Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

Release Date: 06/17/12
Source: RT Convention
Published by: Razorbill

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.


Ten likes/dislikes:

1. (+) Sydney, the protagonist - Sydney, oh Sydney. Strong, smart, fiercely loyal to those who earn her trust... but also incredibly focused, too serious, and often vulnerable when it comes to her appearance (which, by the way, I think Richelle Mead handles quite well). Sydney is the kind of protagonist I feel like almost anyone could identify with, even though she's a bit awkward in social situations.
2. (+) World-building - You learn more and more about the inner workings of what it means to be an Alchemist--how far Sydney has to go in her job to truly excel in it, what the Alchemists value and use as their daily guidance, what happens to those who stray from that path... You also see more of the magic Sydney's teacher was making her learn come to life and see Moroi spirit magic in action as Sonya and Adrian investigate for the long-lasting effects of those brought back from Strigoi state.
3. (+) Character Development - One of the best parts about the Bloodlines series is that I think it has such great potential for character development - for Jill, Adrian, Eddie, and Sydney.  Sydney, especially, since she has both her fears of magic, her confusion over where she belongs and how far she's willing to go as an Alchemist, and her own self-esteem as issues she needs to overcome/deal with.
4. (+) Romance - Richelle Mead is one of the best authors out there at establishing slow burning romantic relationships. Fans of Sydrian will both hate and love this book -- there are times when I was like... Adrian, just tell her!  Sydney, can't you see?  But in the end, it just made their time that much sweeter... Also, Sydrian is not the only romantic relationship that is addressed.  Eddie, Jill, Angeline, and Trey all have something going on, even if it doesn't end up being successful :D.
5. (+) Cameos - Fans of Dimitri will be pleased by how often he appears ... Rose fans... Yeah, she's mentioned but does not make an appearance this time around.  It's interesting to see how Dimitri compares in Sydney's POV versus Rose's.
6. (+/-) Predictability - Sadly, I predicted what was going to happen way before it did, but for me that didn't ruin the book, as I love the characters and their wit. I half wonder if the predictability of the Bloodlines plots comes from the fact that Sydney is such a smart, analytically driven protagonist that you know to look for whatever she focused on before...
7. (+/-) Ending - On one hand, as a reader/writer, I can appreciate the cyclical themes from the beginning to the end... But the other half of me is screaming cliffhanger noooo!!  Why?  I think I remember reading somewhere that Richelle Mead said that she anticipated some fans would want to throw the book against the wall... Yes, evil author alert, guys.  Gah, I can't believe there's another year to finding out what happens after THAT scene!
8. (+) Writing - It's Richelle Mead.  Need I even say more?
9. (+) Pacing - Kind of slow, but it's a pretty steady rise and fall plot, with a few tidbits of foreshadowing thrown in over the course of the book.
10. (--) The Cover - To be honest, I'm not much a fan of these covers. I feel like they add nothing to the book, just like the VA covers.  Also I'm a bit confused as to why Jill is so prominent on this cover. There is another character who I feel grows as much as she does...

Full of witty, humorous dialogue, slow burning romance, and character growth, The Golden Lily is a sequel that will not disappoint Mead fans and does not fall prey to the "sophomore slump."

PS - Have you had a chance to look at my giveaway of this book?
PPS - I don't feel like I've encapsulated all the wonderfulness that is TGL in this review, so if you have any questions (i.e. on cameos), leave me a comment, and I'll reply (as long as it's not too spoilery).

13 comments:

  1. How does Sydney see Dimitri differ from how Rose sees him?

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  2. Sydney's kind of an anti-Rose, so while they both think he's good-looking and exudes strength and confidence, they have different ways of showing it. Rose will call him badass and a god, while Sydney will be more distant, referring to his legacy among Alchemists and the Moroi world alike.

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  3. does Adrian ever get jealous of Dimitri in the book? Or of any other guy the comes to like Sydney?

    You didn't say much about Eddie? How's he in the book?

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  4. After this review I need to read this book even more and spend more time with these wonderful characters.
    And after that figure out how to wait for the next book.

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  5. Does Sydney tell Adrian about her issues with her father??

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  6. I must read this book like soon i canjt wait but im intrigue about jill and eddie ...how does she feel about him??? How does dimitri feel about adrian and sydney???

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  7. Fantastic review! Gosh I can't wait to read this book!

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  8. @Anon - I'm sorry but those questions are too spoilery to answer. Eddie is definitely in the book, and I hope you enjoy reading his scenes.

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  9. What does Dimitri says about Rose in the Golden Lily??

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  10. does trey have a larger bit role in this book than bloodlines?
    Is Micah in this book? any clues would be great.

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  11. I held off from reading VA for a very long time. Then I inhaled it in a matter of weeks, and then kind of avoided the spin off series, but then ended up liking it more than VA (though not as much kick butt action..yet), so I think I've learned my lesson and am uber excited for this continuation. Not happy about a cliff hanger, but am looking forward to all of the other positive points you mentioned!

    Thanks for hosting a giveaway!

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  12. The story was interesting but at times it got a little tedious with the high school and daily life. Still it was fun to read and see the characters interact and I'm looking forward to the next books in the series. The author also took any romance with Sydney slow and there really wasn't any at all, which was pretty refreshing and like everything I'm also wondering how this will turn out in the future. If you're a fan of the Vampire Academy series then I'm sure you'll love Bloodlines. It can be read by itself but I don't think you'll get the full impact of it if you haven't read the Vampire Academy series. I'm probably going to read The Golden Lily but I hope the plot doesn't continue to lag on like it did with Bloodlines.

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  13. nice share,,, may i share your post?
    keep posting and happy bloging!!

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