Be warned: basically a stream of consciousness review, with no discernible structure. Also some spoilers - all with a warning- ahead
Brilliant. Brillia...moreBe warned: basically a stream of consciousness review, with no discernible structure. Also some spoilers - all with a warning- ahead
Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.
I hadn't enjoyed the Indigo Spell as much as The Golden Lily so much up until the ending (for obvious reasons), but the cliffhanger I could handle. The cliffhanger on this one? It's raising my blood pressure to heart attack levels, and I feel like a drug addict right now. I feel like my being is PHYSICALLY linked to Silver Shadows.
In case you couldn't tell, I thought this book was brilliant. Not just because of Sydrian (of which there was perfectly plenty), and not because of the killer ending. Despite a lack of overly discernible, sometimes confusing plot, the characters in this installment of Bloodlines reached milestones, and became even more loveable and endearing. Hell, it even made me like Jill! Which up till now, I had thought was be a difficult task. I know the sole purpose of a book review is to articulate your thoughts, but I'm having trouble really articulating my feelings at this moment in time. I will say this- few other books have raised my emotions on such a level as this book.
Possible spoilers ahead? A little past the middle of this book, Sydrian was experiencing happiness. Sweet, strong, intense, genuine and believable happiness. And around that time a little knot of anxiety begin to form in my stomach. I knew the proverbial shit would hit the proverbial fan soon... It was almost like a horror movie, actually, in the way the terror begins to build as you anticipate a nasty ending. And it did. Big fucking time. Sure, it was what fans had been speculating since book 1- but it wasn't any less painful.
The best thing about Sydney and Adrians love is that it is so very real, so genuine. Love in movies, books, plays is often so hard and fast. But in the Fiery Heart? I bought it. It wasn't superficial. It was deep, and it was definitely "shown", not just told that "yeah these two characters here love each other with Zero proof and backing". That kind of love/ romance is so unsatisfying as a reader, but here, it was obvious. And it was GLORIOUS. Love isn't always expressed in grandiose gestures. It's rememberingthe little things. It's *spoiler* pretending to forget your phone in a store to go back and buy some brushes and paint for someone. A quick clutching of hands under the table. Pancakes and strawberry jam for breakfast together.
Also, the logic of most characters makes sense. Maybe because we have a very rational heroine helming the Palm Springs ship, but I find that in other works, characters take actions where you're like, "huh? Why the hell are you doing this?" Eg; bad guy takes time to explain his evil plan to the strapped down hero. The Bloodlines series avoids those kinds of crap clichés and leaves you satisfied that all the characters actions, no matter how impulsive or bizarre are always explained.
Another thing to love about this book is the three dimensionality of all the characters, especially Sydney. I love Sydney to bits. There is a pervasive intelligent/ sexual dichotomy which infiltrates the media today. You can only be one or the other, and they're pretty much mutually exclusive. Sydney? She rocks both of those characteristics, and I LOVE it. She does things which feel right to her, including being physical with Adrian. She is in control. As someone who covets knowledge, I relate to her pretty well.
Adrian. Motherfucking. Ivashkov. Honestly speaking? I was dreading the dual perspective of TFH. But what resulted was a surprisingly cohesive perspective alongside Sydney's. I had thought that having so much insight into the enigmatic mind that is Adrian would diminish his lustre or brilliance somehow. On the contrary, if possible, it made me love him more. We see scary glimpses of his mind suffering the aftermath of spirit use. We see declarations of how much Sydney means to him. We see his every insecurity, every weakness laid out right there for everyone to see. I now cherish that insight. How can I possibly love anyone in real life when the perfectly imperfect and trouble ridden Adrian is right there on text? All I know is I want someone with his sharp wit.
Though it pissed me the fuck off that Lissa, Sonya and Nina were mad at Adrian for taking the mood stabilising pills. I literally wanted to slap them all. He was doing something good for himself, something to prevent suicide and depression and they actually got on his back about it. I know they were doing some supposedly groundbreaking work, but I definitely thought they'd be more understanding as spirit users.
The rest of the gang? Interesting, lighter side plots as usual. I feel like I'm a part of the Palm Springs family, and I love all the members.
Zoe? Big Pain In The Ass. Her dad? Unsurprisingly, a Severe Case of Haemorrhoids.
Some appearances from the VA gang was a really nice throwback. Not nearly enough dialogue for Christian though.
Best parts of the book for me many spoilers ahead:
I was under the impression that this would be the last book of Vampire Academy when I began reading it. So I read, anticipating an end to one of my fa...moreI was under the impression that this would be the last book of Vampire Academy when I began reading it. So I read, anticipating an end to one of my favourite series ever! Wow! I was so excited! So much was going to happen in this book! Twists and turns! Pulling at my heartstrings! I flipped the pages, reading almost feverishly! And kept flipping! And flipping... and...my excitement slowly dimmed with each page... wait a second. I've reached the end of the book already? But, hang on. Nothing substantial happened. No, no I must be mistaken, I've skipped something. No, the book really is over!
Literally nothing happened in this damn book. It was pretty much pure filler. It doesn't matter if it wasn't the last book. Many parts of this book could have been culled down. In fact, spirit Bound and The Last Sacrifice could have merged to become one book- it would have sped things up and maybe that might have saved the series for me.
(view spoiler)[ The only really important things that happened was an unbelievably easily executed prison break. Dimitri turned back into a dhampir (most freaking underwhelming and anticlimatic event ever to take place anywhere) and Queen Tatiana was killed. You might say, "but hang on there Azula, it sounds like actually a lot happened!" Yeah- but soooo much of the book was nothing happening. Especially the latter half of the book after Dhampir has been transformed. Many parts of the book were of no significant advancement to the plot- such as the UnderGround secret elite royal moroi memorial service thing. Ugh ajkahfsdf. Pray tell, what did that add exactly to the plot?
And the AAAAAAAAAANGGGGST! I've come to be so repelled by that emotion. Young Adult Literature, unfortunately seems to be rife with it. No, not all young adults want to read constant romantic whining. I can't deal, man. One thing I detest is lingering on smushy unrequited feelings for too long. Look Richelle, I get that you've dragged Rose through shit and back, and she's got kind of a right to be pissed that sweet sweet Dimka is "no longer interested" in her (puh-leeze). But as readers it's not fun to have to keep reading the same thing over and over. (hide spoiler)]
I still love you Richelle! A lot! I was just disappointed and frustrated, especially since your beautiful Golden brain produced the masterpiece that was Shadowkiss! Please refrain from the angst, though!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**spoiler alert** I'm almost ashamed of myself for giving this book THIS rating. I feel guilty- but my love for Bloodlines and the Golden Lily shouldn...more**spoiler alert** I'm almost ashamed of myself for giving this book THIS rating. I feel guilty- but my love for Bloodlines and the Golden Lily shouldn't cloud my review of the Indigo spell as an individual book. That's what I'm trying to tell myself. I had such high hopes for this series. (view spoiler)[ Despite the witch angle that was introduced in the Golden Lily, I still foolishly let myself think it would remain this good. Alas, no.
ROMANCE: Let's not kid ourselves. Most people reading this are shipping Sydrian like no ones business. I certainly am! But I think I've concluded that Richelle Mead excels at building up romances to their zenith before the admission/ reveal happens. After that, it kind of fizzles out. Then it becomes too mushy. At least, that's what happened here with me. I think part of the problem is that this romance was supposed to be a slow burn and take its sweet time (I was hoping the admission would be prolonged to book 3 or 4, maybe even 5) but then there we were dumped with declarations of love and constantly being in each others presence instead. I found this approach too heavy handed, especially for Sydney. Personally, I'm not into that.
I like simple, subtle romance shown in actions , not words. In Bloodlines, Adrian and Sydney don't always agree, and they fight but they strike up a friendship and understand parts of each other no one does. There's an emerging attraction, but it's slow and delicate- at the same time intense.
In The Golden Lily, we are shown why Adrian and Sydney are attracted to each other. They are similar in different ways (parental problems, both can be misjudged). When Sydney gets a slushy for Adrian and drinks it with him, I can see that she likes/ loves him. When Adrian stays out in the sun by the pool with Sydney in discomfort for her happiness (one of my favourite scenes from the series), I can see that he really, really likes/ loves her. These little gestures, actions are so lovely, small, but mean a lot.
The Indigo Spell was like having a bucket of saccharine love dumped all over me. Cloying and sticky. (Yum). They are together at most EVERY opportunity, and yet the chemistry, I didn't exactly feel so much as in TGL.
Don't even get me started on the Angeline- Trey- Jill- Eddie love square. What the bloody hell? I think sometimes I put too much faith in Richelle Mead and she does something so.... non- common sensical that I have to reassess and go, waah? Why the hell did she pair Angeline and Trey together for like a week only for Angeline to really, really randomly turn around and mount Trey? I mean, she's brash, but not THAT brash. It was like making Tasha the moroi revolution leader in VA, then having her become the Queens killer.
CHARACTERS: It is no lie that most people are reading this series for Adrian. He's sexy, witty, and actually caring and motherly. But he was just so cheesy in this book. I miss the bad boy factor, as shallow as that sounds. Not because I like jerks who drink and are assholes to everyone (Adrian was never a douche). I can't pin point it, but he was different in this book. I'm guessing it was a mixture of sappiness, cheesiness and... like I said, I can't pin point it. But I wasn't feeling him like usual. aHEM. I wish.
Sydney developed quite a bit in this book, partly due to her discoveries of what the Alchemists were hiding, and also maybe due to her tattoo being broken. I really like Sydney, and don't feel she's changed too much in terms of her fundamental personality (she'll never value partying over learning, for example). (hide spoiler)]