Thursday, September 1, 2011

(Blog Tour) Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (ARC Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Publication.Date  August 23rd 2011
Published By:  Razorbill
WebsiteRichelle Mead
Bloodlines - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC from the publisher ❤
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

     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 Times bestselling 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.

I couldn’t breathe.
There was a hand covering my mouth and another shaking my shoulder, startling me out of a heavy sleep. A thousand frantic thoughts dashed through my mind in the space of a single heart-beat. It was happening. My worst nightmare was coming true.
They’re here! They’ve come for me!
 Evidence? How could I explain that it wasn’t evidence that had driven me to help Rose so much as a feeling in my gut that she was telling the truth? But that was something I knew they’d never understand. All of us were trained to believe the worst of her kind. Telling them that I had seen truth and honesty in her wouldn’t help my cause here. Telling them that I’d been black-mailed into helping her by another vampire was an even worse explanation. There was only one argument that the Alchemists might possibly be able to comprehend.

“No,” said Keith swiftly, turning that steely blue gaze back on me. “There is no way she can come, no way I’m trusting some twisted vamp lover
to screw this up for all of us. We’re taking her sister.”

     Let me start my review with a quote that perfectly illustrates how I felt about the first 350 pages of this book. 
 You see, I suffered from a condition in which bitchiness was a side effect at the mere mention of bullshit. “Sure. Just excuse me while I think of a polite way to say hell no.” - Watched by Sharde Richardson
     I have been pining for this book ever since I first heard about it. Like many other YA fans out there, I was super excited for it and, although I didn’t have a chance to read Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series yet, I heard so many awesome things about her previous works that I knew I HAD TO read her newest release and find out what everyone was raving about. I so wanted to love this book! The premise was intriguing and promising, the characters well developed and Richelle’s writing style is absolutely fantastic – I fell in love with it right from the get-go. How could you possibly go wrong with that? Well, apparently you can! While I liked the setting, the pace was totally off. It was insanely slow. The narrative voice was superb: realistic, smooth and engaging, but where was the action? Why was the plot so sillyWhy-oh-why was the story line focused entirely on dating-related issues, making it look more like some cheap soap opera (Days of our Lives? The Bald and The Beautiful?) rather than a badass vampire novel I expected. I’m really sorry to say that, but honestly, this book was a disappointment

     Those of you who have read the Vampire Academy series surely remember Sydney, the alchemist that broke the rules to help Rose Hathaway in her quest to save Dimitri. Sydney is back and so are few other VA characters that you might recognize – Eddie, Jill, Adrian… even Rose makes an appearance at the beginning of the book, although she doesn’t really have any major role to play in the story.  Jill Dragomir’s life is in danger. Her sister – Lisa Dragomir – has been elected the new Moroi Queen but not everyone is happy about it. There’s been a lot of protests and dissidence. Not being able to get past Lisa’s security, the attackers targeted Jill. Unfortunately Lisa’s rule is dependent on there being at least one other person in her royal family. Jill, being her only relative, is an easy target. She needs to be sent away somewhere safe until the new law is passed and the “one-extra-member-in-the-royal-family” rule doesn’t apply anymore. Moroi ask the alchemists for help and Sydney gets assigned to protecting Jill. They’re sent to Palm Springs, where together with Eddie, they will be posing as high school students, doing their best to remain undiscovered. “But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning.” 

     Sounds really great, right? In truth, the whole story described above takes place on the first 10 and the last 50 pages of this book, and you could easily skip the rest.  Since the moment Sydney, Jill and Eddie arrive in California all they do is try to figure out who should date who and why. Jill acts like a spoiled bratWhy does she even HAVE TO have a boyfriend? Is it really so hard to lay low for 3 months and try not to attract attention to herself? Is it a Moroi thing? Can’t she really control her hormones for the few weeks it takes to pass the new law? OH-my-gosh, seriously?

     Sydney was a little bit better and I actually felt sorry for her having to babysit the Moroi kids. She was doing her best to keep everyone safe and happy, which proved to be harder than she anticipated, especially with Keith watching her every move and waiting for her to make a mistake. Adrian, on the other hand, was just plain annoying. He was constantly going out of his way to cause trouble. He was partying and drinking, even though he knew what it does to Jill. His constant whining really got on my nerves and made it even more painful for me to get through the boring passages. 

     On the bright side, I really fell in love with Mead’s narrative voice. She definitely knows how to write and if only there was more action and less (pointless) drama, this book would go straight to my top-favorite shelf. Perhaps if I’ve read the VA series before reaching for Bloodlines, I would enjoy this spin-off more. It surely is a character-driven story and I imagine that the Vampire Academy fans will have fun reading about their favorite characters again. I however, didn’t feel the magic here. To me these people were strangers and, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t like them very much.  
     While most of the book was rather slow-paced and, well, boring, the ending came as a total surprise. I loved it.  It was everything I hoped for when I picked up this book. Intense, emotional, thrilling, the last 50 pages of Bloodlines were very rewarding and satisfying. For this fantastic ending alone I am giving this book 3/5 starts, instead of 2/5, which officially makes it “an ok read, but nothing mind-blowing” according to my rating system. 
      The bottom line is: If you read and loved the Vampire Academy books, by all means go get yourself a copy of Bloodlines, you will most likely love it. There are plenty of small references to the VA series throughout the book, plus, like I said before, you will probably enjoy meeting all the VA characters again. If you’re new to Richelle Mead’s vampire world, well, this is not the book to start with. Don’t make the same mistake I did, start with the Vampire Academy. This will save you a lot of disappointment. 

You can read the first chapter of Bloodlines HERE

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing

Blog Tour Stops 
(make sure to visit them all!)
Aug 23 Tynga's Reviews (Cindy Bacon)
Aug 24 Me On Books (Lindsay)
Aug 25 A Cupcake and a Latte (Wendy)
Aug 26 whatchYAreading (Caitlin)
Aug 29 Dreaming of Books (Jenny)
Aug 30 Just a Lil Lost (Michele)
Aug 31 He Followed Me Home (Mel)
Sept 1 Evie Bookish
Sept 2 Ever Expanding Library (Jackie)
Sept 5 Knit Purl Stitch Read & Cook (Aislynn)
Sept 6 Wicked Lil' Pixie (Natasha)
Sept 7 Hands and Home (Bonnie)
Sept 8 Snowdrop Dreams of Books (Chrystal) 
Sept 9 Just Another Story (Sara)
Sept 12 Bibliomama (Allison)
Sept 13 Esther's Ever After (Brenna)
Sept 14 Simply Stacie
Sept 15 Krystal's Stellar Book Blog
Sept 16 Today's Adventure (Vanessa)
Sept 19 Lost for Words (Corrine)


Bonnie said...

Evie, what a let down. I'm sorry it just wasn't that good for you. I'm about 100 pages in so the story is just starting to get going for me. I am loving Mead's writing though. I also haven't read the VA series yet (I bought it, loaned it out to my mom, who gave it to my grandma and I haven't had time to read them yet) but have heard fantastic things about it.

Munnaza said...

I've heard a lot about Vampire Academy, but I haven't read it either. I actually didn't know Rachel Mead had written other books, so I was immediately interested in this review, and I'm glad I did. It sounds like this book just... drags and I'm really sick of seeing "silly vampire novels" everywhere. *sigh* Thank you so much for this review. I may just read it to check it out for myself, but it sounds like I'm definitely taking this off my immediate to-read list.

Hayley said...

I'm reading it right know, and I'm liking it alot. Bit it's not as good as VA :( But I <3 Adrian :P

Obsession with Books said...

I loved the Vampire Academy books but couldn't really get into Bloodlines so it's on hold for the time being.

A great review Evie :)

Kathy said...

I have heard alot of mixed things about this book. A lot of comments are that it's not as good as the VA series. Thanks for your review. I am reading the VA series first, and will pick up Bloodlines when I am done, so I am curious to see what I will think.

Unknown said...

After I was done with Harry Potter, I was desperate for some series of novels that would keep me occupied & somebody had suggested Vampire Academy. So I read the series on a rebound from HP.

I think all the books so far are same in the matter that the focus is too much on, like you said, 'dating'. But there was some action in the other books. I really can't decide whether to bother reading Bloodlines...


Giselle said...

Haha love the pictures! I loved Vampire Academy but this one has been receiving not too great reviews I'm almost scared to read it and be very disappointed.

Giselle Cormier

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

Darn! I didn't have much interest in reading VA because I'm tired of the vampire thing, but the alchemy aspect of this one intrigued me. I'm really sorry to hear it falls flat! Thanks for your honest review =) Saves me some time.

Naj said...

Damn! So sorry it was a disappointment to you. T-T I'm still yet to read it and the mailman is being mean by keeping this book away from me.

And! I DO STALK YOU! *stalk stalk* Haha. <3

Happy Reading Evie!

Tiffany Holme said...

I have read the VA series and I loved it and have spread the love to a couple of my friends3> I am so looking forward to reading this book but have read many mixed reviews so I am not really sure what to expect.

Lorrra18 said...

I am so excited about this book and I hope it would be as good as the last VA series.

FairyWhispers said...

Wow, I tought it'll be good with all the exciement,


Unknown said...

I've never read any of the VA books yet! The cats pictures made me LOL! Great review!

mk said...

Great review. I've read the VA books and I've been waiting for this one for so long that I'm going insane cuz I can't have it right away. I know how Mrs. Mead's books begin and I have a pretty good idea what to expect. You should read the whole VA series and you'll see how great they are!

Jessica Louise said...

This is a fantastic book!!! Richelle Mead is my favorite author! Vampire Acadmey was awesomea and this is just awesome!!!

The More the Merrier said...

I've read both the VA series and Bloodlines and I really liked both of them. I suspected this one would have less action because the main character was an alchemist and not a dhampire but I enjoyed it one the less. I've read a ton of mixed reviews for this book. I guess you either really like or you really don't. Thanks for the review.

Chen Yan Chang said...

I read the Vampire Academy series, so I loved Bloodlines. There's not much action in Bloodines b/c Sydney is not a fighting type character which Rose is. But it's nice to see a different perspective from a non-vampire person in a vampire world. And I loved the cameos from VA in this book which was fun for me :)

I really loved the pics of the cats in describing your feelings about the book! So funny and cute!

brandileigh2003 said...

Sorry you were disappointed, but I enjoyed it as a different part of a world I love.

Anonymous said...

Oooh! I'm currently reading the Vampire academy series and I'm dying to read this book!

Unknown said...

Aww, I'm sorry that it ended up being disappointing for you. I quite enjoyed it, though not as much as I had enjoyed VA. Rose and Sydney are both awesome characters and I agree, I did feel sorry for Sydney as she's one of the very few responsible ones out there.

Unknown said...

this book it's amazing, i love it

monika.love96 said...

I wish to read this books.I love it!

franchie15 said...

Aww. I haven't read this. But I've read Vampire Academy. And I think we had the same feeling! I got super excited for it since a lot of people are raving about it. But when I finished reading, I was kind of disappointed. :( But oh well, I think I'll give this a try. Thanks for the honest review! :)

Anonymous said...

I loved this book. I'm one of the few people who liked it more than VA but that's maybe because I love Adrian so much. lol. And I loved how Dimka showed up at the end.

Debdatta Dasgupta said...

I like Adrian... but thats about it!!!

Enbrethiliel said...


Your (perfectly valid) complaint about the story focussing entirely on dating-related issues made me laugh. There are some books that have more plot to them and better pacing that are still all about dating. And they suffer for it just as much.

Have you read Lauren Kate's Fallen? There's a scene in which another character tells the heroine that her narrow world begins and ends with whether or not the cute guy in school asks her out--and it is such a damning insult because it is so true! That the cute guy is also a fallen angel and that the world really will begin and end on their love doesn't make it better; it makes it worse! As if dating-related issues are that important. =/

Gaby said...

Read this book but it was good but in my opinion it needed more lovin'. I love Richelle Mead"S work :)

Imel Cullen said...

love this spin off, I love Adrian ivashkov^^

Tanja - Tanychy said...

I really love Richelle's writing but this series is not as good as Vampire Academy. Even though I wasn't so much disappointed still I think she could do it better.

Atmika@I Talk Books! said...

I agree with you. This book is quite slow.
Have you read The golden lily? It's better. But here is still less action in this series than VA.

Dovile said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I've got Bloodlines on my shelf and all the books in VA series except Last Sacrifice, so as soon as I get it, I'll read them all. I can't wait!

Freya Oliver said...

Yes the book is slow and has little action but I don't care. I love VA and Bloodlines. And it's better in The Golden Lily. Can't wait for the third book.

Unknown said...

I love this book even tho It's kinda slow. It's ok. It's still exciting and I'm looking forward for the next books. I've read also the VA books. and they are awesome too. I really like Mead books, they are kinda romantic and adventure type :) Hope you'll read the other books, tho~ :D

phie said...

Richelle Mead is one of my fave author but seems like this book just a "so-so". Hmmm.. But I guess I'll try to read it ^^

Lylo said...

Great review!! I haven't read this...because I'm currently reading the Vampire academy series and I'm dying to read this book! Thanks for an awesome review!

gracelo said...

I haven't yet read the VA series, but I was hoping on reading it soon. I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy Bloodlines, and hope that maybe the next few would be a bit better.

Sofia Loves Books said...

In the beginning you made me doubt my decision to buy bloodlines but thank God in the end you changed it.I am sorry you didn't like Bloodlines

Unknown said...

I haven't started the Vampire Academy yet and I heard it's good. Better not read this one yet. Thanks for the review! Surely helped! :)

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