Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Summary: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the world between humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets-and human lives.
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 an 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.

Oh. My. God. I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK.
First of all, Adrian and Sydney are apart for most of the book and it pretty much just made me want to cry the entire time. (I settled for really weird, pathetic noises that Amanda got sick of fast.) The good thing about them being separated was that I was able to follow two completely separate storylines that kept the pace fairly steady even when nothing serious was happening.
But trust me, a LOT was happening. I started this book at around ten-thirty last night, and finished it around three this morning. There was no way for me to put it down; between the awesome characters, amazing writing, and the absolutely crazy plot, I was hooked.
As always, I adore Sydney and Adrian, both individually and as a couple. Though they both have somewhat extreme personalities, I’m able to relate to them while I read. I almost always love the characters in the books I read but in the Bloodlines series, I connect to them more than usual. I would absolutely love to have Sydney as my best friend and, much as I love her, I would totally date Adrian (you know, if I didn’t have a boyfriend…Love you, honey!). Mead gives such depth to her characters that it’s impossible not to care about them.
This book was much darker than the previous ones in the series mainly because Sydney’s in re-education, which is basically the Alchemists nice way of saying brainwash and torture. Even though Mead kept it from being terribly gruesome, some of the scenes with Sydney were harder to read emotionally.
It was the same way with Adrian. He might not have been tortured and starved but the love of his life was missing and he had no way to contact her. I’d loved watching the progress he’d made in previous books to overcome his addictions and the effects of Spirit so it was that much harder to watch him spiral back downward without Sydney to help hold him up.
The ending took so many twists and turns that I could barely keep up with what was happening and even when I thought everything would be okay, the last page threw another curveball and I no longer know what’s going to happen with the last book. All I know is that it really needs to come out RIGHT NOW. Next February is way too long to wait for The Ruby Circle.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my review or this book. Amanda hasn’t read it so I can’t talk to her about it yet. Did you see the end coming? Because I sure as hell didn’t.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

The Indigo Spell – Richelle Mead

Summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets-and human lives.
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she struggles to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do.
Then she finally tracks down the elusive, enigmatic Marcus Finch-a former Alchemist who the organization denies exists, and who lives in shadows, on the run. With Marcus’s help, Sydney realizes that the group she’s been loyal to her whole life has been hiding the truth from her. Is it possible that her golden lily tattoo might have more power over her than she thinks?
As she struggles to come to terms with what that might mean, Sydney is compelled to use her growing magical powers to track down an evil magic user who is targeting powerful young witches. Using magic goes against everything she always thought she believed, but she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her special blood-or else she might be next.
Forging her own way is harder than Sydney ever dreamed. Maybe by turning off her brain-and following her heart-she’ll be able to finally figure out where she belongs.
Review:
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead is the third in the Bloodlines series. This series so far has been so good. I started The Indigo Spell at about 12:30am when I got home last night and finished it before I went to bed. It was that good. So much happens in this book and I loved every page.
Like my last two reviews, we’ll start with Sydney. She’s grown so much throughout this series. In this book specifically, she’s started to give up resisting that she’s special and can do things that most humans can’t. But she definitely has a hard time giving up the beliefs that have been drilled into her for her whole life which is understandable. And I’m so proud of her for making the huge effort that she has to come to terms with everything she’s dealing with. She’s started doubting herself less, except toward the end of the book when everything that’s been going on finally comes to light. She feels like she should have known all along and that she made a bunch of mistakes which kind of irritated me because when I was reading that part I was basically in shock and never saw it coming. Sydney also starts finding out some things about the Alchemists that she doesn’t like. She realizes that she’s being lied to by her superiors and she doesn’t like that. Sydney changes so much in this book, for the better. She starts making her own decisions rather than just blindly following orders like she used to. I can’t wait to see what she does next in The Fiery Heart.
Onto my favorite part. Adrian. In the first two books, it’s totally obvious that Sydney and Adrian are going to end up together. And at the end of The Golden Lily, Adrian professes his love for Sydney then the book just ends. Throughout The Indigo Spell Sydney tries her hardest to deny her feelings for Adrian because she still agrees with some of the Alchemist’s beliefs. As the book progresses she has an increasingly more difficult time trying to ignore her feelings. And towards the end, she makes a really tough decision to let Adrian go. It was the right thing to do at the time even though I want them to forever love each other. The book ends happily for this new couple which I loved.
Eddie and Angeline end up dating. I didn’t really care for these parts of the book because I don’t want them to be together. Their relationship isn’t a huge part of the storyline, but it definitely has significance. And I get what I want in the end. Then comes Jill. In my last review, I complained about how I wanted to see more from Jill. I got what I wished for. Except for the part the Jill plays is more something that’s supposed to get in the way of Sydney and Adrian’s relationship and to add onto the piles of stress Sydney already has. We do get to watch Jill grow up a bit in this book. She really shows that she’s growing up. She tries to handle things by herself and gives Sydney an inspiring talk that may have had more effect than one of Sydney’s lectures would have. I liked seeing Jill growing up in this book and I’m glad she has a more significant part, even if it wasn’t all good. Then there’s Ms. Terwilliger. Sydney’s mentor when it comes to magic. I love this old lady. Even when she infuriates me. She doesn’t tell Sydney what’s going on, just that something life or death bad is about to happen. She does finally come out with the problem and tries to help Sydney as much as she can. I’ve like Ms. Terwilliger through all the books, and the more I read about her the more I like her.
Now comes the ending of the book. Let me just tell you, HOLY FUCKING CLIFFHANGER. I could kill Richelle Mead for putting me in these situations. I can’t stop thinking about this book, all I want is to know what happens next. She gives all this crazy information then just stops. She plays with my heart and I don’t appreciate it. Regardless of this, I’m going to keep reading her books because she’s a fantastic author. I don’t care who you are or what you like to read. Go get these books, and the Vampire Academy books too, sit down and read them all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Summary: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets-and human lives. In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next. Forging her own way is harder than Sydney ever dreamed. Maybe by turning off her brain-and following her heart-she’ll be able to finally figure out where she belongs.

Oh. My. God…
Well, hello, dears.
But seriously, I think I’m dying right now. I just finished reading The Indigo Spell, which is the third book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. All I can say is wow…
I honestly can’t contain my feelings about this book. Amanda’s been with me the entire time I’ve been reading it and I lost count of how many dirty looks she gave me because I was laughing too loud, or crying too loud or just overall being wicked loud. I’ve been waiting for Indigo Spell to come out since I read the Golden Lily (Book 2) and I was waiting for the Golden Lily to come out since I’d read Bloodlines (Book 1). This is a series that will literally keep you up at night because either you want to read the ones you have, or you’re waiting for the ones you don’t have. I just most of an hour going through Richelle Mead’s website and blog trying to find information about the fourth book. It’s called the Fiery Heart and comes out November 19th! Can you say, birthday present to me? I can.
Anyway. Sorry. So, I obviously haven’t written a review on the first two books but, knowing me, I’ll probably include little bits about them in here. Which means: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HAVING TO DO WITH BLOODLINES AND THE GOLDEN LILY! If you haven’t read the first two books, then you should probably stop reading this.
First off, if you’ve read Mead’s Vampire Academy Series (which chronologically takes place first), then you already know who Sydney Sage is. Well, actually, you know who Adrian, Jill, Eddie, and bunch of the other characters are too. In result of Sydney’s actions in the previous series, she’s given the assignment of protecting Moroi Princess, Jill Mastrano Dragomir, while she’s in hiding. Alchemists hate all vampires. Their main target is Strigoi, and they work with the Moroi and Dhampir out of necessity but Alchemists still believe they are all inherently evil. After working with Rose, (read the Vampire Academy books if you’re confused) Sydney’s view of the Moroi and Dhampir changes. She realizes they’re not necessarily bad and she gains a respect for them that does not fit into what the Alchemists believe. She keeps these feelings to herself, since to do otherwise would subject her to the Alchemists’ obnoxiously strict rules and punishments.
During the Bloodlines books, Sydney has to work in close proximity to Jill and Adrian, both Moroi, and Eddie and Angeline, both Dhampir. In a short amount of time, Sydney starts caring about all of them and, in Adrian’s case, a lot more than caring. I absolutely loved seeing Sydney push aside the fears and prejudices that the Alchemists had drilled into her since birth. She feels like she’s betraying them for thinking and feeling the things she does, but it doesn’t take long for her to realize that some of the Alchemist teachings are wrong. For pretty much the first time in her life, Sydney stops blindly following the Alchemists and listens to what her brain and heart are telling her. It’s a HUGE transition for her and getting to experience that with her is enlightening.
She also begins to discover secrets that the Alchemists want to remain hidden to an alarming degree. She digs into these secrets a lot more in The Indigo Spell than in the first two books. She lies, she goes behind her superiors backs, is involved romantically with a vampire, breaks into a top-secret facility to steal secure files, works with an ex-alchemist traitor, and practices magic (another taboo for Alchemists). As Sydney gets deeper and deeper into these secrets, she’s more at risk to be caught. For Alchemists, this means “re-education”. The best way I can define this is: oh, we’re going to torture you until you believe our beliefs again. Despite the fact that Sydney’s been raised and trained her entire life to believe what the Alchemists teach, she knows a lot of what they do is wrong and she doesn’t hesitate (well, not very much) to try to fix things.
Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Angeline are hiding at a prep-school in southern California and probably the funniest twist, and, for Sydney, the most surprising, is when she finds out her history teacher is a witch. And, even better: Sydney’s a witch, too. This goes against everything the Alchemists taught her and Sydney tries to escape any involvement. Unfortunately for Sydney, and hilariously for us, her teacher, Ms. Terwilliger, is persistent. She tricks and coerces Sydney into learning magic and, finally, at some point during Indigo Spell, Sydney accepts that she has magic and that she’s good at it. I also really enjoyed this transition for her because she tries so hard not to be a part of it, but her insatiable curiosity gets the better of her and she’s drawn in.
And, FUCKING FINALLY. Now, I’m going to talk about my absolute favorite part of these books. Ready for it? Drum roll, please.
Adrian Ivashkov. Cue swooning. Yes, it’s necessary. I’m really not usually the swooning type. I make exceptions for certain male characters in books. And Adrian, without question, is one of those exceptions. He’s a Moroi spirit user which means he’s heading towards going insane. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound terribly attractive. Each spirit user has different ways of dealing with the effects that spirit has on them. Adrian’s vices are drinking and smoking. Sydney helps him get away from those a little bit by encouraging him to instead take art classes, something he’s passionate about. Adrian falls in love with Sydney and, although her feelings toward him are anything but platonic, she denies them because everyone, Alchemists and vampires alike, frown upon human-vampire relationships. Now, in this most recent book, Sydney FINALLY accepts her feelings. I am beyond ecstatic. Sydney and Adrian are perfect for each other. He helps her to be more outgoing and rethink many of the narrow-minded ideas she’s always had and she helps him to be more serious and rethink the frivolous way he’s lived his life. They balance each other so well and I love watching them interact and challenge each other.
Okay, I think I’m going to wrap this up because Word is telling me this is over a thousand words long… It was unintentional, I promise. I like these books more than the Vampire Academy books. That’s not to say they weren’t phenomenal, though. If you haven’t read this series, I recommend it more than probably anything else I’ve written about. They’re funny and sweet and heartbreaking and there’s nothing about them that I don’t love. I hope you all fall in love with them as well.
-Antonia.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!