by Richelle Mead
To be published on Feb 12, 2013
by Razorbill books
First of all, if you've read the first two books, click here to test yourself with my Bloodlines and Golden Lily trivia. No spoilers!
My summary: Alchemist Sydney Sage is still stationed in Palm Springs, attending Amberwood Prep and guarding Moroi princess Jill Dragomir. Sydney's upbringing taught her that vampires and magic are evil, but as Syd spends more and more time among the vampires, she begins to doubt everything she's been told. After tracking down an elusive former Alchemist named Marcus Finch, Syd learns things that shock her. And Syd being Syd -- driven, organized, methodical -- she feels compelled to investigate. Complicating things are her growing attraction to the irresistible Adrian Ivashkov. Can Sydney sort out the facts and her feelings in time to make the right choices?
My take: I loved this book. That said, it was not at all what I had bargained for, and I want to let all of you experience it without being influenced by my expectations. So instead of a formal review, I want to just tell you what I love about this series and why you should read it!
I just love this girl. In a classic old movie, she'd be the librarian who finally takes off her glasses and lets down her hair. She's incredibly smart, which I love. She's pragmatic and cool-headed, cautious and rule-following. She's been raised in a very strict, repressive environment. In this book, she starts questioning things that she's always taken for granted. She's even beginning to embrace her talent for magic. I think she's going to undergo tremendous character growth over the course of this six-book series, and I can't wait.
It's nearly impossible not to be charmed by Adrian. In the classic movie, he'd be the bad boy with the heart of gold, the sensitive guy who hides his feelings under a lot of bluster. He's hilariously funny. A talented artist. But he's also incredibly loyal. In this book, he's always there for Syd in a way that warmed my heart.
Yes, Adrian used to have this silly little crush on Rose Hathaway. But hard-headed, impulsive Rose was all wrong for him. Adrian needs someone steady and calm to balance out his artistic temperament. He and Sydney are just so great together in this book. They have fun and it's a pleasure to see. There's even a scene in this book where Rose ... nope, I'll let you read it yourself.
They're baaaack and better than ever.
The colorful secondary characters:
Ms. Terwilliger, with her mangling of Sydney's name and her coffee addition. At first I thought she was just wackadoodle, but I'm coming to see her as a real mentor and surrogate mother figure to Sydney.
Then there's Malachi Wolfe, crusty old self-defense expert. And remember Jet Steele? I have to say that Marcus Finch wasn't nearly as compelling as I expected, but maybe that will come in later books.
Love triangle free zone!
I was worried by the cover photo, but I shouldn't have been. That's not to say that this couldn't change in future books. But I don't see sensible Sydney as the kind of girl to get caught up in that kind of thing. There's even this scene where .... never mind. But I am sure that Sydney and Adrian will have a lot to get through over the course of this series.
If you haven't read Indigo Spell yet, what do you hope happens? If you have read it, tell me what you thought, but no spoilers!
If you are a US resident and want to read Indigo Spell (and why wouldn't you?) you can enter to win that here, in my Romance is in the Air Hop! Entries close at midnight on Valentine's Day.
So I had mostly avoided the Who is Marcus Finch posts that have been populating my google reader since I knew he was from this book, which is part of a series I haven't read but I'm glad to know he's an alchemist (my first thought of course was of Nicholas Flamel). Still need to check out the other books in this series!ReplyDelete
I'm so excited for this book... all the teasing over the last couple weeks has really done it's job! LOLReplyDelete
Adrian and Sydney have quickly become some of my favorite characters and I was worried about that when I heard about the spin-off :)
jaime @ Fic Fare
LOVE your review! I can't wait to pick up this book, thank god there's no love triangle! lolReplyDelete
I didn't read your review since I haven't read any of the books in the series. I did notice some things from your post though, like no love triangle so that is a win for me!!ReplyDelete
"There's even this scene where...never mind."ReplyDelete
You TEASE. :)
Love this review, love the style and ALL the things you have to say because I am totally right there with you! More Malachi Wolfe and Mrs. T! More Sydrian. More SPIRIT DREAMS (or at least the subject contained wihin...)
Yay! Awesome review!
Okay, I glossed over this because I haven't gotten my copy yet -- a friend is sending me her ARC & the publisher offered up an audiobook copy for review but neither have arrived yet *bursts into tears* -- but I saw that spirit dreams are back and this makes my heart sooo happy. I've heard that Adrian is back to his old self after his moping ways in the first couple of books, so I'm more excited than ever to get back to this series. Please, please let one or the other come today so I can get started! I'm terribly impatient and in all likelihood might end up DLing the audio tomorrow morning. *sigh*ReplyDelete
Eeek! The ARC showed up with today's mail! :D But I just started Requiem. And I have one other book I'm in the process of finishing, plus two audiobooks in the works...oh, and I'm starting a buddy-read tonight. Why do I do this to myself?!? I have time to finish Requiem, though. And the other book is a "just for me" read, so it can wait, too. That's it. I'm starting Indigo Spell tonight. :PDelete
The first book of this series left me so cold but then the second book was pure redemption and now this! I cannot wait! Cannot! Spirit Dreams?! AHHHHH! Don't get me wrong I still love Rose but Sydrian is killer.ReplyDelete
I love that you describe this as a "take down the hair and glasses" moment for Sydney, hah! It really is, I was surprised by how she moved the action forward in this installment. Bodes well for FIERY HEART for sure.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed this! I don't think this one will disappoint anyone, whether they were fans of the Bloodlines series or had more middling reactions to it.
Wendy @ The Midnight Garden
I'm afraid to start this series until they are all out!!ReplyDelete
Glad that you enjoyed this one and I can't wait to read more Sydney and Adrian.ReplyDelete
Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog
aaah this post doesn't really give me info lol.. Such torture :( But I'm glad to hear about Adrian in this book. With all the hype and pictures on Facebook, I can't wait to read it!ReplyDelete
*fangirl screaming* LOVED THIS!!!!! <3 ADRIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ReplyDelete
I feel like the only person on the planet that didn't love VA but I'm interested in this series. I'm waiting for it to get a little farther along though. 6 books is a long time for a conclusion lolReplyDelete
YES! I can not wait to be charmed by Adrian.ReplyDelete
*sigh* I swear I'll read all of these books someday. I SWEAR. lol I feel so out-of-the-loop!ReplyDelete
I have not read this series yet, but I know someone who owns it, so hopefully I will be able to borrow it. Awesome review!ReplyDelete
I absolutely love this review! You definitely made me even more excited to read it. I am most excited to see Sydney start to ask questions and undergo some change, and SYDRIAN of course. I love what you said about Rose not being right for Adrian. I never saw them working long term (even if Dimitri hadn't been in the picture). But I can definitely see that Sydney and Adrian could be perfect for each other. And YES! for no love triangles. WHEW.ReplyDelete
I haven't read any of these yet, but I'm waiting until the series is further along. I read the Vampire Academy series all in one week just as the final book was coming out and it would have killed me to have waited in between each book until the next one came out. I just figured I'd try to skip the tortue for this series too. ;)ReplyDelete