Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
I received this book in the mail from the Publisher.
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.
After 'The Fiery Heart' I was pretty eager to find out what was going to happen next. Richelle Mead has a bad habit of finishing her books in the craziest situations and it makes me go a little crazy when I realize I have to wait for the next book in the series to hit shelves. I do manage to wait for the book to come out (I have to), however, once 'Silver Shadows' arrived it went straight on top of my TBR pile (forget the planned reading list) and I started it as soon as I could. Was the latest installment of 'Silver Shadows' worth the wait? I think so.
I'm not going to lie it took me an abnormally long amount of time to finish reading this novel. In the past I used to be able to devour a Richelle Mead novel within a day minimum and two weeks maximum. These last two installments of the series have taken me months to read. I don't know if it's because I have been preoccupied with things other than my TBR pile or if the books are somehow slowing me down a little. I do think at this point the series is definitely getting more complex and because of that I may be taking more time to digest the story.
One thing that definitely slowed me down with this one was the institutionalised stuff. I just thought that Sydney being punished like that was so wrong and at times disgusting, so I would put this book down on purpose. I didn't really feel encouraged to pick up the novel because of that either. I felt like this section of the story really dragged on (even though it was probably neccesary) and as soon as the characters got past this point (don't want to spoil too much) I zipped through the rest of it quite quickly. Note to authors everywhere, I know that you have to create difficulties for your characters to overcome, but geez sometimes reading a novel (especially in a series) where your favourite characters (I mean fictional friends) are being tortured feels a little masochistic. Just sayin'
Okay, so I know I just said I hated the facility (and I do), but I think it's always interesting to learn about another part of the VA/Bloodlines world and more about how much the Alchemists affect it. I don't think anyone realised just how much control the Alchemists have over their kind until now, or even how deep their hatred of Vampires goes. More barriers faced by the Alchemists become evident in this book and it just goes to show that leaving the alchemists is not as easy as some of us (me included) once thought. It's seriously like a brain washing cult...
It was also interesting to learn a little more ablout how Alchemists fit into the system in regards to vampire politics. I would have assumed at the end of the last novel that this would be a quick rescue with help from Rose, Dimitri and the gang, but it turns out that the Alchemists are almost like a foreign country and while they work alongside the Moroi, they do not intervene in each others business. I could definitely see how the vampire world compares to our society.
I felt like this book had some really interesting and important themes/messages that could definitely apply to the real world. These include, but are not limited to: Love conquers all, How far people are willing to take a conflict or issue because of their beliefs, Picking your battles, And to define the term "monster". I obviously don't want to go into it too much, because I already feel like I am spoiling the novel for you, but to expand on the themes/messages this is definitely one of those novels that will make you question your ideas of good and evil. In the novel we are positioned to feel sympathetic towards Sydney and her ordeal, but if we were Alchemists, we would look down on her for her modern beliefs. Good/Evil is not based on what you believe, but on your actions/how you treat others.
So as usual the book got awfully interesting towards the end and the ending made me go crazy again. I was really amazed at how smart the characters were with their schemes. I definitely would not have thought of some of the stuff they came up with! And there was a short burst of "Syndiran" for all you vampire romance maniacs out there too. Really the ending was just surprise after surprise, And it definitely made up for the drawn out and slightly sickening beginning.
Overall, I give this 4.5/5 stars. Even though I thought it was great and I can't wait to see what happens soon, I'm not in rush to reread it. I seriously recommend both the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series to anyone who likes the YA Fantasy genre. I haven't read any other reviews of this book yet, so I would love to know what everyone else thinks. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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