Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) by Richelle Mead

Hardcover418 pages
Expected publication: June 12th 2012 by Razorbill

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. (Goodreads summary.)
Bear with me as I sort out my multitude of thoughts on this book. Okay, they are sorted. EEEEK. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. 

This book starts where we left off, with Sydney Sage and her mishmash of boxcar vampires. It is such a fantastic cast of characters led by my new favorite leading lady. Sydney, although an Alchemist (a secret sect of humans who deal in keeping the identity of vampires hidden), is essentially just your off-beat yet normal girl. She is quirky, socially awkward, and insanely smart. Despite the fact her job is to look after vampires, she worries about her weight, is oblivious to men’s affection, and is completely unsure of the proper way to hold a boy’s hand. She is impossibly normal. And, I love her. She was a fine character in Bloodlines (#1), but fresh off the kick-ass heroine that is Rose Hathaway, Sydney was a bit bland. In this book, she shows us that even the normal girl can kick some hard-core ass. She is loyal, devoted and intelligent. And, even in the midst of paranormal, she is extremely relatable.

Then we have Adrian Ivashkov. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this time in all caps -- HE IS FANTASTIC! I was drawn to his character in The Vampire Academy series and am even more in love with him in this companion series. I am so proud of him. When Rose first meets Adrian, he is a chain-smoking, alcoholic, dead-beat with no real goal but to court as many women as he can. Now in this series, we get to watch Adrian grow up. We get to see him learn about responsibility and discover himself, all the while maintaining that fantastic wit and snarky demeanor. Thank you Richelle Mead for the beauty that is Adrian Ivashkov. 

The strong characters are supported by a strong story arc and excellent writing. This book demonstrates that not every page needs to be chock full of action for it to be both entertaining and meaningful. In fact, the action in this book is fairly minimal. It isn’t about the killer fight scenes. We will leave that to Rose and Dimitri. For Sydney, it is about the logical and analytical look, plus the building of the most unlikely friendships. It is done so in a way that kept me hooked from beginning to the inevitable end. 

In the end, the question this book faces is that of good verse evil. Sure many books face this same question, but this one pulls out a key factor that is sometimes overlooked. Is it the person or the group? Sydney wars throughout this book with her issues against vampires, witnessing the goodness in them and the evil in human beings. She fights against the lessons that have been ingrained in her head. Trying hard to decipher what she has been told from what she sees. 

I could go on and on about my love for this book. But that would result in me giving too much away. I think all I need to say is, READ THIS BOOK! Well, read The Vampire Academy, Bloodlines and then The Golden Lily. Trust me, it will all be worth it. 

Recommended for fans of: Hush Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout, and Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.

3 comments:

  1. I agree with you about Richelle Mead's characters - they are always so strong and three-dimensional, that's what she does best. I am glad that the plot is equally strong this time. As much as I enjoyed spending time with Adrian and Sydney in Bloodlines, I felt that the plot was lacking at best.
    Lovely review!

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  2. Love love love love LOOOOOOOOVE this!

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  3. OOoh nice review!! Cannot wait to read this! It's in my TBR mountain but I have a slew of other books I've been dying to read that I haven't yet and they might be coming before this one! Although if I plan it right I may read this before the next one releases so that way I lessen the pain of waiting by 1 book!

    Maybe not the best of ideas, but there is just too much to read and nowhere near enough time to read them all!

    Again, fab review! Even more excited to read this now!

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