Release Date: August 23, 2011
Source: Download Destination
Review Date: February 7, 2012
Rating: 4 bookmarks
I really enjoyed this book. As expected from Ms. Mead, the story was fast pasted, fun to read and well written. If you liked Vampire Academy, you’ll enjoy this as well. Some of the characters in VA are back as main characters in this series. The difference between VA and this series is that now instead of Rose narrating, Alchemist Sydney is now the narrator and protagonist. Sydney has been reluctantly given the task of watching Lissa’s little sister Jill, AKA Princess Dragomir, AKA Jailbait. Sydney has been so close to getting into big trouble with the Alchemists community because of her fiasco of helping Rose in the previous series. Yet, she manages to convince them to allow her to take this job instead of her younger untrained sister. Keith, the Alchemist in charge of Palm Springs, clearly doesn’t like Sydney, and as things start getting revealed, it becomes clear why they have such distain for one another.
The Alchemists need Sydney to go into hiding with the Dragomir Princess because Jill's life is at risk. She is the key to overthrowing her sister's throne and Moroi against Lissa being Queen have made an attempt on Jill’s life. Dhampire Eddie is sent to protect Jill and Moroi Adrian somehow ends up along on this ride. We later discover why Adrian is really there as well as why he and Jill seem so close. Along with the only human in their circle, Micah whom happens to be a dead ringer for Mason (from the last series) and Lee, Clarence Donahue’s son, they have a crazy ride of intergrading themselves into their new life in Palm Springs. Sydney’s teacher Ms. Terwilliger was also a nice addition with a pretty interesting story line. I’m curious to learn more about her in the next book.
As their stay in Palm Springs begins, Sydney early on discovers that some students are using metals in tattoos that appear to give the recipient of the tattoo an euphoric feeling or super strong based on what the metal is that is used. These effects are temporary, but she believes they are based from Alchemist compounds. This opens another kind of danger from an unexpected person. On top her suspicions about the tattoos, she learns that she is on the verge of being sent home because of her “vamp loving” ways. She is pressed for time to prove her tattoo theory before she’s replaced with her sister.
In the mean time, Jill is experiencing her own growing pains in coping with being bullied a little and in love. Adrian is also . The story touches on his pain as result of his being dumped by Rose, but we also get some foreshadowing on what happens with him as he begins to get over Rose.
Just a side note, I noticed that as the first book in the series, the storyline was more in line with YA and wasn’t as adult as I felt the VA series was. I’m curious to see if this YA appropriateness will continue in the second book or if the themes will get more serious and grown up.
Personally, I’m eagerly awaiting the follow up book, The Golden Lily. Fans of the Vampire Academy series will definitely enjoy this book. If you wanted more of Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian, you should read this book. It should also be noted that if you haven’t read the VA series, you can pick this up and still enjoy it. Although I urge all to read the VA series first, there is enough background information that if you’re new to this story line you wouldn’t feel lost.