After finishing my ARC of Bloodlines earlier this week, I was curious to see where it all started. (My review of Bloodlines will be posted on August 30th, as part of the Penguin blog tour.)
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical to this series… I wondered if I’d enjoy it or if this would test me on whether I’m all vampired-out. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised! It’s actually quite good and reads a bit older than a “YA” book. (With even a few f-bombs dropped!)
The narrator is Rose, a dhampir whose best friend is a Moroi vampire (Vasilissa). To be honest, for the first little while, I wondered if I had borrowed the wrong book in the series! The way that some parts of the story was told, I wasn’t sure if it was referring to something in a past book that had already happened, or a way of subtly revealing bits of a mystery that would soon be answered. I like when that kind of storytelling is used, but it seemed a bit too presumptuous… or maybe the way it was worded.. made me question if there was another series prior to Vampire Academy that I completely missed out on. Perhaps Richelle Mead perfected that style moreso in Bloodlines, as I didn’t get that sense at all… but the first bit of this installment left me a little confused as to whether I totally skipped a book.
Nonetheless, the characters are dynamic (and it was nice to see some familiar names come up that were mentioned in the spin-off series). Rose’s feisty nature & self-confidence was a refreshing change from the often demure, “I don’t know why boys like me” persona of female main characters from other books. As any good YA book, there are some mysterious characters, mean girls & guys, and yummy love interests and sexual tension. I’m definitely intrigued to read the rest of the series!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5 stars)