Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Golden Lily - Review

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines # 2)

By: Richelle Mead

Published: June 12th 2012 by Razorbill

417 pages

Source: Personal Library

(Amazon | Goodreads )

Goodreads description--The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series.

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

Bought this book on Tuesday (June 12) and finished it this morning (Thursday). I was trying so hard to finish it last night, but we didn’t get home until close to 9:00 pm and I ended up falling asleep on the couch reading. Obviously, I read it quickly, and hard a time putting it down.

I don’t feel like there’s much to say because I want to keep this spoiler free. But I’ll start with how much better The Golden Lily was than Bloodlines. I liked Bloodlines, don’t get me wrong. (You can read my review of Bloodlines here.) But I said it then, and I’ll say it now, Bloodlines was first and foremost setup for the rest of this series and for future events. Bloodlines was necessary, but it wasn’t the meat of the story. We’re finally starting to get into the “good stuff” with The Golden Lily.

Most importantly, what we get with The Golden Lily is character growth. Sydney is changing. Her beliefs are being called into question. Her eyes are opening to the world around her. She’s seeing humans for what they are and what they have the potential to become (not as “good” as they might pretend to be) all on their own versus what the vampires around her are (evil and unnatural is what she’s been taught to believe) and what they have the potential to become (better than the humans who raised her?). Things used to be black and white for her, and some things still are. Yet other areas are slowly blending, melding, and turning gray. I REALLY like what’s happening with Sydney. And I’ve got hope for her future.

Along the same lines, I honestly like what’s happening with all of the other characters too. Eddie, Jill, Angeline, Adrian—oh Adrian—and even Trey. They’re growing, developing, changing. And I like it all.

My only negative is that it falls into the category of yet another book that was built up to me and thereby didn’t meet my expectations. It was the ending’s fault (and only the ending that I’m disappointed with and not even because of what happened, but how it was built up). Richelle Mead said quite a while ago that the ending would make you want to throw the book across the room. And then Anna Reads followed it up by saying that the ending would leave you emotionally raw (though after re-reading just now her comments on the ending, maybe I'm the one who built it up in my head). And while the ending was emotional, I guess it had just been built up too much for me. I was expecting epic. I wanted epic. And what I got, was…well…just an unadulterated desire to continue reading. Which is a good thing, and it means a long wait until the next release. *pouts* But I definitely didn’t throw the book across the room, and I didn’t shed any tears or even get angry. It just was what it was. Still an excellent read, but maybe if everyone else lowers their expectations (or doesn't have the same problem as I do) then they might just end up blown away. And I’d love nothing more than for that to be your experience while reading this book. I’m just learning that expectations play a massive role in my reaction to a book whether good or bad.

What did you guys think? Have you read The Golden Lily? 4.8 stars for me.

2 comments:

  1. I was hardly blown away by this one. For the majority of it I was leaning towards a 3.5 star rating. It was definitely good, but not great (IMO). I was constantly wanting 'more' and was growing frustrated that 'more' wasn't coming. I didn't have any expectations, because as you know I don't like reading reviews on books before I read them myself. Mainly because I feel that it will sway my opinion of the book before I have a chance to make up my own mind. It wasn't until the last 100 pages that my opinion of this book changed and even then, I only rated it 4 stars. Which is by no means a "bad book". Far from it. However, there was no "being blown away" for me either, even by the ending.

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    1. Sounds like we had similar thoughts. I'm glad it at least made it to 4 Stars. I'm excited about The Indigo Spell though. Thanks for commenting!

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