a fan-girl. Him acting like a secondary character was disappointing and surprisingly nice at the same time. I just wanted to see more of him, to know more of him. I love Dimitri, but I also missed Rose in this novel. It'd be wonderful to see a Rose/Dimitri scene from Syd's POV - or that's what I tell myself. I wouldn't be surprised if my subconscious missed Rose and Dimitri as well, and only wanted a scene with them.
I know this review is insanely long, but before I'm done with it, I have to express my crazy love for Adrian. I never loved him in the VA series, but now? I'm all for you, Adrian. His relationship with Sydney is incredibly heart-warming - and frustrating, since their interactions are limited to a fair amount of talking and cute moments on Adrian's part. This is a typical Richelle Mead romance, full of chemistry and affection and protectiveness. I love it, and I can't get enough of Syd and Adrian. I'm really looking forward to reading The Indigo Spell - you know, scratch that. I'm dying to read The Indigo Spell. Richelle Mead just proved why she's one of the best authors I've ever known, and the Bloodlines series definitely has my attention now. It's still not as good as Vampire Academy, nor does it have the same deep relationships that VA had, but Bloodlines has its own potential, a potential that I can't wait to see explored thoroughly.