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Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines

Author: Richelle Mead

Publication Date: August 23, 2011

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary (from Barnes & Noble): When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Timesbestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive – this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

Review:
I was a bit skeptical about reading a book set in the Vampire Academy world that was not told in the voice of Rose Hathaway. Rose was such a gung-ho, fearless girl without a plan who jumped in anyway, that I was worried anyone else would pale in comparison.

Not even close. Sydney was bad-ass in her own way, quietly doing what was right even though those around her may not agree with the decisions that she made. Sydney is not one to sit back and let things happen, she is spunky and courageous and is a girl who most if us can relate to. Sydney slowly grew on me throughout her appearances in Vampire Academy, but this book launched me into a whole new realm of adoring her.

I have to say that my favorite thing about this book is that Adrian is back. Along with his sarcastic humor, dry wit and general recklessness and wild abandonment. I adored Adrian in the Vampire Academy series and was SO GLAD that Richelle decided to bring him along for the new adventure. It’s also fun to see some other minor characters make major appearances here, like Eddie and Jill. It’s fun to start a new adventure and have a few old friends along ti spice things up and keep it interesting!

I adored this book just as much as I adored the Vampire Academy series and I cannot wait for it to continue. Richelle did an amazing jot of moving the plot along and leaving clues here and there that subtly lead us to the big wrap-up at the end. However, it’s definitely left wide-open enough to make you want the next book now. Sadly, we have to wait until April. But I know I’ll be getting it on day one!!

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Posted by on 12 October, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Book Review: Slayer Chronicles: First Kill by Heather Brewer

Title: Slayer Chronicles: First Kill

Author: Heather Brewer

Publication Date: September 20, 2011

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary (from Barnes & Noble): Joss McMillan’s perfect life crashes down the night he witnesses his sister’s murder — at the hands of a vampire. He then finds out his family’s secret heritage: They are part of the Slayer Society, a group whose mission is to rid the world of vampires. Joss is their new recruit. As Joss trains, bent on seeking revenge for his sister, he discovers powers that could make him the youngest, strongest Slayer in history. But there is a traitor in the Society, one whose identity would shake Joss to the core . . . if the traitor doesn’t kill him first.

With over a million copies already in print, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is still sinking its fangs into new readers every day. Now, bestselling author Heather Brewer brings us the other side of the story, from the perspective of Vlad’s former friend turned mortal enemy: vampire slayer Joss McMillan. This is the first in a series of five books that can be read alongside Vlad Tod or entirely on their own.

Review: 

Joss is a character that I have longed to know more about since reading the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod and Heather Brewer is certainly granting my wish. And when I picked up the book I so wanted to love this book as much as I adored the Vlad Tod stories. I wanted to love Joss as much as I loved Vlad. And while neither of those things came true, I did enjoy the book a great deal and felt it was a nice distraction from my school work and work commitments.

From the beginning you understand Joss’ motivation, as anyone who witnessed their sister’s murder at the hands of a vampire would be itching to get revenge. It serves him well as he ventures off for the summer to train as a slayer under the watchful eye of his uncle. The training is tough on the pre-teen boy and you can feel his pain, anger and frustration radiate from the page.  However, while I felt that the training at times was too rough and too painful, it was clear that there was a point behind pushing Joss to his absolute limits and Heather Brewer does a fantastic job of going just far enough over the line without reaching a level that would make it unreadable.

One thing that disappointed me about this book, in stark difference to Vlad, was how weak and un-interesting I found the side characters. None of them jumped out at me or appeared half as interesting as Henry, Nelly or Otis. I felt that they were there merely to serve a single purpose, to train Joss, and that you were not supposed to get to know them as people. I hope that if we see any of these characters again that they will be more fleshed out and make me care about them more.

When the book wrapped to a close there were a few questions that were left unanswered, and while I suppose that is fitting of the first book of a series, I felt unfulfilled. I suppose I shall have to wait til the next installment arrives before I will be able to fulfill my curiosity!

 

 
 

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