Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)Author: Richelle Mead
Publication date: June 12th 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Hardcover, 418 pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With The Golden Lily, Richelle Mead once again proved that the world she created for Rose and now Sydney is magical and alluring and that, due to that fact, she can get away with a lot.

First half of The Golden Lily is essentially plotless. The reader gets to spend time with all the familiar characters, and it’s reminiscent of spending an uneventful Sunday afternoon with your friends: everyone is relaxed and happy they’re there, and the entire thing is absolutely tension-free. The second half showed signs of an actual plot – certainly an improvement over the first, or the almost plotless Bloodlines. There is a group of vampire hunters determined to kill Sonya Karp because they think she’s still a Strigoi. With Adrian’s help, Sydney uncovers a shared history between these Hunters and the Alchemists, and slowly she starts to realize how far she’s drifted away from the Alchemists’ views.

Once again, I found Sydney to be vexing and difficult to relate to. I understand her social ineptitude better than you might think, but there were times when simple logic would have allowed her to see things that she just failed to notice. It is hard to accept that a character that is, above all, described as insanely intelligent, can be so infuriatingly dense at times. There was a noticeable improvement over Bloodlines and I certainly liked her more this time, but making her seem stupid in order to further complicate the plot (or hide the fact that there is none) isn’t the way to go.

Unlike Sydney, Adrian showed radical improvement. Fear not, ladies, he is still the same old rambling alcoholic who uses too much hair products, but the hero in him is starting to shine through and it is a beautiful sight indeed.

Love triangles remain Richelle Mead’s trademark. Her ability to neglect plot, pacing and character development and focus solely on complicated relationships is quite scary. This time we have the ever-present Adrian-Dimitri-Rose (although, to be fair, it’s starting to fade), replaced by Adrian-Sydney-Brayden. Continuing from Bloodlines we have Eddie-Jill-Micah, and then, of course, to make matters even worse, Jill-Eddie-Angeline.

Although I smell yet another love triangle coming in The Indigo Spell (poor Adrian just can’t catch a break), I know I won’t be able to resist immersing myself into this world once again. Besides, I already preordered because I’m slightly OC and I need to complete the series on my shelf. As Lisa would say, being obsessive-compulsive is expensive. ;)


  1. Maja, I've been solidly Team Adrian ever since we first met him in Vampire Academy and while I knew Dimitri and Rose would wind up together, I hated the casual way Rose simply brushed off Adrian and gave him the whole talk about how he was "too good" for her, so I more or less refused to pick up Bloodlines, BUT, after reading your review, I'm actually inclined to start it now! I know! I hate love triangles but I simply cannot resist Adrian and while I really dislike Sydney, I think I might just try out this series because, as you said, it's hard to resist immersing yourself into this series. I'm glad to see you still liked this one despite its flaws - fantastic review!(:

    Ivy Book Bindings

  2. I am trying to read this in between books and not getting very far. I love Richelle Mead but her writing at times is slow and not flowery, rather plain jane boring. Yet, I admire the way she crafts her stories. I personally like Sydney though I know she isn't for everyone. I will let you know when I finish. I see you are reading Wake. Looking forward to comparing reviews.

  3. Maybe I'm in the minority but I've always loved Sydney. I think she has book smarts but is really lacking street smarts. I think it provides some humor in the book. Glad to hear your opinion of her improved in this one. I love Adrian and have always felt bad for him since VA. Hopefully the next book will go better for you. Great review. :)

  4. You know, I completely agree with you. I haven't read The Golden Lily yet, but I know I'll probably read all the books in the series even with non existent plots just because I absolutely adore the world.

    I'm kinda upset about the love triangle though... I love Adrian and I want to seem him happy and actually well treated.

    Great review- I like the honesty. :)

  5. I couldn't stand Sydney in this book. I haven't read a more ignorant character (besides maybe Ever from the Immortals series by Alyson Noel).. but I agree, simple things that would have taken common sense still boggled her mind.

    Adrian - he needs attention he deserves.. He really just need someone to accept and love him for who he is, including being a vampire. It's not like he eats people and kill them. He's just trying to survive just like everyone else. He's not hurting anyone.

    My Review

  6. I admire your fortitude, woman. The sheer number of love triangles you listed out here are enough to steer me away forever! Haha. So many people gush about Richelle Mead though. I do want to give her a try eventually. Which one do you think would be the best for me? Or should I just not?

    Great review!

  7. I trust your opinion on this Maja as I know you weren't overly impressed with Bloodlines and I felt the same way. Sydney was very difficult for me to like in Bloodlines and I've sort of been avoiding this book because of that. However, I'm glad to hear there is some improvement. It's a shame about the endless love-triangles though. Ugh. If I'm being completely honest, Adrian may be the only reason left that I'll consider giving this series another shot. ;) Great review my dear! :)

  8. I hadn't even thought about all the love-triangles in this series but when you put it like that I can see there are too many!

    You're right about Sydney, she grew on me in this book but it seems there she is a stereotypical intelligent character who is stupid when it comes to people. Surely after spending so much time in the school she'd become better at relating to others?

    Great review, Maja!

  9. ... This review actually made my day, Maja. Made me smile a lot! It's funny how we can see all the faults in a book and cringe at them, and still talk about them without any bashing--and actually enjoy the whole thing!

    Plotless and love-triangled, I admit that I've yet to get myself into this world. The one reason I'm still reticent, though, is that it seems really complicated! Lots of books, lots of characters... Lots of money to spend and time to invest. Still, I do have it in backburner in my head: as in, I plan to read it at some point.

    Specially now that I know that Adrian is an alcoholic who uses too many hair products. I'm bound to love a character like that!

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. I think Richelle Mead's books are the only books in which I can actually handle love triangles! It's weird because I absolutely hate love triangles.
    You wrote a very well-balanced review, Maja. I think the problem with Sydney is that she's no Rose. I guess a part of all of The VA series fans expected to see a little bit of Rose's fiery nature in her. I did think she matured in this book though she clearly needs to work harder on that!
    Adrian was awesome in this book, like you said! He really became even more likable (although I thought that wasn't going to be possible)
    Great review, Maja! :)

  11. Despite some of your issues with this, I'm glad it still worked out for you on the whole. Recently love triangles don't seem to be bothering me as much, so may be I will end up enjoying this series a lot (when I finally get around to picking it up!) Gorgeous review hun, I hope Indigo Spell will live up to your expectations more :)

  12. Ah yes, the hero in Adrian. Can I swoon now? Or kiss him?
    I also totally agree about the denseness of Sydney sometimes, but I think that its understandable given her upbringing.
    thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  13. Fantastic review, Maja. I understand your grievances about making a character seemed stupider than she actually is. I don't even know how that's possible with Sydney. Poor Adrian, indeed.

    Thanks for the insight!

  14. I wasn't that into the TVA series so I'll likely be skipping this, but glad to know I'm not missing much.

  15. Hey Maja! I need to get on the ball and read these books. What you call OCD, I call normal. I hate not completing series on my shelf. It irks me to no end. Right now "The Kane Chronicles" is sitting incomplete, even though the third and final book in the series is out. It is driving me absolutely NUTS!! I'll probably buy it soon :) I love your reviews. They're always so honest and insightful. You definitely did not disappoint with this one.

  16. Oh wee. Glad to hear that Adrian still wears too much hair product! :D I agree with your point, Maja (no, not only about the hair product). Love triangle is one of Richelle Mead's strongest point. Dark Swan series can be the example I guess. Although I still love the series, I'm very disappointed with the way she ends it. No plots, just the revelation of which guy Eugenie chooses in the end. Enough of my rambling. Fantastic review, Maja! <3

    PS: being OCD is completely fine! ;)

  17. I haven't read any of her books but I really want to! Something tells me I'm really going to dislike Sydney. Huff. But I am super excited to meet Adrian! He seems like an awesome hair product wearing type of guy. Eeeew I hate love triangles!! But surely she makes them slightly bearable? Lovely review, Maja darling! Like always! ILY! <33

  18. I haven't read your review because I only just bought this during the week and hope to manage to read it in the next few days. I'm a big Adrian fan which mainly drew me to this series but I wasn't exactly crazy about Bloodlines, I think I gave it 3 stars, like you gave this. I'm hoping this series improves as it goes along.


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