Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by: Richelle Mead

Release Date: June 12, 2012 from RazorBill
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"Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives. Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?"



My Thoughts:

If you read my review of Bloodlines, you will know that I was a bit underwhelmed by it, but do not fear, The Golden Lily makes up for what Bloodlines lacked. I thought it was ten times better than Bloodlines. I had lots of trouble putting this one down. I think I enjoyed this one more simply because I wasn’t able to guess as much of the outcome. I was constantly surprised and that kept me intrigued. 

Sydney is so much better in this one and I found her to be much less annoying. She is finally beginning to overcome her vampire aversion, even though it does show up from time to time. I loved that we got to see a side of her that we had not been able to see before. The Golden Lily makes it obvious that she cares for others very deeply. I loved the way she handled Adrian’s father and that she was not willing to listen to him hurt one of her friends. I also love that Sydney is an incredibly smart character. She is a heroine that shows girls that you do not have to dumb yourself down for a guy, EVER, and that the right guy will love you exactly the way you are. However, I do wish she applied this to her body image! 

Adrian Ivashkov is absolutely perfect in this book. He did not do one thing to aggravate me throughout the entire book. He is everything he was in Vampire Academy, only ten times better. Somehow, I have come to love him even more than I already did. Just wait until you read his little speech; I may or may not have said “awwww” out loud on my bus ride home from work. To add to the swoon, his wit and humor is even better than it was in Bloodlines, and I really did not think that was possible. I am so glad that Richelle made him the male focus in this spinoff series. This is why Adrian is our YA Crush Tourney Champ. 

Dimitri Belikov makes a reappearance in The Golden Lily and I really enjoyed seeing him again, even if his presence was limited. I love the little nods to him and Rose as a couple. Every time they are mentioned I get ridiculously excited for absolutely no reason. They are just too sweet. I should also mention Jill, because I was really impressed with her character growth. Aside from one big mistake, she has really begun to grow up. She has become much more responsible and is conscious of her actions. Eddie is another character that I am liking more and more. He is so fierce and determined, but at the same time my heart breaks for him. I want to see Eddie happy. 

While this book has lots of great characters, it also takes the award for the most boring character ever written: Brayden. I think I would rather watch paint dry than ever have to talk to this person. While both Brayden and Sydney are intelligent, Sydney just manages to have more life in her whereas Brayden is just blahh. Yes, I realize this is intentional, but I still felt like mentioning it. I do enjoy how it makes Sydney compare him to Adrian and makes her start to see some things she never would have otherwise. I know I have mentioned a lot of characters, but I felt that this was a very character driven book. 

I loved the addition of witchcraft into the storyline. I found it to be an interesting paranormal twist and it gives the story a nice element. I was also surprised by the emergence of a new group that have it out for all vampires. I loved the addition of more action and how the pace kept going. It makes the book very hard to put down. 

One thing that still bothers me is how much faith Sydney puts in the Alchemists. Even though she is beginning to doubt them, I still think she is very much blinded to what they really are. Here she is in a situation where she has friends, probably for the first time in her life, and it is among vampires and dhampirs. These people do not judge her or make her feel bad about herself, they appreciate her for who she is. I think Sydney needs to start trusting her gut more when it comes to this. 

All in all, The Golden Lily is an incredible follow up to Bloodlines. Now I just need to figure out what I am supposed to do with my life after reading that ending. I do not think I will be able to function for quite some time.


13 comments:

  1. Great review! I loved the Golden Lily! Definitely agree that Brayden was a dry character. I love Sydney but she really does put too much faith into the alchemists. I'm dying to read Indigo Spell now too! I can't wait to read what will happen next!

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    1. I need The Indigo Spell like yesterday. I'm dying to see what other trouble Adrian gets into.

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  2. Really good review. :) LOL on the last line.

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  3. I am so relieved to read that The Golden Lily is better than Bloodlines. I was seriously considering not reading this one, but readers have convinced me to give it a shot. I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

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    1. Honestly I kinda felt the same after Bloodlines. I was so disappointed but The Golden Lily is worth the read.

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  4. Awesome review, Honey! I'm going to pick this one up for sure now, you've completely sold me! I love that I'm not the only one so absorbed in my books that I make the most annoying sounds when reading, my man's constantly laughing at me for laughing too loud or having a ridiculous grin on my face! :p
    Loving the new look, Chica!
    Hope you're doing well! =D

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    1. Haha my family is used to my weird noises when I'm reading by now... random people on the bus not so much lol. Glad to hear you like my mini makeover :)

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  5. COMPLETELY AGREE! I also thought this was much much better than the first and the characters really grew on me in this one. Although, I am also frustrated about Sydney and her undeniable trust in the alchemists. I have all 10 fingers and all 10 toes crossed, that this new Marcus Finch guy will shed some light into Sydney's world, and sort of show her the way if you will, cause let's be serious...WE ALL WANT SYDNEY AND ADRIAN TOGETHER! LOL ;p And Brayden...he just makes me laugh. XD His character was so out there but at the same time boring as bananas. And I honestly didn't see how he and Sydney were alike. She was "alive" and he was "Dead", if you know what I mean. The one thing everyone is rooting for it seems, except for me, is Eddie and Jill's relationship. I like both their characters but I just can't picture them together. I would imagine them to be more like how Brayden and Sydney were in this book, but I totally second your notion, I want Eddie happy.

    To say I am excited for The Indigo Spell would be an understatement. I can't wait to see this whole witchy thing brought to the forefront, and see how it turns out.

    FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC Review, Teresa! I'm overjoyed that you loved it as much as I did. Sorry for the long reply, but this is just one of those books, where you can talk about it FOREVER! LOL ;p

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

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    1. Don't apologize for a long reply. I love comments like this one!

      Yes Adrian and Sydney need to get together. I love them together because they are so different. I want Eddie and Jill together. I think they are so cute together because they break the rules. Marcus better knock some sense into Sydney and show her the way. I need The Indigo Spell!!!!!

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    2. LOL! Exactly! And I see your point about Jill and Eddie...but maybe I'm comparing them to Rose and Dimitri and that's why they fall short every time. If their relationship does bloom, I really hope I get blown away! :)

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    3. Yea, its hard not to compare to Rose and Dimitri. But honestly, I dont think any relationship can compare, not even Adrian and Sydney. Cause while they are cute, they dont have the deadly chenistry that Rose and Dimitri have

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  6. So happy you liked this one -- I loved it! I cannot wait for Indigo Spell!

    Also I laughed out loud of your description of Brayden - I could not agree more! I did not get. Sydney was great in this book, and truly came into her own. And I seriously want Eddie to be happy, too!

    Great review

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    1. I'm really excited for The Indigo Spell as well. I need more Adrian.

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