Series: Bloodlines #5
Also in this series: The Fiery Heart
on 29th July 2014
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In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.
Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.
For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .
Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.
Note: This review contains spoilers for the first four books in the Bloodlines series however there are no major spoilers for Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5).
Sydney Sage has been through so much since we first met her in the Vampire Academy series. Her ideals have changed and she’s learned so much about herself and the ‘monsters’ she co-exists in the world with. But Sydney has only just met her toughest challenge – being trapped inside a facility who intends to revert Sydney back to her old ways of thinking. Refusing to believe the Alchemists are right, Sydney is determined to make it out of the facility and back to Adrian. Adrian similarly has his own demons to fight if he is going to get Sydney back. His spirit is threatening to take over and without Sydney, Adrian doesn’t know if he can contain it. With both the Moroi and Alchemists disapproving of any sort of relationship between Sydney and Adrian, their bond seems doomed and any kind of future they had once planned is an impossibly reality.
Since I started reading the Bloodlines series I’ve seen many unfavourable comparisons between Sydney and Rose Hathaway (the main character of the Vampire Academy series) from fans. Whilst I’ve always believed Sydney to be strong in her own right, after reading Silver Shadows I doubt anyone will be able to say Sydney is less of fighter, less brave or less of a character than Rose is. Sydney is brave and determined even when it feels like her entire world is ending. The Alchemists try to break her but Sydney proves just how resilient and strong she is. That’s not to say she’s perfect. I really appreciate how consistent the characters are across the series. Sydney still has her issues regarding food and her other eccentricities – as does Adrian. And despite circumstances changing and lives being ripped apart at the seams, these quirks are not forgotten.
Adrian also shows in this book how far he as come from the drunken playboy first met in Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2). He’s trying to hold on to everything, to be the man Sydney sees in him, but he finds it hard. The spirit is manifesting itself in changing ways but Adrian doesn’t want to dampen it as spirit dreams may be the only way he can find Sydney. His parents are back in the picture and we get to see some familiar faces again. This book made me appreciate Adrian even more but in a different way. In Silver Shadows, Adrian shows his vulnerable side and shows just how difficult and heartbreaking his and Sydney’s situation is for both parties. I mentioned it before but the consistency of this series is one of its strengths. Adrian still has his issues – love doesn’t conquer everything – but there is still hope. The appearances of characters we know from the earlier books (Jill, Marcus, Rose etc.) are amazing. They feel like they belong and help create a richer reading experience.
There are a lot of surprises in this book which I don’t think most readers will be expecting (I know I wasn’t!). The dual narration shifting between Sydney and Adrian’s points of view was beautifully executed and helped drive the story along. The chemistry between Sydney and Adrian is such a pleasure to read – I love the sparks between them and this book shows them off as a couple. They may be thousands of miles apart, their future uncertain and their lives falling apart around them but never did I doubt their feelings for each other.
Richelle Mead is such an incredible writer and she did not disappoint with Silver Shadows. She’s not afraid to put her characters in dire situations and the result is a brilliantly exciting, heartbreaking and well written read. This fifth book in the Bloodlines series was everything I was expecting and more and has only left me that much more excited to read Ruby Circles, the sixth and final book in the Bloodlines series (expected publication February 2015).
Thanks to Penguin Teen Australia for the review copy