School is really getting in the way of my reading and reviewing. Who needs an education anyway?
Onto the good stuff! The Firey Heart is the 4th book in Richelle Meade’s Bloodlines series, which is a spin-off from the 6-book Vampire Academy series. I’ve been reading these since the first VA book came out about seven years ago, and I’ll be dammed if I stop reading them now. I have a horrible compulsion to see these things through, no matter how terrible the series gets. I have to give it to Meade, the books are never that bad. The two protagonists of this tale are Sydney Sage, Alchemist, and Adrian Ivashkov, vampire royalty. There’s enough backstory there to fill up this review, but I’ll keep it brief. Sydney is a human who has always been taught that vampires are evil, soulless creatures of hell that the Alchemists are forced to help by way of helping vampires to keep a low profile. Sydney changes, however, as she gets to know them better and eventually falls in love with the dashing, troubled Adrian.
If you’re going to get into these books, start at the beginning. I think they’re worth it if only because of the way Meade writes Syndey. This isn’t a girl who’s waiting around for her prince to come, but someone who is actively trying to save herself, Adrian, and others. She gets her hands dirty, she stands up for her convictions, and she realizes that in order to survive that you sometimes have to question everything you thought you knew. She’s so strongly written to me that it makes the books worth it. Sure, they’re a bit cheesy and overwrought–they’re teenage vampire books, after all. The supporting characters also have a lot of color and personality that keeps the book lively and quick-moving. This novel alternates POV chapters between Sydney and Adrian, something I don’t think has been done before. For me, it was interesting getting a look into Adrian’s head and the parallels that were driven between his magical ability (Spirit) and manic-depression. As someone who is no stranger to that it was really neat to see that kind of a take on the disease.
This is a book for people who are already into these kinds of books. I don’t think they’re going to convert anyone who’s been staunchly against YA supernatural books, but for someone who already enjoys them it’s another good entry into a solid series.