The Indigo SpellAuthor: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines, #3
Blurb: In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.
ReviewI was so so SO excited to read this book! I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Adrian. He's just perfect. Just a forewarning before you read this review, there may be a few spoilers from the previous Bloodlines books. However, I will keep it as spoiler free as possible for The Indigo Spell.
Short Summary:Sydney Sage is an alchemist on a field assignment, keeping a royal Moroi vampire hidden away from those who want her dead. After a passionate yet forbidden moment, Sydney is struggling to keep her emotions and Alchemist teachings in check. Sydney is worn thin between dealing with her Alchemist assignment, learning magic to keep herself safe from a powerful witch, and searching for an ex-Alchemist who will hopefully have the answers Sydney has been searching for. On top of this, she's trying to handle her feelings for Adrian by completely denying their existence. The stakes are so much higher for Sydney this time around-it all comes down to doing what's right and doing what the Alchemists teachings tell her to do-to keep herself and those close to her safe.
What I liked:I love the vampire and Alchemist lore in this series so much. This whole secret world is so fascinating and I can't get enough of it. The dhampirs being Guardians, the Moroi being the human vampires who wield magical elements, the Strigoi being the evil creatures of the night out for power and blood. Then there are the Alchemists who are terrified of these beings and think they are completely unnatural. They have very strict rules about keeping things professional with the vampires: no befriending them and DEFINITELY no romantic relationships. Which brings me to my next think I liked, no loved: Adrian and Sydney. Even though Sydney spent the entire book denying the existence of anything going on between them, there were still stolen moments of passion between them. You could tell that she was falling hard for him, even if she didn't want to, even if she couldn't fall for him because of her profession and the fact that if the Alchemists knew about what happened she would've been thrown into the re-education facility and would have probably never seen the light of day again. I also enjoyed how comfortable she's become using magic. Where in Bloodlines and The Golden Lily, she was repulsed by the idea and only used the magic because it was absolutely necessary, in The Indigo Spell she was using it and enjoyed doing so. And though she was using it to keep herself safe, she still used it without any disgust at all. The only thing in her head was that the Alchemists wouldn't approve, not that she wouldn't.
What I disliked:Surprisingly there were several things about The Indigo Spell that I didn't like and was disappointed by, which was very disappointing for me because I love this world so much. The number one thing that disappointed me was Marcus Finch. He was built up to be this huge, important character who was going to be a game-changer and shake things up with the Alchemists, but he was really just a huge let-down. Yes, he was an ex-Alchemist and had figured out a way to break the spell of the Golden Lily and yes he had a bunch of information about the Alchemists but that was pretty much it. He helped Sydney in one thing and that was it. He was all talk and no action and that REALLY bugged me. I'm hoping that he surprises me in the next installment and takes more action. Another thing I disliked is that a lot of what Sydney was sent to Palm Springs to do was missing. Jill, Eddie and Angeline were present, but it felt few and far between. The main focus in The Indigo Spell was Sydney's use of magic and finding Marcus Finch. I felt like things were just randomly placed and that everything didn't mesh well together until the end, when we have a big reveal, something that will really switch things up in the future. I felt a little scatter-brained for most of the book. Sydney was doing this, and then she was dealing with this, and she was also having to do this and while she was doing this she had to do that. She was all over the place, and I felt like Richelle was having a hard time figuring out where to take the story next so she just added a bunch of stuff into it that in my opinion didn't have anything to do with what I felt like is the biggest part about the Bloodlines spin-off: keep Jill safe and change the Alchemists beliefs about the vampires. I feel like the story is lacking in the Jill department. I mean, the whole point of Sydney being with Jill in Palm Springs is to keep her hidden because the vampires want her dead, but there is absolutely no story-line for that whatsoever in this book. The only thing that hinted at Jill's safety being compromised is when the Warriors mentioned a Moroi girl. That's it. I do understand that in order for Sydney to change the way the Alchemists work with the Moroi she has to go through trials herself, but I felt like it was all too far away from Jill and the vampires. The only one she spends any real time with is Adrian. Things were just too calm until the end. Another big thing that bothered me is that all through the Golden Lily they were trying to figure out why Strigoi turned back to Moroi couldn't turn back into Strigoi and were trying to figure out what Sydney's blood had to do with it, but none of that was present in The Indigo Spell. Nothing at all was mentioned about any of it and that really bothered me. It was like some things were just left hanging unanswered when we should have been getting answers or working toward getting those answers. The Indigo Spell felt like an entirely different story from the rest of the series instead of a continuation.
Conclusion:While I'm completely in love with this series, I felt like The Indigo Spell was a little lacking in the things that made me fall in love with this world in the first place. I still enjoyed it, especially in the last few chapters when things took an unexpected turn, making for a promising next installment, but so many things about it just fell flat for me. I'm rather curious to see how Sydney handles the new predicament though. I'm hoping some light is shed on certain areas and that the many things left unanswered in The Golden Lily will finally be looked into in the coming book. I'm also really hoping that Sydney will be able to make some changes in the Alchemists teachings without having to go through re-education but I feel like she's going to get into some major trouble, especially now that things have been switched up.
I was going to give this book 4 stars, but after seeing my thoughts written down, I think I'm going to have to give it 3. I know, it's practically blasphemy! *hangs head in shame* I'm pretty sure this is the lowest amount of stars I've given any of Richelle's books and that kind of depresses me. Okay, that really depresses me.
The Bloodlines Series
This is an area where I can freely express my thoughts without giving away spoilers in my review. If you haven't read The Indigo Spell, I strongly suggest skipping this section!!
My thoughts on Marcus Finch:
As I said before, I was strongly disappointed in this character to the point that I wanted to pull my hair out. He was all talk and NO ACTION. The way to get into his little group was to do something drastic that proved to him that you were serious about leaving the Alchemists. In Sydney's case, it was getting a video tape that proved the Alchemists met with the Warriors of Light. He had everyone else doing all the work for him and when he got the information he wanted, he did absolutely NOTHING with it. He was constantly on the run, moving from place to place, keeping away from the Alchemists while secretly turning Alchemists to his side, but none of them actually did anything once they joined his group except for getting the Indigo tattoo on their face which blocked all the magic in the Golden Lily tattoo. It was kind of infuriating after he was built up to be this very important character. He was definitely lacking in most all areas I expected him to flourish. The only thing he really had going for him was his looks, which Sydney was entirely oblivious to.
My thoughts on Zoe joining Sydney in Palm Springs:
At the moment I'm not really sure where I stand with this situation. I'm really hoping that Sydney changes Zoe's mind about the vampires, but I have the feeling that Zoe being there is going to be Sydney's downfall. It's going to be impossible for Sydney to hide her feelings for the vampires, especially Adrian. And the fact that Sydney didn't get the Indigo tattoo means that if the Alchemists decide to re-ink her tattoo, it will actually work, taking her right back to where she was to begin with in the magical department. And I see a re-ink in her near future. I also think that because Zoe is so desperate to make their father happy that she's going to do everything she can to make herself look good, including turning Sydney in if she finds anything suspicious. No, this situation is definitely not going to work in Sydney's favor, but it's definitely going to turn things upside down and hopefully get this series back on track.
"A moonlight ritual, a barren desert, virgin sacrifice . . . What had I just foolishly walked into?"
"Once I was on the plane, the reality of what I was about to attempt hit me. This was it, the point of no return."