Published by Penguin Group USA on January 13th 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives. 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.
Warning: This book contains torture and other forms of physical and emotional abuse.
One of the books I’ve been wildly anticipating this year is Richelle Mead’s latest foray into her Bloodlines series, Silver Shadows. This book picks up right where The Fiery Heart ended. Sydney, betrayed by her sister, is now held prisoner in a Re-education center. Alone, afraid, and tortured, Sydney must hold on to the hope that Adrian will somehow figure out where she is being held and rescue her. Sydney continued to grow as a character in this book. She no longer was the girl who lived life “by-the-books.” Thanks to her relationship with Adrian, Sydney has come in to her own and now knows what she believes in, who she loves, and what she wants. I have to admit that the scenes in which Sydney was mistreated by her captures was tough to read, but was very realistic to what we already know about people who’ve been in these centers. Sydney’s strength to hold on to her sense of self and love for Adrian was amazing, and I came to love her more as a character.
“Everything I’d fought for, every challenge, every victory … all of it was empty if anything happened to him. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the courage to become the person I was. Without him, I wouldn’t have realized what it truly was to live and love life. Centrum permanebit. He was my center, and there was nothing I wouldn’t do, nothing I wouldn’t give up, to keep him safe.”
While Sydney struggles with her imprisonment, Adrian continues to struggle with his inner demons. Now off his anti-depressants Adrian is able to wield the amount of Spirit needed to try to find Sydney, but also leaves himself open to the madness that comes along with it. As a character first introduced in the Vampire Academy series, it’s easy to look at Adrian as someone who’s always been a part of the “gang,” but in truth he’s always been on the fringes. Adrian has always tried to hide his true self from people out of fear of being hurt, and because of that you really see him isolated in this book. Thanks to the dual POVs, we’re able to see what each of them are going through in their quest to be reunited. Adrian’s love for Sydney is truly tested in this novel, which makes the ending that much sweeter.
“I know what love is, Mom. I’ve had love that burns in every fiber of my being, that drives me to be a better person and empowers me through each moment of the day. If you’d ever had something like that, you’d hold on to it with every bit of strength you had.”
I really loved the character development in this book. Adrian and Sydney have always been great together, but I feel they’ve grown up a lot in their time apart. I don’t want to spoil so it’s hard to go into detail, but I believe Adrian and Sydney have each become better matched for one another. I also really enjoyed a story that took Adrian and Sydney out of Palm Springs. That story was getting old, and as the oldest people of that crew, it was nice to see them have a more adult storyline.
Silver Shadows is a must-read for Sydrian fans, but a bit disappointing for me. While all the characters in the Bloodlines universe behaved true to form, I didn’t care for how Lyssa acted towards Adrian in this novel. As a queen she has a lot of heavy responsibility, but I didn’t feel any of the usual affection she normally has for him. Even though there is a time jump between this book and the 4th book, I don’t feel this adequately explains her indifference towards him. Aside from that trivial problem, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and can’t believe we’ve only have one more book before the end of the series. Let’s hope Mead has another spin-off plan up her sleeve. My vote: One about Marcus and his attempts to free people from those horrid centers.