‘Bloodlines': The Reviews Are In For Richelle Mead’s ‘Vampire Academy’ Spin-Off!

By now, most dedicated “Vampire Academy” fans have picked up their copy of the first book in Richelle Mead’s spin-off series, “Bloodlines.” But there are, no doubt, a bunch of readers on the fence, either because they’re not “VA” addicts, or they’re such addicts, they’re not sure they’ll be able to stomach a whole series focused on human alchemist Sydney and her dealings with other secondary “VA” characters.

We at Hollywood Crush have decided it’s not our place to decide for you, even though we’re going to declare “Bloodlines” our Summer Beach Read of the week. Instead, here are what other reviewers on the Web had to say about it:

The Plot
“Disgraced alchemist Sydney Sage has a lot to prove on her next mission. She has fallen out of the alchemists’ good graces because of her role in hiding the fugitive dhampir Rose Hathaway. She is suspected of getting too friendly with the vampires, so now she has to ace this new job of protecting moroi Jill Mastrano, the half sister of Queen Vasilisa Dragomir, or she faces a dreaded re-education. She is sent to a boarding school in Palm Springs, CA, to pose as Jill’s sister and help protect her from the rebels who want her dead so that the Queen will have to rescind her throne.” —Lucy, TheReadingDate.com

“I will say that ’Bloodlines’ absolutely has that first in a series feel to it. I thought it was all exposition. There’s a larger problem presented at the beginning that never gets solved, and it’s obvious we will have to wait til the second book. I don’t have a problem with that, however, I feel like ’Bloodlines’ isn’t able to stand on its own. However, I bet as part of the larger picture it is fine.” —April, GoodBooksandGoodWine.com

The Characters
“Sydney makes ’dealing with crap’ such a full-time job, it’s amazing the girl has time to sleep… And I’ll admit, at first, you kind of want to slap her for it! But after time, it becomes apparent that it takes far more strength to be Sydney than it does to be Rose. Instead of adopting a fist-flying, mouthing-off bull in a china shop approach when wronged or irritated, Sydney’s more likely to simmer quietly until the right moment, then mix a devastating potion that will have her enemies begging her for mercy.” —Alice Marvels

“Sydney… has this steely determination that I really admired about her, especially in the beginning of the book. Can I just say that I have no respect for her father after the opening scene. Luckily when she’s away from her father, Sydney becomes more courageous, and she’s incredibly smart and so sarcastic! She can definitely dish out the one liners and the chemistry between her and Adrian is fabulous! The two of them made me laugh out loud more than a few times.” —MundieMoms

“I am so glad Adrian is in this book! Every time he comes up it’s like the sun shines on the pages of the book.” —Taschima Cullen, BloodyBookaholic

The Mystery
“While ’Bloodlines’ was GREAT, it does feel as though Mead is recycling general story lines, so for me, there weren’t many surprises. I had the whodunit figured out before I was halfway through the novel. There are several similarities between new characters and old (by old, I mean dead). But I think she plays those up on purpose, like a little deja vu. Which also makes me curious if she draws a parallel story line in ’Bloodlines’ on purpose to reinforce the idea that humans and Moroi aren’t so different.” —Jennifer, TheBawdyBookBlog.com

The Theme
” ’Bloodlines’ stands out from the crowded vampire genre because it’s not centered on a human-vampire romance, which is considered quite repulsive. Sydney is very clear on the subject: ’Humans and vampires can’t be together! It’s disgusting and wrong.’ Instead, ’Bloodlines’ is about the complications of an old culture centered on old beliefs that doesn’t necessarily translate to a new generation. While there are a few love stories throughout the book, the focus on Sydney’s internal struggle is quite refreshing.” —Summer Moore, The Associated Press

Now it’s your turn. Leave your “Bloodlines” reviews in the comments below or tell us on Twitter!