The Bloodlines series centers around Sydney Sage, an Alchemist whose job is to keep vampires hidden from the human world. The Alchemist keep moroi and dhampirs hidden and also help destroy strigoi. Don’t worry though, all of this is explained in the beginning of the first book! The first book Bloodlines sees Sydney assigned to Palm Springs, California to keep a certain Moroi Princess, Jill hidden. Along with Jill comes Adrian Ivashkov a moroi whom Jill has a spirit bond with and Edie Castille, a dhampir whose purpose is to protect Jill from harm. This first book is fairly typical for the start of a series, in that it starts out setting the stage and introducing characters. But what I really love about it is that it pulls you in all on its own. You don’t need to read to VA to love this book or series, though it obviously wouldn’t hurt. But I love that it stands on its own two feet.
The series has all of the classic YA elements, but I really think that it is unique is the way that it handles some issues. A big part of the series is about self discovery. Sydney starts out with a huge prejudice against the vampire race, because that’s all she knows. But over time she comes to see Vampires as actually beings and with that change comes the main romance in the series. Sydney and Adrian really couldn’t be more different, at least on the outside. What I love though is that when they get to know each other you discover how they are both hiding their true natures. They compliment each other so well. Their love is so unexpected and truly pure. It is by far my all time favorite YA pairing. The series handles their taboo relationship beautifully. I dare you not to fall in love with these two!
Each book within the series has its own subplot, some problem the group has to fight against or work through. First there is a vampire murder mystery and illegal tattoo wring, the second book deals with Sydney’s feelings for Adrian and another vampire hating group intent on destroying all vampires. The third book sees both Sydney and Adrian give into their feelings a little and Sydney finding an ally who may be able to help her be free of the Alchemists. She also begins to really embrace her use of human magic. And she has to defeat another human magic user who is hurting young girls. The fourth book, by far my favorite, marks a pivotal change in the series. The books are now told from both Sydney and Adrian’s point of views. And we also see the two love birds officially together and in love! Like finally! But what I find so captivating about this book in particular is the transformation in Sydney. She deals with some pretty serious body image issues and she is incredibly insecure. But in this book it’s like she finally figures out who she’s supposed to be and it’s so great to see Adrian encourage that. And the same can be said for Adrian, he really starts to see who he could be if he only put his mind to it. The book revolves around Sydney hiding her relationship with Adrian from the Alchemists while working be free of them. The fifth book is without a doubt the most difficult to get through. I will not go into specifics, but Sydney and Adrian are apart for much of this one. And we see them both pushed to their limits in fighting to get back to each other. But there is an amazing surprise in the end that makes it so worth it! The sixth and final book is everything you could want to finish out this series. Some big characters from VA play a huge part, which is so fun! There’s a rescue mission, Sydney using some bad ass magic, Adrian dealing with spirit use, and maybe even a secret pregnancy 😉 And the way it all ties together is so incredibly satisfying.
While I did like the VA series I feel like Bloodlines is just so much more captivating and mature. It deals with so many important issues, female empowerment, body image issues, sex, alcoholism , mental health issues, I mean there’s even a form of prejudice, and torturous religious fanatics. And then when all of that becomes too much there’s love, friendship, humor, and just pure magical fun! I really enjoyed re-reading this series after so many years. I found so many new things to love about it. If you’ve already read it and loved it definitely pick it up again. And if you haven’t read this one yet, please do! And be sure to let me know what you think! This review was definitely one of the more difficult ones to write because it encompasses six books. But I hope I did it justice and that you all enjoyed it. Check out my Bloodlines playlist here!
Thanks for reading guys! Talk to you soon! <3 Adrianna
*I do not own any of these images.