Book Info: YA paranormal, Purchased HC from Amazon, 418 pages
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
With the second book in the Bloodlines series, Richelle Mead hits her stride and delivers an addictive read. Though I liked Bloodlines a lot, I thought it lacked a little of Vampire Academy’s charm. But just like the VA series improved as it went along, so does this series. Maybe it’s because this installment seems more fun and well rounded, or Sydney has grown on me more, but all the elements worked this time around.
In The Golden Lily, Sydney is working undercover again to protect Moroi Princess Jill Dragomir at a boarding school in Palm Springs. (Of all the places for a group of vampires to live!) Jill is in danger from those who want to see her sister Queen Lissa de-throned. Alchemist Sydney continues to work with the vampires to provide support on their mission. Adrian, Eddie, Dimitri and Sonya are back too and have their own intriguing side stories.
I found Sydney more endearing this time around, more human I guess. All of her quirks are growing on me. She’s uptight and uncomfortable in social situations, but she does have heart and she’s evolving in her way. I like that she’s starting to question her loyalties a little bit. Overall she’s easier to warm up to in this book. She gets set up on a date with a guy who is perfect for her in every way, studious and serious, likes to wear neutrals, etc. He’s so bland that no one can remember his name, and come to think of it neither can I! (Okay, it’s Brayden) Sydney also has some great bonding scenes with Adrian and her feelings for him are complicated due to her loyalties with the alchemists, but I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop.
There are a few different stories swirling around for Sydney and the vampires. Sydney is still working on learning magic, and there is still the mystery of what makes her special among the alchemists. There are also some humorous scenes where she and Adrian take a self-defense class. I don’t know why that scene made me laugh, but I just love Mead’s sense of humor and how she set up that scene.
The interactions at the boarding school are the only weak links for me. Jill hasn’t made a great impression on me yet. Though she does serve an interesting purpose with her spirit bond to Adrian. Eddie, her guardian, is great, and new character Angeline has potential. There could be some interesting things in store for the next book and I’m keeping an open mind there.
Adrian is still a standout character, and one of the reasons this series works so well. His one-liners are hilarious and he’s so charming but on the other hand he shows a sensitive and protective side as well. You can’t help but hope that things work out for him this time.
I love revisiting the Vampire Academy world through this spinoff, and am pleased with the direction the Bloodlines series is heading. The romance is heating up, and so is the drama. I recommend this series to fans of VA or fans of Mead’s or paranormal books in general. I eagerly await the next book The Indigo Spell, due out in February 2013.