Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…
I THINK one of the biggest problems with this book lies with the fact that most readers have already read the Vampire Academy series. As such, we already understand the world Mead is describing through Sydney’s eyes. This often led to me guessing at the plot’s outcome before Sydney even realized something was off in the beginning. I think this book could have scored more points with me had I never known the back story of Adrian, Rose, Jill, Eddie, and Lissa. As a result, Sydney is left to look incredibly slow on the uptake, which is kind of ironic because she is supposed to be depicted as a very intelligent person.
To makes things worse Sydney was such a pushover that it got on my nerves. the way she judged everyone, and ohmygosh her over – reacting about magic really pissed me off. I understand that she’s been raised a certain way but so have the others and they find her bearable, they don’t judge her. And there’s no other way to say this but to be straight up. The fact that during VA we had this strong, caring, determined badass chick as an MC has given us certain expectations. No matter what I think of her for what she did at the end, we respect her, admire her and to be frank, she’s pretty awesome. And then we are presented with this judgemental, spineless girl who thinks she’s better than everyone else and who is pretty useless in my opinion. Then we are given Jill, Lissa replacement who is even more useless. As much as I had conflicted feelings about Lissa, at least she was strong and a good friend in her own way. She hardly matched up compared to Rose but you had to respect the girl for standing up for herself, for earning respect. Jill is even more selfish and careless than Lissa. Then there is the case where you have all these guys fawning over Jill, when my thoughts are, what is there to fawn over? The whole scenario with her and all these boys just seemed out of the blue and unrealistic.
Yet, after forcing myself to read 70% of the book, when it finally started to take off, I have to say I quite enjoyed myself. Mead sure knows how to write some good action scenes and I foresee, in the far, far, far horizon, character development and possible redemption.
Also, I liked Adrian. He’s such an ass I cannot help it. His sarcastic and cocky comments were the highlights of my reading experience. And frankly, after the way he got treated by Rose in VA, I could not help but feel indulgent towards him. Adrian should have been the MC. This story should have been his. Throughout the book I kept thinking how much Adrian was screwed over. He had been through enough, and now, it should have been his turn to tell his story. This was the perfect opportunity to let us know him better, the real Adrian.
So, bad thoughts aside, I will pick up the next book in the series. This book is not as good as any of the Vampire Academy series but it MAYBE got potential.
This book gets three planets.