Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This was intense! If you have not read the earlier Bloodlines books, you might want to stop reading. I have to spoil a few things from earlier in the series to talk about this book. This book so far has mostly great reviews. And I enjoyed it; I really did. But, it was also my least favorite in the series so far. I knew going into it that it was going to be hard to read because at the end of the last book, Sydney is taken for re-education.
For starters, the first 75% of this book is loaded with torture. And while it was super interesting to see what the alchemists believed and were capable of, it was not the easiest or most fast-paced story because well, Sydney is tortured for almost all of it. Yes, Sydney is strong and resilient. She also had a few things on her side that the alchemists didn’t initially know about (things like magic and a boyfriend who can communicate with her in dreams –at least once she can figure her way around the sleeping gas).
The book did move a lot more slowly. Besides the alchemists talking about the moroi as evil monsters of destruction, the book was more about the alchemists than the vampires. The chapters did switch back and forth between Sydney and Adrian. And Adrian as you can imagine, was not in good shape. His fall back into alcohol and parties was true to his character, and his journey back to the loving Adrian who had to rescue Sydney was so nice to watch. But, not a lot happened with Jill and the other characters.
Reading Sydney’s story was terrifying. She was burned with chemicals, purged of all her food on a regular basis, strapped to chairs, barely clothed, always made to be cold and to never have much sleep, ostracized by other detainees, starved, and stolen from and lied to. All the times she broke the rules to help someone else, I was literally biting the nails off my fingers.
The last quarter of the book had a lot more action (like we’ve come to expect from earlier in the series). There’s escapes, Las Vegas mayhem, Alchemist attacks, helicopter rides, sizzling romance, and plain old surviving. I loved watching how much more empathetic and intelligent Adrian has become (since being involved with Sydney). And I loved watching Sydney become more caring, and open minded (since being involved with Adrian). The characters are all stretched to their limits in this book, and I have never been more impressed by Sydney.
It did take me a couple more days to read (than I expected it to), and it definitely was more intense and dark than past books as well. Also, there were a few similarities between this book and another book I’ve recently read by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin), which was also hard for me to read. I hope main characters getting captured and tortured is not going to become a trend now.
It’s hard to rate this book because it’s still all the characters I love. It just wasn’t as fun of a read for me. I’m dying to see what happens in the next and final book. There was another cliffhanger. And I guess dark and scary doesn’t equate to bad. It just was different. I guess I give it an 8/10.

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