Title: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Version Read: hardcover (library)
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2011
Categories: paranormal, urban-fantasy, vampires, young-adult
Summary (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…
I enjoyed this. The vampire lore in Bloodlines is a little bit different to what I am used to, but the whole thing with the Alchemists is quite intriguing, and is what actually made me pick up the books in the first place. I quite liked how there was enough information about the Moroi, Strigoi, dhampirs and Alchemists that if you haven’t read the Vampire Academy series (which I haven’t), you don’t feel lost. This book stood quite well on it’s own, which I feel most good series can, especially since this is supposed to be the next step up from the VA series.
Sydney is an interesting character – she’s very good at a lot of things but flawed enough that she seems realistic. The Alchemists seem sort of like a cult to me, and one that almost views itself better than any others, even the other humans that they are supposed to be protecting. I liked that Sydney was still able to have her own thoughts and emotions towards her vampire and dhampir associates, whilst trying to reconcile many of those with what ideals and beliefs she has been raised with.
Adrian was interesting, and a good read – I like vampires who have a bit of personality and aren’t simply just bloodsucking bad guys. The vampires in Bloodlines are actually capable of thinking and emotions, even the Strogoi, although I imagine they are more interested in thinking of creative ways to eat you, as opposed to having a conversation. The class distinctions, and the ‘magic’ sides of the Moroi were quite intriguing as well.
Would recommend this to people who don’t like their vampires to be too gory or scary, but still vampireish.