Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

I came quite late to the Bloodlines party, finishing the four available books this past spring, in just a few short weeks, as I told you about here. I loved the series so much that I encouraged anyone who would listen to read them, I reread the four books shortly thereafter, and then I was wrecked for anything else for months afterward. I only had to wait about four months for Silver Shadows to release, rather than the eight months that established readers had, but it still felt interminable with the shocking ending of The Fiery Heart

I read the early chapters as they were released before publication day, and then when Silver Shadows finally hit my e-reader I devoured it rapidly, forgetting about the rest of the world while I took in Sydney and Adrian's journey back to one another.

Did Silver Shadows live up to the expectations left by The Fiery Heart? Did Sydrian find their way back to each other, or are they still searching? Click through find out whether I loved Silver Shadows as much as the previous Bloodlines books, or whether it fell flat.

I'll keep Silver Shadows spoilers vague and minimal, but I assume you've read through The Fiery Heart.




Is Silver Shadows here yet?
As Sydney began to realize the Moroi and Dhampirs were not, in fact, evil creatures of the night, it was pretty obvious that her more humane attitude would not sit well with the Alchemists, and Keith's stint in reeducation was rather evident foreshadowing of Syndey's fate. So it wasn't at all surprising when Sydney was kidnapped from Palm Springs at the end of The Fiery Heart, although knowing didn't diminish the pain of her taking. This was one of those cliffhangers that made me want to speed up time, or maybe become BFFs with the author, so that I could find out what happened next, so that I could get to the happy place NOW. Blessedly, Richelle Mead released the first seven chapters before release day, one or two at a time, and I gobbled those chapters up, desperate to get to that happy place I just knew was coming.


Oh, Adrian!
The first half of the book was pretty devastating. It was a slow, rather painful exploration of Sydney and Adrian dealing separately with Sydney's predicament, and the fallout from it. Adrian broke my heart time and again with his lack of faith in himself, his self-destructive coping mechanisms, his painful interactions with the people in his life who assume he is who he always pretended to be. It was hard to watch Adrian dealing with his loss of Sydney, but I was certain that that angst would just make the inevitable reunion all the sweeter.

While Adrian was coping with the pain of losing Sydney and the frustration of not being able to gain so much as a lead toward finding her, and no one in his world willing to help, Sydney never lost faith in him, in the power of them as a couple. Her thoughts of faith in Adrian, her confidence in them, and his place in her mind as the rock that would get her through this awful situation, all of that was breathtaking. It took some time for Sydney to figure out how to play the Alchemist reeducation game, but once she did, she knew everything would be okay and set about finding a way out.

It felt like there were two distinct parts to this book, the first being a slow action-light exploration of Sydrian separately, each struggling with their predicament, how they feel about the other person, and who they are as a couple. The second part was an action-packed, surprising adventure that basically flew from one exploit to the next. And a certain major event happened muy rapido, but it made complete sense based on these characters and their circumstances. Zee said that it felt like a crazy romantic spy thriller, and I couldn't agree more. I spent much of the latter part of the book stunned, in the best possible way, at the cuckoo bananas pace of events, that just worked and made perfect sense. Also, fabulous cliffhanger!


With Sydrian, love is everywhere!
As with all of the Bloodlines series, the one thing that sets this book apart from others is Sydrian's Epic Love. These two broken people came together from opposite sides of a racial divide, knowing that their relationship would be reviled by both of their people, but they each complement, complete the other, fixing the broken parts and making one another whole. It is stunning, beautiful, and once they commit to each other, they never falter in their commitment, never hesitate to tell the other partner precisely what (s)he means him/her. They are so perfect for each other, so good for each other, it's simply glorious.


Silver Shadows is a perfect blend of angsty, hopeful, funny, action-packed, and filled with love and wonderful relationships. It's an outstanding installment in a spectacular series, setting up a great mystery for the next book, as well as a legendary love story that could change the supernatural world. I cannot wait for February and what's sure the be an astonishing conclusion. 

Wench Rating:

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