Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: June 12th 2012
Source: ARC (provided by the publisher)
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.
Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she's been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.
But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don't die. But it's her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.
When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney's loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.
Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?
*Squeals* *Jumps and down* OMG. Guys. I just read The Golden Lily. I still can't believe it. Okay..Deep breathe. Right, anyway. You know the feeling when you get your greedy little hands on something that you wanted for AGES and AGES?? Yepp? No? Well, that was exactly how I felt like when TGL came in the mail. I looked like a won the lottery. Actually, this is BETTER than lottery. Why? Because it's got Adrian inside. Now that I've calmed down a bit, let me just tell you VA/B fans, you won't be disappointed with Mead's second book in the riveting Bloodlines series. Gimme the next book now!!
While the first book Bloodlines was filled with the world-building and getting to know more about our new protagonist Sydney Sage, the whole plot and action didn't take off until The Golden Lily. We now know more about the secrets of the Alchemist, and the mysterious vampire hunters. Is it really all a legend, as they say? It's fast-paced, the stakes are higher, and more secrets are revealed. I have to admit that some parts of the book, particularly the middle, were a little bit slow and tedious. BUT. Richelle's writing certainly makes up for it. It's the kind of writing that you can't help but continue reading, wanting to know what happens next.
While Bloodlines kinda let me down with the lack of romance, I'm pleased to say that The Golden Lily is brimming with pages of hot and romantic tension. The whole group is dealing with their own love lives, and I gotta say Adrian + Sydney = FOREVER. Eeeep!! I love them both together and as individuals. They are like the polar opposites of each other, yet they completely understand and could sympathize with the other. I adored their scenes together.
Now, I wouldn't ever NOT mention Adrian in this review. Adrian Adrian Adrian. *sigh* And here I thought he couldn't get anymore adorable and sexy. I think readers from the previous series will see this playboy in such a new light. He was my favourite character in VA, and I'm so freaking happy that he gradually changed and matured from that series to this. And it's all down to Sydney! Obviously, he's still hurting from Rose's love and betrayal, but by spending more and more time with Sydney, well, I'm not going to spoil anything ;).
Sydney is the perfect protagonist. I know many readers dislike Sydney, but I actually really enjoy her narration. This girl is so funny she doesn't even know it. I swear she had much more hilarious and witty lines than Adrian. She's so clueless about dating and boys that her interactions with them is pure entertainment for everyone. She is just so awkward! Also, this girl is so smart and intellectual that by reading this pretty much proved how stupid I am LOL. Oh, one thing that made me really want to punch Sydney was how obsessed she was with her weight. Geez, eating a burger wouldn't kill you, you know.
What really irked me the most was how I figured out (and some bloggers who have read it already had said the same) what Trey's problem was and the big secret, and how our super smart protagonist Sydney took most of the book to figure it out. COME ON. I personally think that even though all of Mead's books are so breathtaking, they are somewhat predictable at times.
Diving in to this book clearly made me realize just how much I missed the whole gang! Sydney, Adrian(!), Jill, Eddie, Angeline, and Dimitri and Sonya! I love their communications within the group, and how they all look out and care for each other immensely. Angeline, while I wasn't such a huge fan of her in Bloodlines, made me laugh and giggle so much when she was trying to get Eddie's attention. Poor Eddie getting harassed LOL. I found Jill SO annoying and whiny in the last book, but thank god she sort of grew up and came to her senses. The love triangle between Jill, Eddie and Angeline is one that I'm looking forward to in the third book! Also, it's great to see Dimitri (he appears quite a lot in TGL, not Rose though) from another character's perspective. We all know how Rose sees him, but what does Sydney and the others from the outside see Dimitri? It's great that Richelle incorporated that.
I honestly don't really know what else to say. Except go buy and read it when it comes out June 12th. I know you will! If you really liked Bloodlines, then prepare to get sucked into the Moroi and Strigoi world once again in The Golden Lily. Also, what was up with that last page? That was just pure torture. The last chapter was beautiful and heart-breaking and sad all at the same time. Heehee you're probably scared now, aren't you? ;)