The Golden Lily is the second installment for the Bloodlines serials that centered around Sydney Sage, a young alchemist who was a side character in the Vampire Academy series. Sydney had done a lot of favors by helping Rose in so many situation that she had gained the trust of the current Moroi Queen, Lissa to help taking care of Lissa’s half-sister, Jill Mastrano. According to the succession law, since Lissa and Jill was the last living line of Dragomir, anyone who wished to overthrow the queen, they need to kill Jill. In Bloodlines, Sydney, a Guardian dhampir; Eddie and Lissa was sent to Amberwood Prep School where she continued her study while hiding from the vampire world.
From the first chapter, I was a bit intrigue with the whole Alchemist world that Sydney have been living her entire life studying alchemy and doing field work around the world. Since I am a trained biochemist, I have some sisterly connection with Sydney. But after the earlier chapters, I was stumped. This book was one of the month’s highly anticipated read that I had waited since last year, but to be honest, I would have cut 46% off the book since the real Richelle Mead thing was in the later 54%. I do like Adult fiction authors doing Young Adult since they do have better plot arrangement and often add maturity in their younger characters. In Richelle’s case, she is trying to please the Vampire Academy fans which are notoriously hard to please.
Early half of the book are drama fest between characters. Started with Sydney meeting a guy who she didn’t have to be less intellectual with, school friend being distant that she’s gotten suspicious with, Eddie being a puppy around Jill while avoiding Angelina, a teacher who kept pestering her with spellbooks that she whined constantly about being against her belief even after she admittedly found the spells useful in tight situations, her constant whining about how people were concerned about finding out why her blood that Strigois hated, a fashion designer stalking Sydney because of Jill’s model looks, a school dance, martial art practice and etc. As a scientist, Sydney really fail at what she do. There were so many contradictory limitation on her, a scientist open the mind to anything and strive to find reasonable to any questions, there were so many potential in the first book but now I am more skeptic with her set of rules she put herself in. Be rebellious for heaven’s sakes! I guess, it was kind of fine with her being that way in Bloodlines but this book, she’s really being overwhelmed by everything. I thought she could eventually changed something instead of being more repressed than she should be. Besides, I don’t like dramatization of high school so that explained why I dislike the way it goes in earlier part of the book and the predictable sense of it.
The good part was of course, Adrian Ivashkov. The book was less redundant when his character came up and interact with Sydney. The turning point at the other half of the book which was finally what I’ve been waiting for in a vampire story which I won’t spoil the book since the blurb doesn’t tell much about it. Although some part from the first book had given a major berth in plot lines, I still find most of the events and overall character developments in this book will be further expressed in the third book, which will be out next year much to my annoyance. Personally, for now, I don’t think its a must read but if you can, just wait when the third book came around.