Bloodlines

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Part of me feels I should apologize for posting so many book reviews recently, but then I remember: books are a gateway to another world, so never feel bad for reading anything!
The Bloodlines Series is a continuation of the amazing Vampire Academy series. That’s right, a total of twelve books surrounding the lives of the Moroi, Dhampirs and Strigoi with the addition of the human Alchemists. Alchemists, which we were only briefly introduced to in the Vampire Academy series, are a group of humans who have made it their mission to keep the humam and vampire world separate. They view all vampires as evil demons that have no place in our world, they are to be tolerated, but kept isolated from our world.
Our heroine for this series is Syndey Sage, the same Alchemist who assisted Rose Hathaway several times before. That assistance has gotten her in trouble with the other Alchemists, so she has been offered a final chance to redeem herself. She will go undecover as the sibling of a royal Moroi and a Dhampir guardian. She has to ensure that the Moroi, Jill, and only family to the reigning queen, stay safe and hidden. If Jill were to die, the queen would lose her throne and the vampire world would be thrown into chaos, making secrecy a thing of the past. Eddie, the guardian, is their for more physical protection.
They are in sunny California, where vampires rarely travel, enrolled as students in a private school. Adrian, another returning character is staying nearby as well, but the reasons behind that are shrouded in mystery.
The series is a non-stop adventure, from a rogue Alchemist selling Moroi blood to Sydney realizing she’s not a ‘regular’ human as she’s always believed.
Then there is the ultimate taboo, love between a human and a vampire. This may have been the way Dhampirs came into existence, but it has not been done for a long time. This love is found out by the Alchemists and Sydney is torn from her love and sent to reeducation. Will love be enough to overcome? When that love is scorned by both humans and vampires, how can it survive?
I encourage you to pick up these books and give them a chance. I promise it is not another Twilight! There is so much more going on than a romance. There is witchcraft and old rivalries, long kept secrets and homework. Throw vampires into the mix and how can this not be worth a read?

Vampire Academy

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Does anyone want to pretend to be shocked that I have found another amazing series? I don’t know if I have that kind of acting in me! I know this series has been around for a little while, but there are definitely perks to starting a series once all the books are already out! Harry Potter was the worst for me because I devoured the first four, then had the agonizing wait for five, six and seven! The Mortal Instruments wasn’t too bad, I only had a short wait for the last one. It was the same with The Heroes of Olympus.

But onto the story:
The Vampire Academy series introduces us to a different view on vampire life. From what I understand, Richelle Mead, the author of this amazing series, read about three types of ‘vampires’ in Russian mythology and crafted a world around them.
First we have the Moroi, born vampires that need blood to survive, but they don’t kill when drinking and they have the ability to use one of five types of magic. The traditional earth, air, fire, water and the very rare, spirit. They age as humans do, but have super sensitive senses. (That sentence was a little weird for me, but I don’t know how else to express it.) They are uncomfortable in sunlight, but it won’t kill them. Second we have the Strigoi. These are also vampires, but are created either by forcibly turning a human, Moroi or Damphir (more on them in a minute) or when a Moroi chooses to kill while drinking, giving up sunlight and their magic in exchange for immortality. They kill while drinking blood. Lastly we have the Damphirs. More commonly referred to as Guardians throughout the series, Damphirs originated as the mortal offspring of humans and Moroi. Over time it was discovered that Moroi and Damphir would have Damphir offspring. They have no magic, no need of blood and no aversion to sunlight, but they do have better senses than humans and are very strong. They are traditionally responsible for protecting Moroi from Strigoi.
The series focuses on one young Damphir, Rosemarie Hathaway, Rose, who is the shadow-kissed guardian of Vasilissa Dragomir, Lissa. While not officially her guardian, as Rose is only 17, the two have been inseperable since childhood and share a strange, psychic bond that allows Rose to sense Lissa’s emotions and sometimes see inside her head. A frightening series of events caused Rose and Lissa to run away from the St. Vladimir’s Academy, the school they attend. After two years on the run, the girls are brought back.
Rose is tutored by the Russian guardian Dimitri Belikov (side note: he is amazing!) to catch her up after missing two years of guardian training. A special bond forms between these two after they rescue Lissa from the threat that originally made them flee.
The series continues, pushing these two together, tearing them apart, letting you think everything will be ok, then dashing your hopes again.

Love for the Damphirs is never easy due to the first rule they are taught: They (meaning the Moroi) come first.

I loved the series enough to devour all six books in eight days, impressing even myself. The chapters leave you hanging, so you have to keep reading. The individual books leave you hanging, meaning you have to immediately start the next. The end of book three especially breaks your heart, and you have to keep reading to see if what was lost can be restored. At the end of book four you think it’ll be ok, then the very end breaks you all over again. I didn’t cry very much, but more than I thought I would after reading books like The Fault in Our Stars.
If you enjoy non-traditional, otherworldly love stories with a twist, this is a definite must read series. The movie was ok, but, like always, the books are better!