Monday, February 17, 2014

Tori's Review: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead

Series: Bloodlines #4
Genre: Vampire, Young Adult, Paranormal
Rating: ★★★
Pages: 420
Published by Razorbill on November 19, 2013
Amazon | B&N
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.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.
NOTE: This is the fourth book in a series. If you haven't read the other books preceding this book, I would suggest not reading this review as there will be spoilers for Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, and The Indigo Spell

I honestly never thought that I'd be giving three stars to a Bloodlines novel, but alas it has happened. First off, I found this book to be pretty mellow overall as in nothing shocking happened (isn't this for every Bloodlines novel though?). There were moments where I was semi-excited about it and I laughed at times, but other than that, The Fiery Heart mostly centered around Sydney and Adrian's relationship, which by the way, I never thought I'd be complaining about. I have to admit that their romance got a bit sickening at times. It's a bit unbelievable that Sydney goes from adamantly resisting Adrian to being all over him. The slow burn for their relationship did occur, just wasn't enough for me. In short, their relationship only managed to irk me in the end. I still ship them, but they've lost their flame.

Sydney and Adrian aside, the characters in these books still seem to amaze me. I don't relate to all of them, but there's just something about Mead's characters and the world of Moroi, Strigoi, and dhampirs that draws me in and won't let me go. It's all very intriguing to me. Mead, for several books, has created and maintained this world of vampires and vampire society with all the levels and kinks in vampire society (Alchemists, Moroi, Strigoi, dhampirs, etc.) that has interested many. I'm just too invested in this world to let it go.

The only character I found lacking was Neil, but I think that's only because he's been in one book opposed to 2-3 books like the other characters. Jill seems like a life counselor for Adrian, but I think that's good for him. Angeline is alright, I guess. She's not a favorite, but I'm not opposed to her. I actually like Trey a lot. I don't know why; he's endearing to me. The only thing that really turned me off regarding the characters is the fact that there are so many. I think that because there are so many, it's difficult to give every character the screen time that they deserve in the book. If there were more than 400 pages, I think Mead could've created a lot better character arc for all the characters rather than just Sydney (she had a small one. Her biggest character arc was in The Indigo Spell) and Adrian.

The biggest thing for The Fiery Heart was its predictability. For the other three books, I said that their level of predictability didn't bother me, but it's starting to get on my nerves now. I like to be on my toes when it comes to a book, and I like to be kept guessing, and I just don't think The Fiery Heart had any of that. Halfway through, I already knew the ending, so when it actually happened, I was thinking, "Oh. That just happened. Poor Adrian. Go get 'er." I have to say though that if Mead had done anything else with the ending, I don't think it would've been as great. I think that the ending was the best thing for the series, which is something I appreciate. I just didn't like its predictability. It made the plot boring.

Regardless, Mead has this writing style that is hard to imitate. She's witty and sarcastic, and it shows in her characters and writing style. We're back to the characters, but I think their humor is what really gets me. She made The Fiery Heart have split POV's between Adrian and Sydney. At first, I thought this wasn't too great, but as the book went along, I found that Adrian's POV really suited him. Sydney's was just like the other three books, but Adrian's POV really stood out to me. I think his POV made me see how much he really has evolved as a character in the books series.

The one thing that keeps me coming back for more in this book series has to be the fact that I've already read the six books in the Vampire Academy series, and I've already read the first four books in the Bloodlines series, so I feel like I need to finish it. My favorite still has to be The Indigo Spell, plot-wise and character-wise. The Fiery Heart was still entertaining and I liked it; it just wasn't a favorite. Although this isn't a completely positive review, I did enjoy reading this book. I will definitely be reading Silver Shadows when it comes out this summer.
"Did Belikov bend the rules of time and space to get here so fast? He can do that, right?"

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