I loved Vampire Academy (Shall be known as ‘VA‘ from here on out), and since this is a spin off I thought I would love Bloodlines just as much. Well I did enjoy this book but I didn’t quite love it. There were multiple reasons for this.
I liked to see that Sydney was very different from Rose, she was a different narrative and very different character. Rose even seemed different through her eyes than I had imagined her when I read VA. Sydney’s character has her own voice and I loved that, she was very different and particular. As she wasn’t brought up around normal people so the way she acts socially is amusing. She is very blunt in nature and is completely unaware of certain things, for example; when a guy is trying to flirt with her or ask her out she is completely oblivious and the poor guy gets no where, she takes everything everyone says literally and sometimes the metaphors fly right over her head just because she’s never had to deal with it before so is not used to it. This quirk is what sold me on loving Sydney as a character. In Bloodlines we saw some of the same characters we had already met in VA; Adrian, Jill, Eddie and of course Sydney. But then there were also new characters which was nice, as this is a new series I had hoped for some new characters so I was glad to get a few.
One of the main reasons I did not absolutely love Bloodlines like I expected to was because I had nearly all of the twists figured out before I had read half of the book. Some of them I thought were obvious to readers that had read VA first, so I was a little saddened to see those were meant to be reveals. I knew Sydney was unaware of a lot of things to do with the Moroi for the obvious reason that she is not a Moroi and has never been integrated into their society, but even so I felt like I knew all the secrets she didn’t and we hadn’t been told what had happened yet. I had figured it out way before Sydney.
I felt there were a few other reveals that were obvious and weren’t reveals to me at all. Everything was too obvious to the VA reader, subtle hints weren’t subtle at all. This made me sad as I didn’t get to be amazed like I wanted to be. Anyone who hasn’t read VA first would definitely not have picked up on the hints though, just because of lack of knowledge about the world these series’ are set in. I guess this is the way it had to go though. And even though I was saddened by this, it only knocked one club off of my rating; making it four clubs and not five.
Besides all of that I was able to enjoy Bloodlines purely because Sydney was a fun character to read. I loved her interactions with Adrian, I loved the way she worked things out, and her struggles with keeping to the Alchemist ways of life without defying their rules. This made the struggles Sydney had to endure interesting, yeah I kind of did get annoyed at they way she thought about the Moroi sometimes but it makes complete sense as to why she thinks like that. It was the way she was brought up. Her background was very interesting. The only thing that I’m confused about is why the Alchemists aren’t trained in fighting; if they’re trying to keep the vampire society and human society separated and the humans safe, then they’re bound to come across a situation where they will need to protect themselves, or protect other people. So surely it makes sense to have been trained in some sort of defense. But no, Alchemists do not have any knowledge on fighting, they are just all incredibly smart in academics.
I think this is something I missed in this book, the constant fighting and bad-ass-ness of it. While I did enjoy Bloodlines a lot I also felt like it wasn’t as exciting as reading Rose’s story, mainly because we don’t get to see more vampire action. I liked the constant threat of the Strigoi in VA, and so far in this book the threat isn’t the Strigoi. I missed the fighting, the constant life threatening situations, and action. In saying that, Bloodlines is in no way boring. It’s just different. Which is to be expected since it is a completely different character and life we are reading. So in that respect this book is very well done, it is separate to Rose’s story and you cannot compare Sydney to Rose at all, and I quite liked that.
I do feel like Bloodlines has set up the series more than anything else which makes me excited to read the next books in the series because I know that it can only get even better from here on out. Sydney now knows as much as VA readers know so I know that book two won’t have disappointing reveals. The only thing is I hate waiting for books to be published. That is why it took me three years to read this book; I knew I would want to read all of the books in close proximity. For now I will have to try and hold off a bit as I’ve heard book three ends in such a way that you will want to invent a time machine just to get your hands on book four sooner.
Overall I still highly enjoyed Bloodlines and had a lot of fun reading it. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to love it as much and wasn’t surprised throughout the book but I’m optimistic The Golden Lily will be even more amazing than this book.