So, remember how I really didn’t like number 4 in this series (The Fiery Heart)? Well, I’m happy to report that this one was much better. It was more on the level of the first three books. Which is to say, not quite as good as the Vampire Academy series, but still pretty enjoyable.
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 think what saved this book is that Sydney and Adrian were separated for most of it. This thankfully meant that all the cheesy, puerile mushy stuff from the last book was missing from this one. Rather, this book is all about Sydney trying to use her smarts and her skills to survive the re-education center, and Adrian using his smarts and skills to try to track her down and break her out.
Adrian kind of annoyed me for the first half or so of the book because he fell back into his old habits, with all the partying and drinking. I mean, I get it—that’s his fall back when his life feels out of his control, but still . . . I thought he’d grown out of that in the last few books. Though, I did think it was pretty brave of Mead as the author to take a character that seemed to be making progress and set him back a ways. And I guess it kept Adrian from starting to seem too perfect, because Adrian wouldn’t be Adrian if he were anywhere near perfect.
On the other hand, Sydney was her usual put-together self in this book. It would’ve been nice to see her crack a little, actually. You’d think that being physically and mentally tortured for four months would have some effect on her, but nope. She remains unscathed. Maybe things will catch up to her emotionally in the next book?
Overall, I enjoyed this one nearly as much as the first three, though I wish the secondary characters like Jill, Eddie, et al. could’ve been in it more, ‘cause I love those guys. But mostly I just spent the book being happy that it was better than that disaster of a fourth book.
Rating: 3.5 / 5