Review: The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) by Richelle Mead

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

The Ruby Circle is the last book in the Bloodlines series. I’ve found this series to be mostly enjoyable (much more than I did Vampire Academy) and this book was a decent ender, but a little underwhelming.

The arc of the book focused on the search for the kidnapped Jill, but most of it just seemed like filler. I usually really like Sydney, but I found myself skimming through most of her POV chapters. Until we got closer to the end, there just wasn’t a lot that she did that was interesting. Adrian’s chapters were a little better because he’s dealing with being a little crazy, but he also is part of the side plot that is, as the synopsis says, “…the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world“! While it was an interesting development, there was nothing really done with it, which leads me to believe there will be yet another spinoff series.

Also supporting my future spinoff series, Queen Lissa has still not had any progress in changing the law that would keep her queen without a blood relative or approving the Moroi Magic Guardian Squad, which has been a running theme since The Vampire Academy days.

Overall, though, I was glad to see Adrian & Sydney get a happy ending. I liked that even though they got married in the previous book, their relationship still progresses a lot throughout the book. I liked seeing Rose and Dimitri more in this book, too, as well as some of the other supporting cast from the series. One noticeable absence is Angeline, which may bother some, but I never, ever liked her, so I was good with it. While I’ll miss Adrian and Sydney, I was ready for this series to end. I think fans of the series will enjoy The Ruby Circle and would recommend to them.

Rating (out of 5):

3 stars

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – Some Thoughts so far

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1) The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)

Click the picture for a full synopsis of each book.

The Bloodlines series is the spinoff of the Vampire Academy series. I’m not feeling a full review right now, so I’m just going to go with some thoughts about the series so far.

BEWARE OF SPOILERS

-As I mentioned in my Monday’s Minutes, I like Sydney more than I did Rose from The Vampire Academy. She’s more mature and not as impetuous. She’s just all-around more likable. One major problem I had with her, though, was in the first two books where she obviously has an eating disorder and it’s never addressed. She is finally confronted by Adrian in the end of the second book, so she’s a little better by the third book.

-There aren’t a lot of surprises in this series so far. Everything is pretty predictable. The writing and the characters (and by characters I mean Sidney and Adrian) still make it an enjoyable read.

-After the first book, the secondary characters kind of stop developing. They still have some storylines, but we don’t see much of them and they really aren’t developed into the full characters I would expect them to be this far into the series.

-I’m not really a fan of the magic/witch storyline. I found myself skimming the parts where it focused solely on Sidney practicing or learning about magic.

-With a spinoff series you still expect to get some interaction with the first characters you met. The first couple books had a little tiny bit of Rose and Dimitri and just a glimpse of Lissa and Christian. I hope the next books brings them back a little bit more. Or at least gives us a little more information about their lives now.

-Ok, now let’s just all agree on the reason for reading this series: ADRIAN. I loved him in The Vampire Academy and I love him now. He’s still charming and sarcastic and tortured. But he also grows a lot in this series. His relationship with Sidney really challenges him to be a better version of himself, not change into a different person like he was with Rose. And I just love him and Sidney together – their banter, their teamwork, their spirit dreams…

-Overall, I would suggest this series to anyone who read The Vampire Academy series and was disappointed in the end of it, like I was. I agree with the other bloggers I’ve read that the Bloodlines series is better than VA. While I would suggest reading VA before this series, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to come out in November.

Vampire Academy Series – Random Thoughts

The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

I finally finished the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. It wasn’t bad, but definitely not one of my favorites.  My original plan was to write an in-depth review of the whole series. However, after drafting it in Word I was already three pages in and didn’t even come close to being done with what I wanted to say. Instead I decided to just post some random thoughts about what I liked and what I didn’t throughout the whole series. I won’t be explaining terms or going too in depth on any given event I mention, so if you haven’t read the book, nothing will really make sense. And if you plan on reading the series, definitely don’t read any further. SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON. (But feel free to scroll down to the movie trailer at the end.)

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

-More often than not, Rose annoyed me. She’s impetuous and childish.

-The “Keepers” in the last book were mostly a waste of time, though there were a few amusing moments. I kept waiting for them to be brought up in the end, but after Dimitri, Rose, and Sydney leave them, we never hear about them again. What was the point?

-While I always rooted for Rose and Dimitri, the beginning of their relationship is kind of creepy. She’s seventeen and he’s her 24 year old teacher. It’s practically a Lifetime movie.

-We never find out what Sydney and Abe’s arrangement was. This drove me crazy. It was alluded to several times and never resolved.

-Adrian’s ending was ridiculous. He became one of my favorite characters and his ending consists of Rose wondering if she’d ever see him again. THAT MAKES TWO OF US. Though I kind of liked them together, Rose and Adrian dating was the worst. She never fully committed to him. He gave her outs and she just kept saying she wanted it to work. My other big issue is when she first goes to Adrian to get money to go on her trip after Dimitri. It’s a big deal because she knows she’s using his feelings to her advantage and he tells her he wants a serious chance with her when she gets back. I kind of felt like this came out of nowhere. I mean, Rose mentioned previously that Adrian often talked about how he liked her, but she thought he just wanted to get laid. Then at the end of that particular book she knows how much he cares about her and believes he’s serious about it. There was nothing really leading up to this for me. I would have liked to have seen more moments between the two of them leading up to this.

-In addition to Adrian, Rose also used Mason to try to forget about Dimitri, thought she still spent the whole time with Mason pining after Dimitri. It took until the last book for Rose to realize, “…It was better to be alone with self-respect than be in the wrong relationship.” No crap.

-Almost the entirety of the third book. It was all spent pining for Dimitri, even when she was with him as a Strigoi. Very, very little happened in this book and it drug on forever. Also, the whole Avery side plot was worthless. The only thing that came out of it was finding out Lissa can’t bond with more than one person.

-Rose started seeing ghosts because either the wards were weakened or she was outside of them. What about the whole 2 years she and Lissa were outside the wards? She never had any problems then.

-Did anyone tell Dimitri’s family he was “cured” and is a Dhampir again? Because after watching them grieve for him, I really wanted to see their reunion. Or at least a mention of it.

WHAT I LIKED:

-I enjoy 1st person POV and this series was told from Rose’s 1st person POV. Through her bond with Lissa we were also able to see events that happened when Rose wasn’t present, without “cheating” by changing between 1st and 3rd person. For the most part I felt like this worked and helped move the story along. It only fell apart for me in the last book when all shifts from Rose to Lissa were preceded by something like, “since I had time, I thought I’d check on Lissa…”

-There were a couple good surprises I didn’t see coming – but they still made sense when you thought about them. The first was the reveal of Abe as Rose’s father. The second was the reveal of Jill being Lissa’s half-sister. And the third was Tasha being the one that killed the queen (my only problem with this last one is that they spent half a chapter with Rose knowing who did it, but only gave us hints and after really the first hint or two it was obviously Tasha. But it was still a surprising choice for the murderer).

-Rose, Christian, and Adrian’s sarcasm. Pretty much all the humor in the series came from the sarcastic comments from one of these three characters and I enjoyed it.

-Dimitri. If you can overlook the whole sex offender status, he’s a pretty great character. Strong, protective, smart, loving. I was pretty angry when he became a Strigoi, and liked the twist of a spirit user being able to bring Strigoi back from the undead.

-Lissa and Rose’s relationship. While there were moments throughout the book they both drove me crazy, I think their friendship is the real “love story” in the series. At the end of the day it’s about best friends that will do anything for each other.

The Vampire Academy is also going be a movie (out February 14, 2014, I believe). For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included the first trailer. I am not a fan of the casting AT ALL and almost all of the dialogue in it is NOT in the book, but I’ll probably watch it anyways.

*EDIT* I just found out that there is a spin-off series that focuses on Sydney and Adrian and Jill and a girl from the Keepers. So I kinda hate that the last book in this series was used as a “back door pilot” for a new series, I’m obviously going to have to read it. Because I MUST know what happens.*

Monday’s Minutes

Monday’s Minutes is an update on what I’m reading and what I’m planning to read next.

WHAT I’M READING

Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2)

Frostbite by Richelle Mead is the second book in the Vampire Academy series. I just finished the first book because I was looking for something light to read after getting kinda depressed from Sisterland and I know someone that loves this series. The first book was just ok for me, but supposedly the rest of the series gets better so here I go.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Too Close to Home  Summerland The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)

I INTEND to read one (or all) of these. They are all library books that expire soon. But, because of my compulsive need to finish series, I’ll probably end up reading the rest of the Vampire Academy before I get to any of these.

What are you reading?