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Bloodlines: The Golden Lily (book 2)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Richelle Meads Vampire Academy series and Bloodlines spin off are my favourite Young Adult series ever, so when a new book comes out I get really excited and have to read it right away and The Golden Lily was no exception. The book begins not long after where Bloodlines left off. Dimitri and Sonya have recently arrived in Palm Springs after the revelations in the last book that Strigoi who are returned to their former selves with the use of spirit magic are immune to being turned again and so the group are going through a series of experiments to see if they can find what's in Dimitri and Sonya's blood that prevents them from becoming Strigoi to hopefully discover a cure for the rest of the world.

I loved that Dimitri was very much a main character in this book as I honestly can't get enough of the Belikov but what I find great about this series is that although Dimitri features a lot in this book the focus is very much on Adrian as the leading male of this series. Although Dimitri is beloved by me he didn't over shadow Adrian like he did for me in Vampire Academy and I admired Richelle Meads capability of bringing such a strong, well loved, alpha male into this series and yet the story still belongs to Adrian, as for me as a huge Dimitri fan, it could've been easy for him to overshadow Adrian and so I was surprised when he didn't.

Speaking of Adrian I have to say that I finally get him. Don't get me wrong I really did like Adrian in Vampire Academy but for me it was always meant to be Rose and Dimitri and so I'd get annoyed with Adrian for interfering with that. In this series however now that he's getting over Rose and him and Dimitri aren't in competition for her affections anymore I've really got to know him as Adrian and not just the guy coming in between my favourite book couple. After reading this book I have to say that I now love Adrian just as much as I do Dimitri and I get why it never worked out for him and Rose and why there was always something missing between them for me and that's because him and Sydney were 100% made for each other.

Adrian and Sydney guys! There is so much chemistry between them that I can actually feel it like it's an actual tangible thing which is also how I felt with Rose and Dimitri. Who would have thought that these two unlikely characters would be so absolutely perfect for one another? I certainly didn't! But it totally works and I want them to get together in the same passionate way that I did for Rose and Dimitri. The romances in these books are done so, so, well and not just between the main characters. Richelle Mead knows not only how to create the swooniest guys but also how to write unbelievable chemistry and sexual tension between a couple that practically sizzles off the pages.

Whereas Bloodlines was all about learning about the alchemists and the after effects of Last Sacrifice The Golden Lily focuses on a subject that was touched upon briefly in Bloodlines, Vampire Hunters, and introduces us to the corrupt group behind them, The Warriors of Light. The Golden Lily is also very much a growing pains book for Sydney. A lot happens in this book that makes her re-evaluate her beliefs as an alchemist and what she's always believed about the Vampire world. I loved watching Sydney develop as a character as her heart told her one thing and her head another. This book is one giant learning curve for Sydney and I enjoyed reading her conflicting emotions.

Overall if you're a fan of this series I don't think The Golden Lily will disappoint. Even though this book did feel more character driven than plot driven I didn't mind too much because I adore every single one of these characters! This is a book full of character development in both their personalities and relationships with one another; although this book didn't lead to many huge revelations plot wise it did raise some interesting questions for the next book in the series. Reading a book set in this world be it Vampire Academy or Bloodlines is like coming home and like with all of the other books in the series comes with the highest of recommendations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2012
Wow! I don't even know what to say! Except that I'm so sad I read this book so quickly and have to now wait ages before I can read the third book!

This review is going to be difficult because there are major things that happen and the hints of them start fairly early on, so I have to be careful about spoilers. I would suggest those who would like things to be a complete surprise stear clear of the product description on Amazon UK. It tells you more than is necessary in my opinion. Back to the review, I will start with the things I can talk about. The relationships in this book - all of them, friendships as well as romantic ones - are effected in this book. Friendships become strengthened, particularly between Sydney and everyone else, which worries her slightly. She's forever questioning her relationships with these people as this is a job ad they are not human! But for people who aren't human... they're not too bad. Because she's a Moroi, and particularly because she's a Moroi princess, Jill's relationship wih Micah becaomes strained. Her life gets more chaotic, and she feels uncomfortable with hiding things constantly, but their relationship also progresses a step, which leads to her worrying about her fangs. She's finally realising how complicated things can be. Sydney gets herself a boyfriend with a fellow knowledge geek, which provides endless amusement, but I will say no more. There's a almost a four way love square (not a triangle!) going on, which sounds complicated, but provides moments of "aww!"

And then there's Adrian Ivashkov. And I am lost for words. This guy... this guy is truely amazing! Behind all his snark and confidence, he is the most caring and protective guy, and at so many times in this book I just wanted to hug him. But not always for being so lovely. He goes through quite a hard time in this book in a number of ways. My heart goes out to him, and I just want to take him away from everything, and bring him home. Ahem. And also slap Sydney a few times, because, GOD, that girl is blind!

Now for the things I can't exactly talk about. What I will say is that the secrets discovered in this book - and the questions they raise for Sydney about everything she has been brought up to believe - are going to effect the rest of the books in the series from this point on. There's no way they couldn't! This is major stuff! Not completely surprising in itself, but a surprise because a whole series and the first book of this series went by with no real hint of anything like this. This will effect everyone, and it's huge! I cannot wait to see where this will lead in the next books!

As I said, things that lead to the major events start on fairly early on, but despite this, I found the pace of the book, to begin with, to be kind of slow. I wasn't really bothered, because there could be no problems at all going on for these characters, and I'd still want to read about their everyday lives. But this book leans more towards firguring things out and discovering and the personal lives on the characters, more than the action and danger. Don't get me wrong, around the second half of the book things pick up, and there is the edge-of-your-seat action we're used to (and woaaah!), it just takes a little longer for us to get excited/anxious about things. It's still a fantastic book, and one I love!

THE ENDING! Oh. My. WORD! How anyone is going to be able to coherently talk about the end is beyond me. All I feel like saying is, "DIKARHGKHFDGAJKGRTEYUG!!!!!!" But that's not really good enough for a review. If you get emotionally involved in the lives of these characters, and you happen to be a particularly big fan of Adrian, well, your jaw will be hanging down on the floor! There are no words to explain how I feel, but I could probably cry! Mead is a horrible, horrible person to her characters - yet, there is absolutely no other way that situation could have gone. Not at this point. But oh, my heart aches!

An amazing book, and for multiple reasons, I AM SO EXCITED to read the third book in the series! Just brilliant! Fans of this and the VA series need this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2012
The Golden Lily is one of the most highly anticipated books of this year! Richelle Mead never fails to deliver something new, exciting and unpredictable. Fans will not be disappointed.

Welcome back to the world of Moroi (vampire) and Strigoi (evil monsters)! In this book there's more action, more character development and, most importantly, more romance! For those of you who have not read the Vampire Academy series then I wouldn't recommend you the Bloodlines series just yet. The Bloodlines series is the spin-off series to Vampire Academy, so definitely go and read VA first!

I really enjoyed the main character, Sydney Sage. She has grown and developed so much since the first time we met her in the Vampire Academy series and first getting a glimpse inside her head in Bloodlines. Her eyes and mind have been opened to new possibilities and beliefs. In Bloodlines, Sydney wasn't the easiest character to relate to. The way she thought, her actions and her uptight personality could put anyone off, but overtime you do get used to it and even see that there is something deeper.

Sydney also has an unhealthy obsession with dieting. After being around skinny, beautiful Moroi vampires, she worries and obsesses over everything she eats. To be honest, I think I would feel a bit insecure if I was standing next to my friend who was pretty and skinny no matter what she eats. I would want to lose wait, be like her. Luckily there is someone who appreciates Sydney just the way she is...

Adrian Ivashkov! In Bloodlines he was annoying, rude with moments of brilliance, but in The Golden Lily? He was just too hot. We see a lot more of the positive in him that we only had a few glimpses of in Bloodlines. He's funny, thoughtful, protective and determined. However, I can sum him up in one word: confused. Of course that's all explained at the end.

I recommend you start reading Richelle Mead's books RIGHT NOW! Her writing is incredibly addictive and engaging. Everything felt realistic; the characters, the scenes, the dilemmas. I couldn't stand to put this book down for even one second.

The Golden Lily is a beautifully written book that will keep readers entertained until the very end. Action, mystery and romance all mashed up into this thrilling sequel that will satisfy Richelle Mead fans everywhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2012
The Golden Lily starts of a few weeks after the events of Bloodlines with Sonya, Demitri and Adrian are experimenting with spirit, Sydney's teacher Ms Terwilliger is trying to convince her to learn magic and Sydney is summoned to meet the alchemists. This book is more action packed than Bloodlines with people attacking Sonya and Sydney realising how vulnerable she really is.

Sydney is more conflicted in this book as she has grown close to people she has been taught to hate and fear and how to go about protecting them without going against her beliefs.

I love how Mead writes her romance in this series and how you route for them to be together, yet you don't know how the situations will allow them too.

I like how even more characters are back from the Vampire Academy series and how this changes the dynamic of the group. However I did feel that Jill in this book is not as much of a main character in this one, but it could be that there are more characters in this one.

Even though the plot was a bit predictable I really love this series and would recommend it to fans of the vampire academy series
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It took me forever to read this book. Well not forever, but like two weeks....and honestly it wasn't even the book that was the problem, it was me. I wasn't really in a reading mood, but I pushed through and YAY for me because this book was awesome!

The Golden Lily starts just slightly after Bloodlines and the gang are back, working hard at school and trying to find out some more clues about how spirit works on Strigoi. There's love in the air as both Sydney and Jill start dating, danger lurking around the corner for Sonya, Mrs Terwilliger is still pushing magic onto Sydney, but most of all, a new threat has moved to Palm Springs. It's never a dull moment!

I really enjoyed this sequel, I didn't it was quiet as packed as Bloodlines, mainly because the story doesn't kick off until around 40%. So it was a little bit slower, but still enjoyable because of the awesome characters. What I loved about this one was how the story is getting more complex. There's not just one thing going on, there are several, and it makes the story that more interesting and really kept me on my toes.

And what made me love this book was of course, Sydney and Adrian! Well, mainly Adrian. Gosh can this boy get any sweeter? Seriously, I literally melted! I love how honest he is but what I love most is how much were starting to unravel him as a character. He's was present in most of the VA books but you don't really SEE him. You know he likes to drink, smoke and play the field but he has reasons for that. It comes down to him hiding who he really is, and deep down, not even Rose knows the real Adrian.....but Sydney's starting too. Their relationship slowly blooms and it's really beautiful seeing the connection they have - even though they don't completely see it themselves.

In all, The Golden Lily was a good sequel, one that improved as the story went along but one that was still highly entertaining...and I can't wait to read more in The Indigo Spell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 November 2012
I love how Richelle Mead writes. What a fantastic author. Bloodlines, the first in this series, I was worried wouldn't come close to her Vampire Academy series but it killed it and again, I was worried The Golden Lily wouldn't be able to match up to Bloodlines. And again, I was wrong.

The Golden Lily takes us straight back to Sydeny and the gang following the events in Bloodlines. The concept this time is a mysterious series of attacks on Moroi and Strigoi alike from seemingly human individuals. Almost Achemist look-a-likes, but not quite. However, alongside this main story we see the normal trials and tribulations of Sydney trying to watch out for each of the Moroi, alongside Eddie and Angeline (The Dhampirs), whilst trying to juggle a ridiculously hectic social life.

I absolutely adore Syndey. She's such a fantastic character with so much about her that I just can't get enough. She's witty, smart and incredibly well prepared for everything the vampire and human worlds throw at her and I'm always surprised and impressed with how things turn out. It was nice though for her to get a little romance (since Jill, the Dragomir princess, seems to get all the attention) and this really intrigued me. Additionally, Adrian plays a massive role within this book and man is he difficult to read!! He's such a complex character and I spent the entire book trying to work him out rather than trying to figure out who the bad guys were. We get a really interesting look into his relationship with his family too which is a good addition.

It's great that our favourite returning characters have stuck around (Dimitri and Sonya to name a few) but I especially liked that the "smaller" characters got bigger roles this time too. Like Clarence with his fantastical vampire-hunter stories. This story is so layered; it would take me a year to write all of the things that happened and what we learn about the characters, but that's why it's so good (and re-readable).

I definitely recommend this book to Richelle Mead fans but also those readers, YA or not, that may have lost hope in the vampire novels because Mead offers a completely new and interesting take on vampires with legend attached. I will definitely be reading The Indigo Spell when it comes out. Get yourself a copy! Quick!
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I'm a huge fan of the Vampire Academy series so of course I couldn't wait to start reading the spin off Bloodlines series. I enjoyed Bloodlines when I read it and The Golden Lily was one of my most anticipated sequels of the year last year - I could not wait to pick it up and start reading! You're probably wondering why it has taken me so long to get around to writing this review then. I hate to say it but when I started reading The Golden Lily last year it annoyed me so much that I couldn't even finish reading it! I really want to love this series but for the first half of this book it just wasn't happening. I decided to try the book again because I keep hearing so many good things about the follow up The Indigo Spell and I'm actually glad I did give it a second chance. I don't think I'm ever going to be Sydney's biggest fan but I found myself really enjoying the last third of this book and now can't wait to see what happens next.

I'm going to start by talking about my love / hate relationship with Sydney, I hate to say it but she irritates the heck out of me most of the time! She annoyed me a little in Bloodlines but at the same time she showed enough of her inner strength and bravery for me to be able to respect her. That Sydney was completely absent for the first half of this book though. The way she goes on and on about her weight and is so adamant that she can't consume anything with a single calorie in it is enough to drive me insane, I seriously think the girl needs to be admitted to an anorexia clinic! I know she has body issues and is comparing herself to the impossibly beautiful Moroi but I worry about the message it sends to teens when someone who is supposed to be their heroine is constantly saying that a size 4 (which I think is equivalent to a UK size 6) is fat. The combination of her complaining about her weight and her dating the world's most boring man is what made me put down the book. I can't even remember her boyfriend's name but I think I would rather poke needles in my eyes than have to read about one more of their dates, watching paint dry would be more exciting!

I said I have a love / hate relationship with Sydney but so far I've only told you why I hate her so I think I need to balance this review up a bit. I get that she has been raised in a very strict way and she has always believed everything that the Alchemists have told her so she showed a lot of bravery in VA when she helped Rose knowing she would end up paying for it. I respect the fact that she has now started to look past the things she has always been told and is now beginning to make up her own mind about what is happening around her. She was always told that Moroi are evil but she knows from spending time with Jill, Adrian and Sonya that just isn't true and it makes her start to question everything else. Finally in the second half of the book we start to see Sydney's world view shifting and although I wish it would happen faster I'm glad that it is happening. There was one particular point towards the end of the book where Adrian spells out a few home truths to her and I wanted to jump up and down waving pompoms! Hopefully when she has had time to sort through what he said we should see some more big changes. Another thing I was extremely happy about was seeing Sydney start to embrace her own magical abilities - I can't wait to see more of that as the series continues.

Now lets talk about the rest of the book. I have to say I'm disappointed with several of the characters. Jill was incredibly selfish, childish and even reckless throughout the first half but again we see glimmers of hope towards the end of the book. Angeline acts much younger than her age but I can kind of understand that considering her upbringing and I would love to learn more about her family and the Keepers. The glimpses we saw of Dimitri weren't enough to satisfy me, it just isn't the same spending time with him when Rose isn't in the picture and I miss them as a couple so badly. It is impossible not to like Eddie though, although I can't for the life of me understand why he is so attracted to Jill, but I think my main reason for giving the book a second chance was to see more of Adrian. I'll say it outright - I love Adrian! I may never have wanted him to end up with Rose but I never liked the way she treated him so I desperately want to see him have his own happy ending. My heart broke for him in this book seeing the way his father treats him and it made it even easier to understand why he acts the fool so much and doesn't think he is capable of anything better. I actually really like the way Sydney sees through him and knows just how much he is capable of and towards the end of the book I even began to feel that they could be a good couple which was something I'd not been 100% on board with before.

I have to admit that I still have reservations about this series but if the next book can just take all of the positives from the end of The Golden Lily and run with it then I could start to really enjoy it again. I would love more than anything for these books to reach the heights of Vampire Academy and I do think that the potential is there. It's hard to settle on a final rating for this book, the lack of action and the fact I gave up reading makes the first half easily a 1 star read but the second half improved and the last quarter was probably 3.5 - 4 stars so I'm going to be generous and rate it 3.
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on 31 October 2012
I started reading Richelle Mead with the Vampire Academy series and loved it so much I quickly went on to read her other 2 series - Kincaid and Dark Swan, then I realised there was this spinoff series of Vampire Academy - Bloodlines and I was very excited.
It took me a while to get into reading it due to the main character change and it now being Sydney who we didn't know an awful lot about, but who I felt came across as a rather terse, unfriendly, opinionated but ultimately a passionate person.

I was desperate to read this second book after the first and was gutted I had to wait so long for its release, however I've been left feeling a little...well...disappointed if I'm honest.

The main thing that struck me about this, is that this is meant to be about teenagers - well all of them apart from Dimitri, Sonya and obviously Clarence. But when reading the story line there is no way you can relate this to teenagers in anyway, especially Sydney who is again and again referred to as the responsible one who is head of her family of 2 brothers, 1 sister and a new cousin - who just happens to be sharing a room with Jill!? It's a tad unbelievable. Apart from all the running around she does outside of "strict school hours" and bi-weekly trips to Clarence's for the Moroi to feed, various out of school trips for the Alchemists and other extracurricular activities.

I found book one gritty and thrilling to read, a real page turner, however I felt this one lacked a bit of umpf. The story line was a little weak and I felt at times just words to fill a page. A bridge between book one and three giving us some - but not an awful lot of plot and information.
It was exciting to learn that these Vampire Hunters were real and linked back to the Alchemists and I thought things were going to get really gritty when one of the members was linked back to a friend of Sydney's, but I felt it could have been a lot more thrilling than it was. The description of the fight scenes lacked the energy that it has before - but maybe I'm comparing it too much to Vampire Academy.

It sounds like I hate this book - but I don't and I can't wait for book three, however I hope it's a lot more gritty than The Golden Lily.

I love learning more about Adrian and I'm pleased he's playing more of a main role. The readers can see very early in the book that he's developing feelings for Sydney but she doesn't have a clue - towards the end of the book this gets totally ridiculous, for someone so amazingly intelligent and switched on to not have noticed Adrian's comments and suggestions, let alone the weird way Jill behaves with her due to the bond is too farfetched, but hey, that's just my opinion.

I like the fact we are learning that Sydney has magic in her blood and can actually do spells; I'm excited to see where this goes. I'm also excited to see where this relationship between her and Adrian goes, we definitely want to see some love for them, but will her beliefs let her heart rule her head??
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on 8 October 2012
Once again, I expected to love this second addition to The Vampire Academy spinoff series, Bloodlines, despite being disappointed by the first. Sadly, I was once again disappointed. My feelings for this book are all over the map and this is one of the most difficult and perhaps incoherent reviews I've ever written. I realize that I'm certainly a minority in the YA blogging community for not going gaga for this series. I guess I can't get past the premise of this series to enjoy the heart of this story.

Putting vampires into a Californian high school and expecting a teenage human girl to run the entire operation of babysitting some princess is kind of an asinine premise. I'm sorry. Had to say it. The first half of The Golden Lily was about Sydney babysitting an annoying Jill, watching an annoying love square unfold, and then going on a few dates with this weird guy who is like Sydney but with a whats-it. The plot was laid out early with extremely obvious foreshadowing, but nothing was done with it until the last bit of the book. I had to force myself to finish and for some crazy reason I was glad to have done so (for Adrian).

That was my reaction to the book, scribbled down along with a few potty words, until I read reviews after having finished. I was too blinded by my annoyance to really see the point of this book. It does what nearly every second book in a series does, have little plot and function as a bridge between the first and third. But this bridge, this fantastically subtle bridge, is the relationship of Sydney and Adrian. There is really something great going on there. Something mature and unlike YA insta-love. And it makes me want to read more. (I never thought I'd say that about this series again.)

Yeah, I wasn't crazy about it, but now after having finished, I appreciate its subplot immensely. I recommend The Golden Lily if you are one of those screaming teary-eyed girls who want to ravish Adrian whole. But, you've probably already read it if you are one of them. So, if you haven't picked up this series then I say 'meh' to you. Do it with caution, but only if you enjoyed The Vampire Academy series.
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on 1 October 2012
Sydney, Adrian, Jill and Eddie are back in the sequel to Bloodlines, the spin off series from Vampire Academy.

I love that Richelle Meade started this spin off series as I was gutted when Vampire Academy ended. The first book did not disappoint and this one is even better!

Golden Lily starts off a few weeks after Bloodlines left off with Sydney, Jill and Eddie still attending school in Palm Springs and Adrian living nearby. There is also the addition of Dimitri and Sonia this time around. It was great to see Demitri back in this book without him overwhelming the story - he is still as kick ass as ever!

Sydney is back and once more finds herself in the middle of a mystery. Between her teacher trying to get her to do more magic (which she is still very afraid of) and the attacks by humans on her vampire friends she once more discovers the world she thought she knew isn't quite what it seems. The possibility of vampire hunters suddenly becomes very real and I enjoyed the Sydney's character does grow as she begins to realise that maybe it is more important that a person is good and not necessarily human.

Once again Adrian provides a lot of light comic relief throughout the book. Although I was always a Roose/ Demitri fan in Vampire Acadamey, I LOVE Adrian in this series. And I love the building romatic tension between him and Sydney, including Sydney being completely oblivious to it.

Jill and Micah's relationship is her main storyline in this book. I liked Jill in Vampire Academy but honestly find her a bit boring in the Bloodlines series by comparison. She is still finding the spirit connection with Adrian hard to control and there are some funny moments because of that in the book. On the whole her story does not take up a significant portion of the book.

There is a lot of action in Goldne Lily as it progresses and some suspicions I had from Bloodlines got confrimed in this book. The ending was amazing and I can't wait to see where the series goes next.

If you are looking for a new series, I would suggest reading Vampire Academy first before reading the Bloodlines series as there is a lot of follow on from it.
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