Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead
Published between 2011-2015
I’d always been a fan of Vampire Academy with Rose and Lissa so when that movie came out and completely flopped, I was so disappointed. It could have been something great but it totally crashed and burned. Thankfully, Richelle did not give up on her books and the vampire academy world still went on with a new spinoff series called Bloodlines. At first, I was a little skeptical about it simply because it no longer followed Rose and Lissa (and their hot men) and essentially brought up a whole different aspect in the vampire academy world – the alchemists. I don’t even remember this whole sub-category of humans being brought up in the original series so I was a little like “ehhhh” but because I liked the original, I figured I’ll give this series a shot. I’m actually glad I did.
While Sydney was certainly different from a dhamphir or a Moroi, I found her voice and personality to be charming. Though, admittedly, at the beginning, she was a tad annoying with her strict demeanor and whatnot but at the same time, you can tell that she has a lot of depth to her and strength and courage that a lot of her fellow alchemists didn’t have. She gradually warmed up to me and that was when I was able to find her charming and quirky. I did enjoy the random facts that she would sometimes announce because she’s so incredibly smart. I’m actually shocked at how intelligent she is and to be honest, I’m surprised at her relationship with Adrian simply because he’s the definition of a party guy who’s always drinking and doesn’t usually try to use his brain very much. They just seemed so different in personality not to mention the whole alchemists hate Moroi aka evil beings of the dark.
I also really enjoyed the whole human magic aspect that was brought up in this book since that was also something that was not mentioned in the original series. It was as if Richelle was like “hmm, I’m going to add a random category of humans who hate vampires but are willing to work with them for the greater good but secretly hate them and, oh yes, normal humans who dabble in magic”. Kind of random but it all worked out in the end. My favorite character in the magical realm was definitely Hopper, the demon that is actually more a dragon pet and seems adorable.
Adrian, who is supposedly swoon-worthy, is no longer just a side show but a main character in this series. He didn’t get his own POV until the third book, I believe, so before that, we had to get everything about Adrian from Sydney’s POV and while that was interesting, his side was definitely more so. I really started to understand the whole spirit usage a lot more and how it can really make the user go literally crazy. The ending was also really nice with him because he learned to realize what was truly important in his life and was able to let one of them go to focus on what was truly important.
The other side characters: Eddie, Jill, Neil, Sydney’s teacher (I forgot her name), and even Angeline were all vital to the book in general. The characters were all very well developed and even though they were just technically side characters, they all played a major role. Even Rose and Lissa played a semi major role in the last two books so for those who miss them, fear not because they show up in this series.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and even though I have resigned to the fact that this series and the original one is not meant to be on the big screen (maybe a TV series…?) but in writing, they are quite fabulous and the world is beautifully crafted. I highly recommend this one if you’re into vampires, forbidden romance, secrets, magic and pure adventure.