A to Z Challenge Book Reviews

My Languishing TBR: O #AtoZChallenge2022 #Books #Bookreview

O is for blOOdlines

This year I’m taking a break from Faerie and doing an A to Z of my TBR (to be read) list instead. Each letter will have books starting with that letter on my list, a book I’ve read and reviewed (with the review!) and one of my books matching the letter with a link about more info about the book. I’ve decided not to include words like “A”, “The” and “An” during this challenge.

Learn more about the A-Z Challenge here.

My TBR

About the Book I’ve Read

I decided to stick to paperbacks in my personal library for this one. They all also happen to be re-reads without reviews.

I wasn’t free of my past, not yet.

Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s an alchemist – one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

Check it out on Goodreads.

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California – tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and her sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi – the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that – special, magical, powerful – that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Braydon, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else – someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists – or her heart?

Check it out on Goodreads.

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Check it out on Goodreads.

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets and human lives. In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . . But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure and re-education looms larger than ever. Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Check it out on Goodreads.

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Check it out on Goodreads.

THEY WILL BE TESTED

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.

When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.

Don’t miss their unforgettable final chapter. . . .

LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)

I’d liked Sydney in the Vampire Academy books and really enjoyed her in this one. So much more about her family, the Alchemists, and past were revealed and we really get to know and understand her. She grew so much through this book and her relationship with Abe finally became clear and one totally understands why she did the things she did with Rose. Sydney is a good influence on those around her, especially Adrian. The magic, the mention of vampire hunters, and all the other hinted-at intrigue just makes me want to read the next book. Some language issues, though – mostly Adrian.

4 unicorn star rating

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)

Sydney is a good influence on Adrian – he’s becoming the hero of his own story instead of the victim of his magic.

Circumstances force Sydney to embrace magic. The vampire hunters are a good foil for the Alchemists – and Sydney faces some hard truths about her life.

Angeline is hilarious. I especially enjoyed the assembly.

I’m not crazy about Jill: hopping from one guy to the next, allowing flattery to get her into potential danger that Sydney will have to sort out, not thinking how her actions have consequences – especially for others. I get that she’s only fifteen, but one would hope the severity of her situation would make her act less flighty.

Eddie stays awesome. And I’m glad we could see Dimitri in action again.

As for how protective Adrian is of Sydney: swoon-worthy as it’s not overdone, doesn’t diminish her capacity to take care of herself, and happens when she could do with the support.

4 unicorn star rating

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)

So much fun to read!

I enjoyed the adventures Sydney went on – magical, among the Alchemists, and falling in love. I also enjoyed the twists of each subplot.

Adrian has become a dreamy guy and I can actually see why Sydney fell for him. I like that they’ve grown together and complement each other.

And just when Sydney thinks things will be okay, trouble arrives in the form of more guardian and alchemist assistance at Amberwood – and more chances for her secret life as a witch, Alchemist dissident, Moroi sympathiser, and Adrian’s girlfriend to be uncovered by those who won’t approve and probably get her shipped off to an Alchemist re-education centre.

So much drama and intrigue! Can’t wait to see what happens next.

4 unicorn star rating

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4)

So, I had trouble reading this one. I think it’s the sudden switch from single to double POV. And being in Adrian’s head isn’t fun (and it hits too close to home).

I don’t like Zoe. She’s a good reminder why I should be grateful I don’t have a younger sister. I’ve read the series before, years ago when it just came out, and not knowing what Zoe was going to do made it much easier to read the book.

Inez and her bizarre house was good, though. Having Wolfe, Trey and Angeline in the story with their bizarre antics made the story tolerable.

3 unicorn star rating

Trigger warnings: mental illness, torture, being betrayed by a sibling.

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5)

One long book about Adrian fighting his inner demons with alcohol and Sydney being tortured by the Alchemists. Then a heroic rescue and a mad dash to temporary safety.

None of the previous plot threads (the witch that wanted to kill Sydney and Jackie, for example) have re-emerged in the previous book or in this one.

So in the end love, temporarily, triumphs all. But did the entire book have to be about the humiliation, physical and psychological torture, and malice Sydney was subjected to? It’s enough to want to DNF this series.

2 unicorn star rating

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6)

So… Two chapters in and it’s basically a recap of the worldbuilding and what had happened in the previous books. Yawn. Maybe I’m just used to reading Indie books by authors who know you’re binge-reading and want to get to the point, but this treats the reader like they haven’t been paying attention or that they have the IQ of meat. This is the same for the previous two books – I read past it there, but felt for a teaching/ranting moment now. The only reason I’m going to finish this book is because I know Dimitri and Rose are going to be in this book.

After the ridiculous scavenger hunt, when Sydney and Adrian finally meet up with Dimitri and Rose, things speed up and the plot finally starts to make sense – wrapping up all the loose ends from previous novels, rushing to a HEA where “love and loyalty run deeper than blood”.

The witches show up, the guardians do their thing, the good alchemists take over, the warriors are put in their place, and the moroi stay stable. But when did it become Adrian’s story?

3 unicorn star rating

*Like Vampire Academy, this series starts YA but quickly turns to NA.

My Book

Over the Hills and Far Away

I hope you enjoyed this. For more books I’ve read and reviewed, check out either my Pinterest board about reviews or my Goodreads profile. Alternatively, you can check out my reviews on BookBub. Have you read any of the books? Loved or hated any of them?

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.* 

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