Vampire Academy is one of my favorite YA series of all time. Richelle Mead's vampire world is so different from the others, that it's hard not to love these characters. Because I was such a fan of VA, I was a little skeptical about reading a spin off series, considering that, yes, Sydney did help Rose Hathaway in the VA series, but I didn't expect her to be an important, main character. Thing was, all my fears disappeared when I started to read.
Bloodlines is definitely going to be the new VA for me. I love the fact that Mead decided to continue on with the Moroi / Strigoi / Alchemist world, and that characters from VA showed up in this series. It must be difficult to write a crossover, but she pulled it off perfectly. None of the characters from the previous series had a major part to play...except for Adrian Ishakov. Which, you know, wasn't a bad thing at all. In fact, Adrian's character carried a lot of the story, and it made sense, considering the connection he and Jill had had in the previous series.
The story itself was mesmerizing. Mystery and intrigue carried the plot from page to page, and the dialogue from both Sydney and Adrian kept the humorous aspect to it. One thing I loved was that Mead didn't focus on the romantic side of things. Even with Jill's relationship(s), she didn't make that a main part of the focus. The chemistry between Sydney and Adrian is definitely something to look forward too, though. You want those two too hook up so bad because of their sarcastic banter. But Sydney sticks to her beliefs that Vampires and humans should never be in a relationship...which makes you pissed that Mead didn't just throw in a kiss or something there, just to satisfy the tension.
I'm glad I had multiple people convince me to read this book, and I'm even more glad that I was not disappointed in it. I'm looking forward to reading Golden Lily, as the ending of Bloodlines was a fantastic twist.