Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is gonna be in third person . . . *forehead slap*
C'mon, Richelle. You're not meant for third person. We found that out in KISSES FROM HELL.
YOU NEED TO COME OUT TOMORROW. What if Judgement Day on Sunday strikes me down and I die not knowing what happened to Sydney? (*knock on wood*)
It's coming today!, Oh, golly, IT'S COMING TODAY!
IN THREE HOURS!
Hopefully I don't fall out of love with Mead and become like these:
EDIT #2: 8.25.11
It just arrived. Just now.
In related news,
Thank GOD Sydney doesn't look as deathly pale on the REAL cover as she does online. That would be really bad.
Finalized Review (8.26.11)
Bloodlines is nothing short of deserving of a chapter-by-chapter review. This will be super interesting, considering I've never attempted to do one of these before. Mead is just such an interesting author, and I feel a need to do it.
So, without further ado . . .
This eighteen-page chapter is undeserving of the title "Interesting." In fact, I'd think it's more deserving of the title "Boring as Shit." Even that might be an understatement. I'm sure if Mead wasn't looking for unsubstantiated length and was looking for making the beginning interesting in any way, she would've condensed the chapter, maybe made it about 10 pages shorter. A lot of the dialogue was unnecessary, only adding length to make it thicker and make people with the more-is-better aura about them happy.
Hmm. Whataya know? The scene isn't even over! In fact, you get a total of 34 pages of this Perpetual Scene of Incessant Dialogue. Doesn't that sound fun? The two chapters together could have probably survived having been combined and sliced in half, if not more. Mead elaborates and elaborates and really she could have started the book in the third chapter while revealing small tidbits of information from the first two chapters and adding tension to the story, but you're not looking for tension, are you, Mead? It definitely would have made the story more enrapturing.
Sydney is totally outspoken and seems really lame. She's definitely not the Rose-Georgina-Eugenie-type main characters I've come to expect from Mead.
Yeah. The story would have been much better had Mead condensed the first two chapters into review spread periodically throughout this chapter. Although she wouldn't have been able to use the oh-so-creative "I couldn't breathe" opening line, it would have made for a better overall product.
The majorly good thing about this chapter is the appearance of Adrian in this chapter, along with the awesome Abe Mazur. Those two characters made the beginning of this book bearable. Sydney left me at a loss for words. I mean, really. You could have at least given your main character a mildly interesting personality. Sydney is not, however, an interesting main character. She is a .
Chapter Four is exactly what I feared it would be: more scintillating (yeah, right), vivid and endless discussion. However, following the addition of Adrian and Abs, we now have our fearless ex-narrator stepping into the spotlight. This is disappointingly her only cameo, if I'm recalling this all correctly. Rose is the most badass character to step onto the page in this book, which is sad but good. Mead wants you to continue loving her, and you will as long as she's the baddest one around.
Rose's dialogue seems contrived to me for some reason, like it's not really her. Maybe it's just because I'm not hearing her thoughts and I'm not reading the book from her PoV. I'd much rather have Rose narrating at this point than the cardboard ex-plot-device that Sydney is.
You know what? This doesn't even feel like a new series to me. It just feels like Vampire Academy book seven, but Mead needed a fresh new voice and decided to switch it up.
I love how it takes 71 pages to do what they need to do to get the book rolling, am by that I mean I love how it takes 71 pages to get to the school.
It would have taken 1 without all the stupid, relentlessly boring dialogue that preceded their arrival, but I feel like Mead needed that little bit for length and self-justification.
Anyway, this chapter is all about their accommodations and adjustments and settling in to the school. Blahblahblah.
In this glorious chapter, we learn how much of a nerd Sydney truly is on the inside and how unlike Rose she is. In a book about Rose, Mead wouldn't have written entire scenes about her being in class. She'd write entire scenes about her kicking ass (which is her specialty). Can you tell I love and miss Rose's narration?
Mead knows how her fans think, and she knows they'll think this book is absolute dog-shit without Adrian's support. Adrian is officially my favorite male character to walk the page of the VA/Bloodlines series. I think Mead really screwed up making Rose stay with Dimitri in VA. He totally doesn't deserve her. And, you know, Rose and Adrian only have a three-year age difference. That's better than seven.
Just sayin'. It wouldn't have been as illegal.
Chapters Eight Through Twenty Seven
These chapters definitely up the ante, something much needed after the shit-fest of the first seven chapters. The foreshadowing in this book is something Mead is very skilled with. She uses it wonderfully.
Overall, as a first book in a series, it's better than Vampire Academy as far as actual plotting and structure go. The main character is obviously better in VA, but that's a given. No one really likes an MC that's outspoken and quiet.
I was really happy upon learning that the series would be written from first person instead of third. Third person and Mead just don't intermingle. Kisses from Hell proved that.
The climax reminded me a lot of Frostbite, and when you read it, you'll understand.
The Moral of the Review: Don't let the sickening first seven chapters annoy you! Keep on reading. I promise it'll be worth it.