Publishing Date: June 12 2012
Genre: Paranormal, YA, Romance
Page count: 418
Sydney and co are back in The Golden Lily, the highly anticipated sequel to the Vampire Academy spin-off, Bloodlines. I say highly anticipated because those fangirls just can’t leave Adrian alone and are desperate for Sydney to become romantic with him, even after being inside Sydney’s head long enough to know that she’s really not comfortable with the idea of a human-vampire relationship, nor is she even that into Adrian.
But, fangirls. They have their obsessions.
The Golden Lily actually didn’t feel much like an adventure or a mystery novel, the kind I am getting used to from Mead after the romance took a backseat in every other Vampire Academy novel. This novel is a romance, don’t mistake it for anything else. Most of the novel consists of riding along in Sydney’s head as she dates this guy whose name no one can remember (Brayden? Brandon?). He seems pretty perfect at first: logical, intellectual, taking an interest in local history and enjoys talking about obscure things with Sydney. But really he’s just there for Adrian (and thereby Jill) to get brooding about. Oh, and to make Sydney realise she’s not as uptight as she thinks she is.
Then there’s the subplot about a group of young vampire hunters, and unfortunately I made the realisation instantly while Sydney floundered and moped and got uncomfortable around the actual vampires instead of figuring it out as well.
I believe if the focus had been more on the adventure and mystery like in Bloodlines, I would have enjoyed the novel a lot more. I didn’t mind reading about Sydney’s romantic escapades (and the rest of the group. They are pretending to be family. It’s gross.) but because I’m not living vicariously through her, it didn’t make as much of an impact on me as it might have done on say, a teenage girl reader or a single young adult pining for her own boyfriend and imagining herself as Sydney. Also, I just don’t get the appeal of Adrian. He’s an entitled yet slack alcoholic smoker who’s destined to go crazy because of his magic powers. I like reading about him, and I enjoy his banter with Sydney because she’s intelligent but naïve, but I don’t want Sydney to succumb to what I believe might be the inevitable in a Mead universe.