Tag Archives: Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy

This is a review of “Vampire Academy” by Richelle Mead. It is the first novel in the Vampire Academy Series.

I read this series years ago, and loved it then. As this novel has been recently turned into a film, I decided to re-read the series, and review them.

Rose Hathaway is a teenage dhampir. She’s a sort of half vampire. There are Moroi, good magic-wielding vampires. They still need blood to survive, but they never kill for it, and they not immortal. With only an aversion to sunlight, they’re not that different, just a bit taller and more ethereal than the average joe. When they have children with other Moroi, they produce Moroi children. When they have children with dhampirs or humans, they produce dhampirs. Dhampirs are sturdy and strong. They’re fitter than humans and hardier than the Moroi. This makes them the ideal candidates to be trained to guard the Moroi. And they do need guarding. Because there are other vampires, and they’re far from good.

Strigoi are the undead. They are evil vampires that are immortal, but have lost all sense of morality and survive only to kill and cause suffering. Their favourite prey is Moroi, but they’ll happily kill dhampirs and humans to survive. They can’t go out during the day, and ultimately they’re the reason why Moroi need their dhampir guardians. Rose was training to become such a one. That is until she and her best friend Lissa (Moroi Princess Vasilisa) decided to leave their school St Vladimir’s Academy, and live out in the human world, on the run.

But they’ve been located by the school’s guardians, and it’s back to St Vladimir’s. The girls are in trouble and they’re not telling why they left in the first place. Lissa is yet to specialise in her elemental magic. Moroi teens usually manifest their magic by having particular skill and aptitude with one element. Even though Lissa seems behind in her magic use, she’s developed other useful skills. Skills nobody else seems to have…

Rose is back into her hardcore guardian training, but she’s missed so much. This has led to her having to undertake extra classes with top notch (and pretty hot) guardian Dimitri Belikov. When strange and sinister things start to happen around Lissa again, will Rose be up to par with her guardian skills? Will she be able to protect her?

I enjoyed this book the first time around, and I enjoyed reading it again now. It didn’t matter that I’m a few years older than I was, it’s still a good, entertaining book. I love the friendship and devotion that Rose and Lissa share. They truly value one another and go to great pains for each other. I also like Rose’s interesting love-predicament. I love the way Mead tackles issues like mental health in her YA novels. She provides insight into what it’s like to suffer from a problem that not many people are willing to openly discuss. I look forward to seeing the movie adaptation of this book.

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Gameboard of the Gods

This is a review of “Gameboard of the Gods” by Richelle Mead. It is the first novel in the Age of X Series. This is an adult dystopian series.

The world has been brought to the brink of ruin by religious extremists.

Justin March is an exiled Gemman living in Provincial Panama. Panama is nothing like home. Everything feels dated. He longs to return to his homeland, the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Justin yearns for the life he once had, the technology, the refinement and the civility of society in the RUNA. He’d do anything to return.

Mae Koskinen is a beautiful and extremely dangerous Praetorian; a soldier enhanced with an implant that makes her close to invincible. As punishment for an infringement, Mae is stripped of her Praetorian Guard uniform and sent to Panama on an errand. That errand is to locate Justin March, and pass on a message. A message that contains an offer he can’t afford to refuse.

Justin’s expertise is desperately needed to solve a murder mystery. There have been multiple murders, and they all seemed to be tied to one another. Each one seems to be done at a similar time of the month, in a ritualistic way. Even more baffling, the murders seem to have supernatural involvement, and everyone knows that religion is fanciful, and supernatural happenings are, well… bullshit. Justin has got approximately one month before the killer strikes again, if the pattern of the previous murders are followed.

But just because the RUNA is offering Justin exactly want he wants, it doesn’t mean he won’t ask for more. He bargains with his employers to bring the Panamanian daughter of his close friend, into the RUNA as a student. Tessa is a highly intelligent, if very sheltered, young woman, and Justin knows that she’d blossom in the RUNA, with everything it can offer in terms of education.

Both Justin and Mae have very intriguing pasts, and both are not very forthcoming at all. Justin has to solve the mystery surrounding the murders, or it’s back to Panama for him. Can he pull it off?

I love a lot of Richelle Mead’s other works, so it is not surprising to me that I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the plot intricacies. The subject matter, especially the parts involving religion, really made me think. I love the world Mead has created in this series, and I look forward to the next installment. Mead always creates characters that are interesting, a little flawed and that have oodles of charisma. They’re easy to admire and identify with. Justin is as charismatic as Adrian from her YA Bloodlines Series and Vampire Academy Series and Dorian from her adult Dark Swan Series. He’s got charm, intelligence and sex appeal. But he’s not perfect. Mae reminds me a little of Glynn from Isobelle Carmody’s Legendsong Series. I like how the reader explores Mead’s world through different perspectives. In “Gameboard of the Gods” we get to explore events though the eyes of Mae, Justin and Tessa, which adds depth and understanding to the plot. I am definitely looking forward to a sequel (and hopefully more to follow)!

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The Indigo Spell

This is a review of “The Indigo Spell ” by Richelle Mead. It is the third novel in the Bloodlines Series. It follows on from “The Golden Lily“. The Bloodlines Series is a spin-off series from the very popular YA Vampire Academy Series.

As this book is a part of series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novels. Do not read if you want to read this series in the future and do not want to know of any potential plot spoilers.

Sydney’s still not very keen on using magic. But after employing spells to get herself out of a very sticky situation, she’s decided that she’s being a bit silly about it all. So when her teacher and magic mentor Ms. Terwilliger wakes her up in the middle of the night to enact a scrying spell, Sydney goes along. She also reveals that Sydney is most likely in a great deal of danger and needs protection. It seems there’s a wicked witch after young magic users, and Sydney fits her bill. Sydney promises to keep herself safe and to help Ms. Terwilliger stop her.

Sydney is also still reeling from Adrian’s revelation. He’s told her that he has feelings for her (read “The Golden Lily“). She doesn’t know how she feels about Adrian, but she knows they can’t be together. It’s frowned upon for Moroi and humans to be together, let alone a Moroi and an Alchemist. But Adrian’s not going anywhere, he’s told Sydney that he’ll just go on loving her until she reciprocates. Worse, it seems Sydney is going to have to spend a lot of time with Adrian. First at Sonya and Mikhail’s wedding. And then fulfilling her promise to Ms. Terwilliger. Adrian will go along with Sydney while she warns other young magic users to camouflage her with Spirit.

Sydney’s also found Marcus Finch. She’s located him through the use of the scrying spell shown to her by Ms. Terwilliger. It allows her to find someone she’s never met before. Their first meeting isn’t as smooth as Sydney was first hoping, but she finds out more about him and how and why he left the Alchemists. Does Sydney want to join him in leaving the Alchemists? And what will be the price if she does? Jill, Angeline and Eddie also have some issues they’ve got to sort out. There’s unrequited love/feelings everywhere there.

I really liked “The Indigo Spell”. It feels like Sydney has really grown as a person and as a character. This book was more about her, rather than being all about her doing things and solving problems for the others. I loved the dynamic between her and Adrian in this novel. It also ends on a pretty cool cliffhanger. I am really looking forward to the next novel, “The Fiery Heart” which (very awesomely) comes out this year too in November!

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The Golden Lily

This is a review of “The Golden Lily” by Richelle Mead. It is the second novel in the Bloodlines Series. It follows on from “Bloodlines“. The Bloodlines Series is a spin-off series from the very popular YA Vampire Academy Series.

As this book is a part of series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel. Do not read if you want to read this series in the future and do not want to know of any potential plot spoilers.

After solving the mystery of the strange enhancement tattoos, and after finding out who was behind the throat slitting attacks on Moroi adolescents (read “Bloodlines“), life is back to normal (well as normal as it gets) for Sydney Sage, Alchemist. She’s still posing as a student at Amberwood Prep in Palm Springs, as part of her assignment. She’s still “big sister” to vampire Jill Dragomir, and tasked with her protection. Jill is sister to the Moroi Queen Vasilia, and until an old law is revised, her life is in danger from Moroi dissenters. Along with Jill and Sydney, Eddie, Jill’s Dhampir Guardian and “brother” and Angeline another Dhampir protector and “cousin” also attend Amberwood. Adrian, another Moroi is posing as their older brother, and has to be close to Jill as she is shadow-bound to him (he brought her back to life using his vampiric abilities).

Sydney is actually enjoying her assignment and likes her fake family. However, she knows that as an Alchemist, she shouldn’t be getting so involved. It’s forbidden to be intimate and friendly with vampires, and being sent to a Re-education Facility is a very real possibility. But Sydney really likes her Moroi and Dhampir friends. The beliefs of the Alchemists seem more rigid and stiff to her than ever, but she’s finding it hard not to heed them. She enjoys attending boarding school (having been homeschooled her while life), and has even branched out, somewhat awkwardly, into the dating world. Her human boyfriend Brayden is nice, very smart and conversation with him is great, but Sydney’s not feeling any sparks. She’s left wondering if her social awkwardness extends to romantic relationships? Maybe they’re not for her? And Mrs Terwilliger (her history teacher) insists on Sydney studying texts on magic for her Research Project even though she knows Sydney has a large aversion.

Angeline is having trouble fitting in too. She’s a Dhampir from the wild Keeper community, and she’s not used to regular school life. Adrian too, is not having a great time. Being a rare Spirit user (Moroi have abilities linked to the elements) he’s been recruited into a research team, with the aim of uncovering why those who have been returned to their own selves after being Strigoi (evil, forcibly turned, undead vampires) through the use of Spirit cannot become Strigoi again (this was discovered in “Bloodlines“). They would love to discover the reason, as it would mean an immunity to becoming Strigoi could be implemented for Moroi, Dhampirs and humans alike. Adrian’s fine with the research goal, but not so much his research partner. Dimitri Belikov is a former Strigoi and kick-ass Dhampir Guardian. He’s also the current boyfriend of Rose (of Vampire Academy fame), Adrian’s ex-girlfriend. Also helping is Sonia Karp, former Strigoi and also a Moroi Spirit user. Eddie is helping out as their “baseline” Dhampir. They are examining the differences between Eddie and Dimitri. Eddie too is suffering from an unrequited crush on Jill. Awkward, as they’re posing as siblings.

Life is going on in a nice if slightly dysfunctional manner. The research is going a little slow but aside from some small issues, nothing much is out of the ordinary. Until one night when Sonia and Sydney are attacked by a group of humans. It seems Vampire Hunters do exist after all. Sydney and Adrian decide to take self defence classes and Sonia decides to stay indoors. Until one night when she leaves to talk to Sydney, and she is kidnapped. Can they find Sonia before it’s too late? And what will Sydney have to resort to, to get her back?

Can they maintain their cover? Sort out their relationships? Can Sydney break free of her Alchemist conditioning?

I liked this book. I bought it when it was first published, but did not read it until now. Partly because I had other series and books to read, but mostly because I wanted to be able to read the next book in the series immediately, which I can now do! I enjoyed seeing Sydney grow socially, and wrestle with her ingrained beliefs. Adrian was as entertaining as he always is, and Jill’s ‘little infatuation’ (cryptic I know) was quite funny. The Vampire a Hunters were interesting, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about Marcus Finch. With the way this book ended, I am pretty glad I waited to read it, as now I can get stuck in to “The Indigo Spell” right away.

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Succubus Revealed

This is a review of “Succubus Revealed” by Richelle Mead. It is the sixth and final book in the Georgina Kincaid Series. It follows on from “Succubus Shadows“.

It goes without saying that this review will most probably reveal details of the previous novel/s in this series. You have been forewarned.

Seth and Georgina are back together. But even this joyous happening is marred. Georgina has had to quit her job at her beloved bookstore, as all there regard her as a scarlet woman, a home wrecker. So she’s moonlighting as a Christmas Elf at the mall. Not an ideal profession, but it helps to pass the time.

Seth’s sister in law Andrea, is very sick. He’s been helping out a lot and putting himself and his writing second. Georgina wishes she could do more to help Seth and his brother and nieces. And then Seth’s mother and his hipster brother Ian show up.

But something about Seth has been niggling away at Georgina. He called her Letha. And no one has mentioned her true name in front of him. She knows she hasn’t, and all of her friends swear they haven’t told him either.

And then Georgina finds a note from Hell HQ. She’s being transferred in 30days. She’s surprised to say the very least. She’s been given pretty much no warning at all. What will it mean for her and Seth? He can’t really leave with Andrea so sick. The whole thing seems kinda fishy to Georgina, and Roman seems to agree. But by delving into the matter will they unwittingly unravel more than they bargained for?

I really liked this one! It wrapped up everything so well. I enjoyed the Seth revelation, and the entire resolution. Roman’s part to play was bittersweet and Carter’s vocation was cool.

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Succubus Shadows

This is a review of “Succubus Shadows” by Richelle Mead. It is the fifth book in the Georgina Kincaid Series. It follows on from “Succubus Heat“.

It goes without saying that this review will most probably reveal details of the previous novel/s in this series. You have been forewarned.

Georgina and Seth are still trying to move on from their forbidden week together. But Seth’s soul has been blackened from the guilt of cheating in and lying to Maddie, and there’s no denying that he and Georgina both still want one another. Even though it was Georgina this time that ended things, her heart still well and truly belongs to Seth.

Roman has moved in with Georgina after helping her locate Jerome and negotiating with him a deal that allows him to remain alive in Seattle so long as he does not reveal that he is a nephilim to anyone. Georgina isn’t exactly thrilled about having him as a room mate, but it is preferable to his former stance on killing her painfully. And it’s not so bad sometimes to have company to talk to.

Seth has proposed to Maddie in his guilt. And while this breaks Georgina’s heart, Maddie is (of course) oblivious, and asks Georgina to be her bridesmaid and to help with the dress shopping. Could there be anything worse?

So Georgina has suffered some pretty low moods. And even stranger, when she’s down she’s been hearing a sort of siren call, a compulsion to go somewhere to escape her heartache. After a particularly confusing night with Roman, Georgina gives into the compulsion and…disappears.

A distressed Roman urges the other immortals to help him find her. Poor Georgina is trapped, forced to dream over and over, false dreams and true dreams; usually of the worst times in her long life. Can Georgina be saved?

I really liked this one! It had a good storyline and I liked finding out more a out Georgina’s life. The whole Seth/Georgina thing is getting a bit old. I wish she would just move on with Roman. I am eager to read the next, as there were a few loose ends.

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Succubus Heat

This is a review of “Succubus Heat” by Richelle Mead. It is the fourth book in the Georgina Kincaid Series. It follows on from “Succubus Dreams“.

It goes without saying that this review will most probably reveal details of the previous novel/s in this series. You have been forewarned.

Georgina is angry at the world. Especially at Seth Mortenson, her ex-boyfriend. He’s left her (he says to prevent her further pain), but it’s not exactly painless seeing him with their friend Maddie, who had no knowledge of Seth and Georgina’s secret relationship. Georgina has become a snarkier, nastier version of herself, and Jerome is getting sick of her attitude. He decides to send her on a mission to Vancouver (yes Canada!) as punishment.

Georgina finds herself caught between Jerome and Cedric, the arch demon in Vancouver. They have just finished scuffling over property lines, but don’t entirely trust one another. Cedric is in need of a succubus to infiltrate and disband a group of embarrassing Satanists that are affecting his reputation. Jerome wishes her to go as a sign of good faith, but also to spy on his nemesis.

Since her breakup with Seth, Georgina has been dating Dante, psychic and fraud. Dante’s soul is so black that Georgina holds no such qualms that she did in regards to sex and soul stealing. Dante is no Seth, but it is nice to have sex with someone she cares about on a regular basis. And no matter how jaded and bad Dante appears to be, he’s been shing Georgina a sweet side lately, buying her gifts.

But then Jerome goes missing. And when he disappeared, so too did the abilities of Georgina and the other evil lesser immortals. She can no longer shapeshift, Cody and Peter can go out into sunlight and Hugh can no longer see souls. Georgina doesn’t need to feed off of the life force of men, which means she can have sex without any effect. What will this mean for her and Seth?

Can Georgina find Jerome? Will she want to? Who has taken him?

I liked this one. It was a good mystery, and the disappearance of Georgina’s succubus abilities brought with it a lot of complications. An old character made a reappearance and I liked the new characters that were introduced.

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Succubus Dreams

This is a review of “Succubus Dreams” by Richelle Mead. It is the third book in the Georgina Kincaid Series. It follows on from “Succubus On Top“.

It goes without saying that this review will most probably reveal details of the previous novel/s in this series. You have been forewarned.

Georgina is still with Seth. They get by. Even though they still can’t get physical (or all the way physical at least) their relationship is surviving. Seth still gets in his writing frenzies, and Georgina still has to prey on the souls of men, but they’re doing ok. The mortals still don’t know about their couple status, and the immortals still think they’re absurd.

Doug’s sister Maddie has stuck around to keep an eye on Doug, and as she’s just a freelance writer, she’s landed Georgina’s old job at the bookstore. Georgina and her get along well. Although Maddie’s a little shy with others, Georgina discovers just how much fun she’s been missing out on by not having a girlfriend over the years.

Jerome calls a meeting for all the hellish workers in the area to attend. Georgina is mildly curious. This curiosity sours when she is face to face again with Niphon, the imp who brokered her mortal soul. Georgina can’t stand him. And when Jerome introduces Georgina to a brand spanking new succubus, Georgina is even more dismayed to hear that Niphon is hanging around until Tawny (the new girl) bags her first victim. This is especially awful when Georgina realises how truly awful a succubus Tawny is. She can’t seem to get anyone to sleep with her. And even worse, Georgina is charged with being her mentor.

And Carter is meeting with a group of angels in the local watering hole. They’re being very secretive. Of course this piques Georgina’s interest, but the angels are tight lipped. Georgina does however agree to host their mortal friend Vincent in her apartment.

Georgina dreams a very strange and vivid dream where she is doing the menial task of washing dishes. It’s a very ordinary dream, but it feels so real. When she wakes her energy has been sapped. No it’s been completely drained. Which is more than weird, because she’d only “topped up” the night before. She thinks it is suspicious and quizzes Jerome, who just brushes her off. But when it happens again, and more of the dream is revealed (and her energy is drained yet again) she decides to visit her friend Erik, who directs her to Dante, someone whom Erik dislikes immensely, but admits he knows about dreams.

Can Georgina and Seth’s relationship survive? Can Georgina help the hopeless succubus Tawny? What is Carter and his angel posse up to? And what’s with these creepy dreams?

My thoughts: WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD.
I liked this one. The plot was interesting. I didn’t really like the dynamics between Seth and Georgina. What he does to her in the end is completely douche-y, and I dislike him immensely now. I mean dude. WTF?! And the ‘Thetis’ thing really doesn’t do it for me.

I liked Dante. I liked the angel Yasmine, and Carter is always entertaining. Tawny was pretty funny too. This book ended in a bit of a sad manner for poor Georgina.

All in all though, I really liked it.

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Succubus On Top

This is a review of “Succubus On Top” by Richelle Mead. It is the second book in the Georgina Kincaid Series. It follows on from “Succubus Blues“.

It goes without saying that this review will most probably reveal details of the previous novel in this series. You have been forewarned.

Georgina is attempting to have a relationship with author Seth Mortenson. Things are going well. They enjoy each others company immensely. The only thing not going their way is the whole georgina-is-a-succubus-so-sex-between-them-will-drain-seth’s-lifeforce thing. They’re keeping it low key. But the immortal gang is in on the secret and they love to rib Georgina about the ridiculousness that is her relationship.

It is during one such get together (and Georgina ribbing session) that Bastien shows up. Bastien is one of Georgina’s oldest friends. He is an incubus. He’s in Seattle on a mission. He must corrupt, seduce and publicly shame Dana Dailey, a ‘religious’ leader and radio host. Georgina abhors Dana and the intolerance she advocates over the radio toward homosexuality, unwed mothers, divorcĂ©es and scantily clad women. So when Bastien asks for her help, she agrees to shapeshift and visit him frequently as his sister Tabitha.

Things at the bookstore are getting a little busy. Both managers Paige and Warren are away. Paige due to her advancing (and complicated) pregnancy and Warren has taken a holiday. So it’s up to Georgina to pick up some of the slack. It’s also up to her to pull Doug up on his erratic and jerky behaviour. What’s gotten into Doug? He’s always been great, but lately if he’s not manic and grandiose he’s depressed and snarky. Georgina is worried. It could be due to his band’s recent success, but what if he’s taking something? And could it be linked to his sleazy drummer and a mysterious immortal she’s glimpsed at the recent gigs?

Can Seth and Georgina make it work despite their bedroom issues? Will Bastien bring about the downfall of Dana Dailey? And what’s going on with Doug?!

I liked this book. It seemed a little slower in parts than the first, but it was still enjoyable to read.

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Succubus Blues

This is a review of “Succubus Blues” by Richelle Mead. It is the first novel in the Georgina Kincaid Series.

I first read this book a while ago, but I did not have the rest of the series. Now I do, so I re-read this one before I read on.

Georgina works in a bookstore by day, but by night she’s a succubus. (Well the day/night thing doesn’t matter so much, but it sounded so cool, like she’s Sailor Moon or something, I could not resist. Anyway I digress…) She seduces men and takes some of their life force. She’s immortal and she can shapeshift, including her clothing (which is pretty nifty!).

But Georgina is not your ordinary succubus. She only feeds on scumbags and lowlifes as a rule. She’d be better fed if she seduced a good man, but Georgina doesn’t think it’s fair of her to do so.

At her day job she gets to meet her all time favourite author, and manages to make a pretty embarrassing first impression. Seth Mortenson is nothing like she had imagined. But he is intriguing all the same. And so is Roman. A sexy guy she meets at the store who saves her from embarrassment by pretending he has a date with her.

In the underworld, immortals are being attacked. First her vampire arch nemesis, then her friend. What’s going on? And who is doing this to the immortals? Is it a vampire hunter? Or something else? And can Georgina keep her distance from the attractive mortals?

I always enjoy Mead’s work. She is an entertaining writer and it’s easy to keep reading her books. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series now that I own it.

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