I must confess. I have a guilty pleasure. It started about two years ago, and I still return to it quite often.
I love reading Young Adult novels, particularly the sci-fi ones.
Yes, it all started with Twilight, but I have moved on from that particular series to another one about vampires. If you haven’t read The Vampire Academy series, and you loved Twilight, then I would highly recommend it. Richelle Mead is a pretty amazing author that pulls her story from Romanian mythology. It has two different vampire races, the Moroi (who are born vampires, have magical elemental abilities, and live a normal life span) and the Strigoi (who are the typical vampires made from killing others by drinking their blood and are immortal). There are also two other races. The Dhampirs, who are half Moroi and half human (or other Dhampir), have incredible strength and speed, and are the guardians of the Moroi. Then there are Alchemists, who are humans that have taken on the responsibility of hiding all vampire activity from humans as well as recording it. They also have a tattoo that protects them and boosts their immune system. Everything is very strict and scientific for them. Which is where the story picks up.
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 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!