Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

BLOODLINES by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines, #1
Publication Date: August 23rd 2011 by Razorbill

Summary: 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.

Review Overview:

  • 3/4 development, 1/4 action – just like the books in the Vampire Academy series
  • Sydney is hard to like and her chemistry with Adrian doesn’t match up to Rose/Adrian
  • Some “secrets” ended up being predictable but there were also a lot of things I didn’t see coming toward the end

Since I’ve read the Vampire Academy series, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect in this book based on Mead’s writing style: 3/4 development with a little bit of action, 1/4 climax with tons of action and surprises. BLOODLINES definitely followed that format and for that reason, I did feel a bit anxious towards the middle to just get to the “good part”. The ARC is a hefty 400 pages long so it is understandable that I got a bit restless. BLOODLINES is long. Sometimes I felt like the book dragged on a bit because there was too much development. The world has already been established – at least for me – but it is necessary just in case new readers decide to pick it up.

I think what made this more difficult for me to read was the fact that I was never a huge fan of Sydney in the Vampire Academy series. She’s the complete opposite of Rose: she’s prim, proper, and rule-abiding. I guess I can now see where her character is coming from as I learned more about the Alchemists and I understand how she is always under pressure to perform well. She is probably a lot more like me than Rose ever was, so I think my problem is with the belief system of the Alchemists. Mead sold me the world of vampires, so it’s suddenly hard to make the switch into the world of Alchemists where they think that vampires are all sorts of evil.

For those who are a fan of Adrian, you’ll be happy to know that he plays a huge role in BLOODLINES. While he is pretty much still the same charming and self-centered Adrian, it just wasn’t the same with Rose out of the picture. I can see that Mead is trying to set up something between Adrian and Sydney, but I just don’t feel it. I’m a die-hard Team Dimitri, but even I think that Adrian and Rose had a lot more chemistry than Sydney and Adrian.

I was a bit disappointed for most of the book since I thought that I had most of the plot figured out. While I did guess two major secrets along the way before Sydney found out, Mead managed to catch me by surprise towards the end of the book.

If you’re reading BLOODLINES in hopes of catching a cameo of Rose or Dimitri and have no other interest in reading this book, you probably shouldn’t pick it up. Rose and Dimitri’s appearances are very minimal and you’ll wind up disappointing yourself if that’s all that you’re looking for.

However, if you want another perspective into this vampire world that Mead has created, you should definitely pick it up. While the first book is just okay for me, I hope to like the series more and more as I read more installments – just as I had with the Vampire Academy series.


  1. Getting this as soon as it comes out hehe xD. I liked Sydney in VA so hopefully I’ll continue to like her here even though I think she should eat more food.

  2. “huge role in BLOODLINES. ”

    Yay! I always liked Adrian’s snark :) and I never liked Rose (she was too arrogant for my taste) so I’m curious about this spin off.

    I don’t think it’s you, it’s Mead’s writing. I remember complaining about it, that she would go on and on about the vamp mythology in almost every VA book. So when I read them back to back I was like dear gawd this again?

    I’m expecting this to be a huge letdown yet I still want to read it. Is that wrong?

    1. Hah! Definitely not wrong… I really didn’t even like the VA series until book 3 or 4 so my expectations overall were pretty low for Bloodlines. It’s the start of the series and maybe it will get better from here on after.

      Hm, maybe you’ll end up liking this since Adrian’s snarkiness is now targeted at someone else. :P

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