I just finished reading “The Indigo Spell” by Richelle Mead, which is the 3rd book in the Bloodlines series, so I thought I’d give a mid-series review & we can see how things change once I finish out the last 3 books.
So, before jumping into Bloodlines, you MAY want to read the Vampire Academy series. Yes, it’s another 6-book series, but it is great. It’s everything a YA Vampire series SHOULD be. Romantic, exciting, scary, snarky, & none of this damsel in distress/ depressed over my boyfriend crap that a *certain* series took to the extreme. It’s not 100% necessary to read VA first, but Bloodlines carries quite a few of the characters over into this new narrative, and without really experiencing what they went through in the original series, I don’t feel like you’ll have the same emotional connection to them. The recap is pretty thorough, so I don’t feel like you’d be completely lost, but there would definitely be some holes in your comprehension of the characters’ motivations, etc.
Jumping into a 12-book commitment might sound a little intimidating, but it’s been completely worth it to me. The books are pretty light (apart from the 400+ page counts) & easy reads with tons of momentum & action to keep you turning pages. Also, there are LOTS of characters – like, Harry Potter lots, not Song of Ice and Fire lots – so even if you don’t identify with the main protagonists, you’re sure to find someone to love.
Comparing the first 3 books of Bloodlines to the entire series of Vampire Academy is a complicated beast, seeing as this narrative hasn’t resolved itself yet (for me). HOWEVER, I will say that my current opinion is that Bloodlines is the (marginally) superior story line. I find that I connect more with the characters (Sydney Sage is SO much more my speed than Rose Hathaway, although watching Rose kick ass & take names was always a good time) and that the whole Alchemists organization is much more intriguing to me than what I felt to be a very straight-forward good-vs-evil theme in VA. In other words, Bloodlines feels more like a conspiracy theory/ thriller-type plot, while Vampire Academy was more of the action/ adrenaline/ romance plot. Both are great, Bloodlines is just a tiny bit more my style.
Thoughts on Books 1-3
In the first 3 books of this series, you are re-introduced to somewhere between 5-10 characters that appeared in Vampire Academy. The younger characters go undercover & attend a private school in Palm Springs, and that’s when shit starts to go down. All I can really tell you is that the Alchemists exist to protect the human world from discovering the existence of the vampire world. Most Alchemists are terrified of Moroi (the good, magic-wielding, sun-dwelling vampires), but the real threat is the Strigoi (evil, immortal, freakishly strong, stuff-of-nightmares vampires). Anyway, the Alchemists view all supernatural creatures as unholy & tainted. They would have nothing to do with the Moroi if it weren’t for their vow to protect the humans from supernatural creatures. The purpose of this undercover-op is to prevent an all-out civil war between the Moroi, and Sydney Sage is among the group sent in the field.
So far, I have loved this series, but the 3rd book took a little while to really grab my attention. I powered through the first two books in a matter of 3 days, but the 3rd one took me a few weeks. I feel like some stuff went down at the end of the 2nd book (The Golden Lily) & should have continued into the beginning of The Indigo Spell, but got put on pause until basically the very end of it. Also, there were a LOT of concurrent plot lines & threats going on in the 3rd book. It was kind of hard to keep track of who knew what & what was top priority. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it did make this 3rd installment feel more chaotic than I liked.
I finished The Indigo Spell pretty late last night, but couldn’t stop myself from picking up The Fiery Heart (book 4) & I’m already hooked on that one (after like 15 pages, because that’s when I fell asleep), so hopefully my qualms with book 3 don’t carry over into the rest of the series. Excited to have a little time to devote to this one tonight!
Until Next Time ❤