If you have not read the Vampire Academy series, I do not recommend this as your first book. This is clearly a spinoff of the original series and answers questions left when that series ended. However, if you loved that series, I think you will love this new book!
It follows the alchemists after the last book of the VA series ended. Sydney Sage had befriended the main character of the VA series which labeled her as a “Vamp Lover” and almost sent her to the re-education center. Instead, she is given one last assignment to prove that she hasn’t fallen away and is able to do her job. There are other characters as well in the book that came from the previous series, namely Adrian, Eddie, and Jill. They have to take Jill (who is Moroi royalty) into hiding because of an assassination attempt on her. Eddie is her Dhampir guardian, and Adrian is there to help keep up the facade. They pose as a family at a private school, and while Jill makes the difficult transition, Sydney uncovers other mysteries including a series of unexplained deaths and students at the school portraying tattoos that give them power, like the Alchemist’s tattoo.
There is some profanity in the book, which was surprising to me since this is a young adult book, so that was a little disappointing. There are religious undertones since the Alchemists have a very strong faith in God and heaven. She even has a conversation with someone about what was more important, eternal life or chasing after immortality on earth. That someone preferred the chase since he felt he had more control over it (which in the end he didn’t), which I think is a good observation of our society as a whole.
Overall, it’s a pretty good book. It’s a quick, fun, and easy read if you are looking for something light to read between two heavier subjects. Although, again, if you haven’t read the Vampire Academy, definitely check that out before diving into this book!