Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: (Bloodlines #1)
Published: August 23rd 2011 by Razorbill

I believe this book is a treat to all Adrian fans out there (myself included). Let’s face it, the end of Last Sacrifice sucks big time for him. Is there a need to explain how? I think there’s no reason for that. There’s no need to open old wounds.

I wasn’t planning to read it (translation: I don’t read spin-off). But I need to break my rules here. I saw lots of promotions for its release, from excerpts (four chapter sneak peak) to book trailer (which I highly disagree—man that’s not Adrian in my mind) I couldn’t help but to cave in. And it’s about Adrian (mainly my reason), he’s the main guy here—finally. I want to witness first hand the transition of his character. I also believe he’s more than what he was in VA series. If there’s chance to see his character grow then I don’t mind breaking my rule.

Because it wasn’t my plan to read it, I kinda set the bar a little lower (and the fact that I was thoroughly disappointed with Last Sacrifice). If it isn’t obvious already this one is for Adrian. But I never expected to actually like it (tons of Adrian screen time is just a bonus). I mean, I really, really like it. Was it action-kick-ass-packed as Vampire Academy? Frankly… no. But it didn’t make it less appealing to me, if not, it was highly enjoyable. My other worry is the chosen main heroine here—Sydney. She didn’t left a big impression on me. I didn’t peg as a heroine type. So I was really curious how it’ll play out. But here’s another surprise, I DID like her.

IMHO, Sydney and Rose are polar opposite. Sydney is a responsible, nerdy chick. Rose is reckless and disobedient type. Sydney isn’t as strong as Rose (personality and ability wise). While I was used to Rose (after reading 6 books in the series), Sydney’s take of the same world is actually refreshing. Honestly, I actually like how she narrates the story. I was expecting… less, since I hardly remember her in the other series. She’s certainly different from Rose but I actually prefer Sydney than her. One of the few reasons why I enjoy this book.

Now about Adrian, like I said I wanted to know more about him. I refused to believe that he is just a drank, spirit user who was cheated by her now ex-girlfriend. I don’t believe that. And once again, I was in for a pleasant surprise. I did get what I originally wanted. I did get a dose of Adrian and more. I learned more how this dude suffer with her former relationship (if you could call it a relationship, be my guest). I learned that he could be charming (than he already is) and he could be funny too. It was actually nice to see him not moping around with a drink in his hand but instead cleaning his place and taking a bus. Was it a demotion from his previous lifestyle? I don’t think so. Actually prefer him this way. Did it loose his bad boy appeal? Again, no. It wasn’t a complete change of personality, but something is gradually changing in him. And I take it positively.

Now for the romance. When I saw the book trailer I was raising my eyebrows, like “is this for real? Sydney and Adrian? How? When? What? Why?” Yep, I completely appalled with the idea. I don’t even see a tiniest chemistry between them (I’m relying on my knowledge of the previous series). After reading it, I think I approved the relationship. Was it like Rose/Dimitri, you know, tons of chemistry oozing with sexual tension? Not even a quarter (like only 1% of it). But I like Mead take on their relationship, it is slowing building. When they met again in this book, just like me, Adrian didn’t remember her at first. But they did spent time together that will lead them to know more about each other. But it didn’t end up them falling in love (thank goodness it didn’t). They’re not exactly I can now consider “friends”, but there are now acquainted. I hope Mead will be consistent with this development. I prefer relationship have solid foundation than physical attraction. And besides, if there’s one thing Sydney can give to Adrian that is a positive attitude. I think Sydney is a great influence on him. About time to see another side of Adrian Ivashkov.

To summarize, I like Bloodlines. I like it better than Vampire Academy. I like Sydney than Rose. And I prefer the relationship of Adrian/Sydney than Rose/Dimitri. I like the plot that Ms. Mead is cooking. And as a last note, I think the spin-off did work this time!