Maybe it’s just me but I think it’s pretty rare that a spin off series – whether it’s television or books – is better or even just as good as the original. But in this case I think without a doubt it is! Bloodlines is a series that spun off of the Vampire Academy series, which I also read, and liked. Richelle Mead created a very interesting and unusual world of vampires that I hadn’t come across before with different rules and classes of people within in this world that I found fascinating. A specific class of people called the Alchemists ended up being so fascinating that the author created a spin-off series called The Bloodlines and Silver Shadows is book #5 in the series.
I’ve been listening to this series because I really love the narrators. Both Emily Shaffer and Alden Ford do an amazing job so I haven’t even bothered to switch back and forth like I do sometimes. There are few books that I pre-order with an Audible credit and these are definitely on the list. Emily Shaffer captures the main character – Sydney’s intense love of all things knowledge related and everything that is orderly. I wouldn’t have thought you could capture that in just a voice but she does so in clipped tones and at the same time she’s managed to express the confusion the people in her world had caused Sidney to feel. Alden Ford does a wonderful Adrian who has evolved from a lazy royal (and can slip easily back into that role) into a college student who cares about others. It’s great to hear that laziness dripping from his voice at times.
This book picks up where the last one left off – with Sidney and Adrian apart and Sidney in the hands of the Alchemists. This was a pretty dark plot for most of it as Sydney was in their hands and they are attempting to brainwash her, or worse, for the majority of the book. I was already a Sydney fan before this but her character development has just gotten better and better as the series continues. In this one she comes across as confident and able to deal with anything that’s thrown at her, which is a crazy amount here.
Adrian on the other hand doesn’t come across as quite as strong for a while. He is a spirit user and that cause him to be more temperamental and more prone to emotional outbreaks. When he can’t find Sydney right away Adrian returns to the royal court and does slide into a bit of a depression which can be hard to watch. When he does come to his senses some time has past and he has to figure out if he can finally rescue Sydney from the Alchemist’s clutches.
There’s a dual POV that the books have that I love and the romance continues to blossom here even though they’re apart for a significant portion of the book. This is the best one yet and I have high hopes for the next -and last- one to come out in this series next year!