Happy Monday all! I know I haven’t posted a review lately but last month had been so incredibly busy for me. That…and the majority of the books I read were actually adult and not YA, so unfortunately I didn’t have much content to work with for April. No worries though, I was still able to get a few books in and attend the RT book convention in Chicago, which by the way, was amazing in every single way. I met some of my favorite authors like Cynthia Hand of the Unearthly series, and Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series. It was so exciting! I was basically the 23-year-old fangirl amidst all the teenagers that attended…but boy was it worth it. Regardless, I was able to obtain an ARC of The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead along with a bunch of other books that haven’t been released just yet. It was one of the 18 books I got for free! Totally worth it — I definitely recommend attending RT 2013 for those of you in Kansas City next year. I learned a lot of neat stuff that had me motivated to write for days!
The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.
Spin-offs are extremely tricky especially when it comes to books that are popular to begin with. I was a huge Adrian fan in the Vampire Academy series so I knew that I had to read the Bloodlines series — though a part of me knew it would be difficult to do so. Why? Because I think a huge part of the reason why I loved Adrian so much in the Vampire Academy series was because he was so nonchalant and mysterious about everything and everyone. I think some of us are just suckers for those types of guys that keep us guessing while entertained at the same time. So when I heard that Adrian was getting his own series, I knew that Mead would be diving deeper into the mind of our favorite supporting character and showing us a side of Adrian that could possibly change our perspective of him all together.
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead was quite entertaining. I’m beginning to love each and every one of the characters just as much as I did with Rose Hathaway and her crew. That’s the thing about Richelle Mead. She makes us fall in love with all the personalities she creates. And the best part of it all is that everything is so different from before — new place, new crowd, new villains…it’s a breath of fresh air to be honest. I’m a huge fan of Sydney because she’s so different from any other character I’ve ever read and I’m incredibly in love with Eddie as well. He’s so charming!
However, despite the fact that I love Mead’s writing and her wonderful characters, I’ve still got a few bones to pick when it comes to Jill Dragomir’s storyline. I feel like they are just asking for trouble when it comes to keeping Jill safe. I’m not sure if it was Mead’s way of introducing new characters or trying to keep things from getting overly complicated, but I feel like there are way too many flaws with Jill’s security detail. For one thing, why send only two guardians to protect someone so precious to the queen and her crown? In addition to that, the guardian who is supposed to protect her from other vampires can’t even be in the same building with her after dark. The other guardian…is completely untrained, which makes no sense at all. Why bring Angeline into this storyline as a bodyguard when there are probably hundreds of other more qualified dhampirs who have trained for opportunities like this? Angeline — as much as I like her— is clearly unfit for her role and it seems that her presence puts them at even more risk with Eddie having to train her while protecting Jill at the same time.
But I guess that leaves us with the biggest question of them all: Why even have Jill attend school if her life is that essential to the Moroi world? I’ve chosen to ignore that question and accept that we needed a story about Sydney, Adrian and Jill, and this was the best way Mead could do it while keeping it light hearted and fun.
Another issue I had with The Golden Lily — and many of you might disagree with me on this — was Adrian Ivashkov. Don’t get me wrong, I love Adrian. But, somehow, our favorite cigarette-loving-boy in this series failed to convince me that he is worthy of the women he falls for. I always thought that deep down, Adrian was struggling with impossible issues of his own — that secretly, he had suffered in the past or is suffering horribly because of Spirit. After reading The Golden Lily, I realized that I’m not as sympathetic towards Adrian as I think I should be. Yes…Spirit plays a large part in how he acts, but a lot of it is just plain simple: He’s a spoiled spoiled rich kid and has a lot of growing up to do. I honestly don’t think he deserves even Sydney at this point nor could he have ever handled Rose Hathaway. Regardless, I still love him. He still makes me smile and keeps me highly amused. I just hope that Mead can show us that Adrian is worthy of being our hero.
For the most part, the Bloodlines series is much calmer compared to its predecessor. There’s not a lot of action and change of scenery and everything is very very focused on the “high school” drama of the plot. But I guess that’s because we’re no longer dealing with a main character who kicks butt for a living. The Golden Lily is quite entertaining if you’re looking for a more intellectual read in comparison to the usual smack downs and epic battles. However, I still feel like I’m waiting for the ball to get rolling. I’m still waiting for that big OMG-I-can’t-put-the-book-down moment but I’m pretty sure it will come soon. I hear Richelle Mead has a thing for placing turning points in book three so let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Despite the fact that I mostly wrote about the flaws that irked me in this book, I still loved it. I devoured every page and even got my 24-year-old brother to start reading both of the series. He finished The Golden Lily before I even got started! So it is a very entertaining book and I definitely recommend you vampire lovers give it a shot. Richelle Mead is a very good writer and she definitely knows how to capture her readers whether it’s through humor or drama. I do hope that we get some more Jill-Eddie-Angeline deliciousness in the next book and hopefully Jill will finally stop jumping from boy to boy as the series progresses. The theme song I chose for this book is Stolen by Dashboard Confessionals. It reminds me very much of Adrian and Sydney’s story which had me squealing by the end of the book.
Theme Song: Stolen by Dashboard Confessionals
*Photo: Photo credit to Mason Witzel as seen on http://www.flickr.com/photos/31bridgeworks13/5600825824/