Monday, 25 February 2013

The Indigo Spell - Richelle Mead

This year, we decided it was time to embrace our Two Girls and a Novel name and host a monthly joint review. As best friends, we tend to read the same books anyway. We usually avoid double reviewing, but now we have a way to both discuss out reviews and what better way to start than with the author and world that brought us together 3 years ago  (is it only 3 years? - feels longer) That author was Richelle Mead and her fabulous Vampire Academy world – only this time we're coming together to discuss Bloodlines and The Indigo Spell!

So, without further ado: the first Two Girls and a Novel review :)
(to make it easier to follow, Kerrie's thoughts are in 
RED, and Kim's are in BLUE)

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) - Richelle Mead
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars

I don’t know about Kerrie, but I was nervous, but excited, about going into The Indigo Spell. I love Richelle Mead, but the previous book (The Golden Lily) didn’t quite live up to expectations for me. I was worried about what to expect. I’m so happy to say TIS was more than I was hoping for. 
Overall I loved this instalment. I adored all the romance, and the plot was always interesting- never a dull moment in Sydney's world.
The magic – we all knew it was coming, and this book was definitely all about the magic. I loved that Sydney isn’t avoiding it this time around. I was done with watching her freak out after every little spell and claiming everything was evil. I loved that there was a specific magic plot to the story. It made it more real, not just something Sydney might have a hand in exploring. The “vampire” side of things was of downplayed though. There was only one mention of blood potentially being consumed in the novel, and it wasn’t from anyone in the main Bloodlines group, it was sort of strange – it’s like the vampires were forgotten. 
Yes, I was thinking the same thing! It feels like this novel has moved on from the Vampires and now focuses on the 'human' side of things. I must say I miss the Strigoi. I loved how they made the novels darker. You can be afraid of the Strigoi-they kill with no hesitation (poor Mason). When they're around you worry because things become life or death. I'm not afraid of the humans. The witches could technically kill you but they look unthreatening so your not afraid, and the Alchemist just send people to rehabilitation. After Rose and Victor proved that you can escape maximum security prison, being locked away by the alchemist doesn't worry me at all.
Got to say the romance was one of the highlights for the book, wouldn’t you agree? I think we were all holding out for Sydney and Adrian to finally get together. Adrian said some of the sweetest (and craziest) things when it came to wooing Sydney. I love that guy. 
Yes, I agree. I felt like this was more a romance novel compared to VA (and I know I really shouldn't compare the two- but its hard to do since its the same world). I loved that Sydney and Adrian spend practically all their time together, and when Adrian's not around, Sydney's still thinking about him. It was extremely cute. And I can't believe I'm saying this but.... Adrian made me swoon.
I was surprised at how little Alchemist involvement there was. I know they’re still a big part of the story, but after the Warriors of the Light encounter in the last book, and what with Sydney being on an Alchemist assignment; but they weren’t in it as much as I thought they were going to be. 
I agree. They were still there but not as much as what I was expecting. Perhaps we'll see more of them in the next book.
Can’t go past mentioning Rose and Dimitri – on the same page, at the same time! *insert happy screaming* 
I had the BIGGEST GOOFYEST smile on my face reading about them. We need another short story. Can't get enough of seeing Rose and Dimitri finally together out in public!
Disappointments? A little concerned a few things were forgotten in this one – like Strigoi/Spirit exploration. There was no mention of it this time around and I was hoping we might see a bit more about the potential cure. And the backlash from Jill getting her face in the modelling book – I know there was mention of how she’s still in danger, but not nearly as much focus as in the first two books. 
I do have one little complaint. I was slightly disappointed with the ending. I mean, its the 3rd book in a Richelle Mead series. That usually automatically means one of two things- either my jaw is going to hit the floor or I'm going to need tissues.
Eg: Succubus = cried and wanted to commit murder
Dark Swan = mouth dropped open. Hatred for Kiyo, heart broken for Dorian
VA = cried like a freaking baby!
But in The Indigo Spell neither happened. Yes I was slightly peed off but that was it. Of course after I finished this I got told that its actually the next book that has the dramatic ending, so now I need to prepare myself for that one.

Now onto the favourites!

Favourite Line? 

“I’ve said over and over, I’d do anything for you. I just keep hoping it’ll be something like, ‘Adrian, let’s go hot tubbing’ or ‘Adrian, take me out for fondue.’”“Well, sometimes we have to – did you say fondue,” Sometimes it was impossible to follow Adrian’s train of thought. “Why in the world would I ever say that?”
He shrugged. “I like fondue.”

Do I go for most swoon-worthy:
"I'm going to just go on loving you, even if its hopeless."

"I'm not a warrior or a goddess."
"As far as I'm concerned, you're both".

Or ones that made me smile and laugh:
"Abe used colour to offend the sensibilities."

"You're not as much of a lost cause as she was. I mean, with her, I had to overcome a deep, epic love with a Russian warlord."

"Isn't that what pirates say?"

Favourite Character with most growth?

Ok. Everyone who knows me knows I was never an Adrian fan. From the moment he stepped into the scene in Frostbite I took an immediate dislike to him. It wasn't until recently that I took a step back and asked myself why that was. (And no it wasn't because he was hitting on Rose all the time, when she clearly belonged with Dimitri.) I realised that when I was reading Frostbite, it was the time in my life where I was surrounded by "Adrian" types. The ones who would go out all the time, drinking, smoking, picking up girls, and have no real direction in their lives other than to "have fun". I had enough of those types of guys in real life, I was ready for the strong, dependable man. So I took offense to Adrian. He followed me into my escapism. But here's the thing. These boys eventually change. They grow up, and just like in real life, Adrian grew up too. I noticed it in Bloodlines but it wasn't until now, in The Indigo Spell, where he became this amazing, strong, dependable, romantic man "whatever you need to do, I'll support you." I can officially say after reading The Indigo Spell that I love Adrian! (*whispers* Dimitri's still my main man though).

Sydney...totally Sydney. It’s sad to admit, but I wasn’t a Sydney fan in The Golden Lily. I thought she was way too against everything. I was so happy to see her embrace the magic side of things, to distance herself from Alchemist thoughts, and to finally start acting for herself. She was so fierce in this book. I loved her!

Favourite New Character?

I don’t really know who was my favourite new character. There weren't that many new characters introduced in The Indigo Spell. The obvious one would be the mysterious Marcus Finch, but he didn’t really do it for me. I’m too caught up in all the old characters.

Hopper. I want a Hopper. He was so freaking CUTE!

Favourite existing Character?

I can't decide who my favourite existing character was. I honestly loved them all in this novel, but for the sake of answering this question, I'm going to say Eddie. He's always so strong and dependable. He's just the sweetest guy - the type you only want happiness for.

Without a doubt Adrian stole the show. His crazy lines, dedication to Sydney – his ability to make you swoon like mad – even for non-Adrian Fans from the VA side of things (I’m looking at you Kerrie). He’s got crazy awesome skills. I’ll admit I was a little sad he was on the pages so much – and I know that sounds crazy, but I wanted the chance to miss him so much that when he popped back into the action we’d scream from excitement. But at the same time, I’m so glad he was caught up in all the aspects of the plot; joining Sydney on her dangerous magic tasks, and supporting her through all her decision and making much needed hilarious comments. (I do have to give an honourable mention here to Wolfe for his role in the end of the novel – excellent words of wisdom.)

Favourite Romantic Moment?

For me it has to be the Dream Walking. It’s not always about the kisses, but about what the guy will do to keep the girl safe. And boy did Adrian do a lot to help Sydney in these dreams.

When we first thought up these questions I had no idea just how much romance would be in this novel. I liked it all. Sydney and Adrian spend a lot of time ALONE together and majority of the time it was pretty smoking hot- and that is all I will say on this matter.

Favourite Action Scene?

A certain dream sequence... oh wait- That was meant to be a question about a different kind of "action". My mistake.

Seriously though, The Indigo Spell did have a different style of action. It focussed largely on Sydney's magic abilities and so there were plenty of scenes where she practised defensive and offensive spells. I quite enjoyed reading those scenes, especially the one that produced a little friend. But, I also liked the more dangerous breaking and entering scenes. It was good to see Sydney taking risks. 

Like Kerrie, my favourite action moments were the magic lessons. It’s more of a pre-action scene but I loved them! Sydney throwing around fireballs made me think of Christian and his magic lessons, but Ms Terwilliger does do a really good job of pushing Sydney into Action-Mode.

Most Frustrating Character?

I want to say Ian, because they way he spent most of his scenes falling over himself to please Sydney was just pathetic, but the character that annoyed me the most was Marcus. I really didn’t like him. He bursts onto the scene and instantly signs Sydney up for dangerous tasks and a drastic life change. And then he seems upset when she doesn’t melt at his smile and charm. It just put me off that he was so sure that she’d follow him and his cause without question.

Sydney's youngest sister. She frustrates me. And you just know she's going to be trouble.

Overall rating:
I’d definitely give this one a 5/5 – fantastic book. 
5/5 for me too- loved it!

Kim and Kerrie


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