August 6, 2014

REVIEW: Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5)

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5), by Richelle Mead
Published July 29, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: young adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

I'm in danger of saying something I never thought I would say. It almost pains me. But, I have to say it because it's true. Ready?...

I like Bloodlines better than Vampire Academy.  

That is truly a surprise to me, because VA is one of my most favorite YA paranormal series of all time. But, each book in the Bloodlines series is better than the one before it. These characters - they feel like my best friends. And, when someone hurts my besties, I start to feel murderous. Needless to say, I spent much of this book internally (and sometimes externally) seething. 

After her relationship with Adrian was discovered by the Alchemists, they sent Sydney to reeducation. None of her friends knows where she is or how she's doing. Adrian feels helpless, and his way of dealing with that is to drink himself into oblivion every day. Meanwhile, Sydney is having a rough go of it, until after three months of torture, she catches a break and starts to work her way back to Adrian. But, if they thought once she got out, that things would be fine, they were so wrong. 

I. Love. Sydney. Wow - another thing I never thought I would say when I finished the VA series. Honestly, she wasn't my favorite side character then. Far from it. She was rigid and judgmental and rude. I didn't think she was worthy of Adrian, who was one of my favorite side characters from VA. It's amazing how completely different my opinion is now. 

Sydney's experience in reeducation was horrible and traumatic, but she weathered it like a hero. She used her intelligence and common sense that she has always possessed to figure out a solution to her problem. She took chances and was willing to use her magic abilities to do what needed to be done. And, the best thing is, through it all, she never once wavered in her feelings for Adrian. 

Adrian - oh my poor Adrian. He went through the ringer in Silver Shadows. Adrian has never dealt with difficult situations well, so having the love of his life kidnapped from under his nose and probably harmed in an undisclosed location was more than he could take on his own. He turns to the bottle for awhile to deal with his guilt and feelings of uselessness. What broke my heart the most is that Adrian is most definitely not useless. He's just as brave as Sydney is, but you can only do what you can with the information you're given. 

Once Adrian and their friends from Palm Springs finally get a bead on Sydney's location, the pace of the book goes from good to lightning speed. The last 30% or so of the book was completely action-packed. There are explosions and fights and magical shenanigans - I was absolutely glued to the pages. And, then there was the one shocking event that had me dropping my jaw. I loved that I didn't see it coming, and I loved that it even happened. 

As usual, the last paragraph hits you hard and sets up the drama and excitement for the next book. In this case, it will be the final book in the Bloodlines series, but I feel like there might be another spin-off in the future. I'd love to see a series about Jill. In any case, the wait for the final book will be SO LONG, but that only gives me time to re-read Silver Shadows. Which I will definitely do.

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