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Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid acivil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...*
Bloodlines is the first book in Richelle Mead's latest YA series (also titled 'Bloodlines'), a spin-off series from her popular Vampire Academy novels, but Bloodlines will follow a set of characters who were relatively minor in the first series, specifically Sydney, Adrian, Jill and Eddie.
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All in all, this is an excellent read and I'm sure VA readers won't need my encouragement to pick up Bloodlines. The characters are engaging, the plot exciting and the dialogue witty: Mead at her best, to say the very least. The high school element isn't really a large part of the novel either, so older readers shouldn't find themselves frustrated with petty teenage drama. The only disappointing thing about this book for me is that it had to end, but even the ending is a hook. The last line sets up where Book 2 will begin so perfectly that I'm already on the edge of my seat.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
As an extra, this series was, according to Mead, supposed to be told in third person, with each chapter in a different character's point of view. In that version of the book, it was going to begin with Adrian. Seeing as that's all changed now, Mead officially released Adrian's lost chapter just prior to the Bloodlines release. You can read it here.