Bloodlines by Richelle Mead is the first in the Bloodlines series, the spinoff from Vampire Academy. It follows the story of young Alchemist Sydney Sage whom we met in the Vampire Academy series. In it, Sydney is tasked with protecting Jill Mastrano in Palm Springs and in order to do so attends an elite boarding school with her. We learn more about the Alchemists and also some secrets about Vampire Academy characters are revealed.
To be honest, Bloodlines didn’t grab me nearly as much as Vampire Academy did. With VA we were introduced to interesting characters and they drew us into their fascinating world. While reading VA I had been interested to learn more about the Alchemists, but other than Sydney the Alchemists we meet in Bloodlines are very unsympathetic characters which killed any interest I had in learning about their organisation.
What I liked
Sydney. I did like Sydney in Bloodlines, and I feel her character has great scope for development. I would love to see her develop from a competent if anxious and insecure operative to the kick ass Alchemist we know she can be. I would also enjoy seeing her deal with the prejudices she’s carrying around from her upbringing. However, I’m not sure that that is enough to make me want to continue with this series.
The magic. There were some new forms of magic hinted at in this book and I was intrigued by these. What is the story with Sydney’s blood and what’s up with Ms Terwilliger? These are intriguing hooks for the rest of the series.
Pacing. Once again Mead kept the story moving along. There were no points at which it dragged for me.
What I didn’t like
Unsympathetic characters. Poor Sydney does seem to be involved with some unsavoury characters within the Alchemists. While I can empathise with her, I really don’t feel like learning more about this narrow-minded, cruel group.
While I enjoyed Bloodlines to some extent and it contained some intriguing hooks for the rest of the series, for me personally at this point I probably won’t be continuing with it. That could change; initially I didn’t warm to Vampire Academy.
I gave Bloodlines three stars out of five.