Friday, June 21, 2013

The Heart of an Artist

"And yet, yesterday's events--and even the alley attack---
had begun making me re-analyze my worldview.
Vampires weren't the only monsters out there.
They were hardly monsters at all,
especially next to these...
How could I judge the enemy on race?
I was being reminded more and more 
that humans were just as capable of evil
--and that vampires were capable of good.
It was actions that mattered..."
--Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Razorbill, 418 pages
Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: Bloodlines

Goodreads Description

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart? span>

My Thoughts

Oh the tangled web you weave Sydney...I loved reading this next chapter in the Bloodlines series. Why? Mostly because seeing Sydney's walls come down and her armor crack in her beliefs about the true evil of the world was both kickass and enlightening. The direction Sydney's internal story takes was my absolute fave...well, second favorite, we can't forget about Adrian. But I'll get to that ;) 

SO, we have another faction of people trying to take down vampires in this book and their means are less than honorable...and they're human. Because of this, Sydney begins to see the people around her and not the vampires. That those she surrounds herself with are good and noble and look out for one another...and she sees the evil that humans are capable of and she begins to see the errors of the way she was brought up...FINALLY! Yes, oh my gosh I was SO happy to finally see her admitting this. Thus, my chosen quote at the top. Love it.

The relationship development between all the characters is another favorite part of mine. The 'family' dynamics are always entertaining and I love seeing their interactions. Eddie--oh my gosh, LOVE! Jill is so unassuming and just lovely. I don't know any other way to describe her. I really like her and think her character is one who will only grow to be extraordinary...I have a feeling a lot of great things are going to come from this little one. While I'm always telling Betty how Adrian the poor bastard can't catch a know who else can't catch one? Jill! Oh man, I just want her to be happy and she is just a plethora of bad timing, missed communication and poor luck. Ugh, I just want her to be happy. 

The plot of the story continues to twist and unfold. There is so much more to the world of the vampires than we ever get to see in Vampire Academy. I think VA is more introspective in regards to the story of the Moroi and dhampire, whereas Bloodlines is definitely looking at the bigger picture. It was SO interesting to see the whole of this world and how it affects and is affected by world around them. 

Favorite part of the story?...Uh, Adrian, hello?! I. Love. Him. He is just so endearing to me and how he gets all fierce and protective when it comes to Sydney is totally swoony. And there's a part a me that loves how clueless she is about it. His desire to finally be something better is another FINALLY situation. He can be so much more than what he's been beaten down to think. His father? Ugh. And his speech to Sydney at the end?! I was so touched. For so many reasons on so many levels what he says to her is just so beautiful. It is what I would want a guy to say to me one day. If I was questioning my love for Adrian before--and trust me I WASN'T--this would have cemented it. The battle for their love in a world that thinks it is taboo is beginning...and I can't wait to see where it goes. 

Should You Read This? Ya...duh...

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