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. Quoted from Goodreads
Here's the short version: I loved it. It has everything I love in a series: action, multiple conflicts, romance, mystery, character growth, humor, twists, and a cliffhanger that doesn't kill you while still leaving you anxious for the next book.
If you're still not convinced, here's the longer version of why I adore this book. Last Thursday when I talked about the Vampire Academy movie, I stated that I enjoyed that series, but I love this one. Sydney's a big part of that. She starts out as such a limited character. She grew a lot in the VA series, but those were baby steps to what she goes through in these books, and in the Indigo Spell she finally comes into her own. We learn more about the shady dealings of the Alchemists, there's a serial-killer witch on the loose, and of course there is Adrian.
All the walls Sydney has been struggling against finally get knocked down in this book. Yes, she still has qualms about different things (magic, vampires, wearing bright colors . . .), but she is finally able to embrace what she believes for herself instead of what she's been taught all her life. Plus she gets to shine in a fight. She actually throws some good punches, and then there's her own magic showdown . . . She's no Rose, but she's not supposed to be, and I admired her strength in dealing with all the crap thrown at her.
I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of the two completely separate conflicts in this book. She's constantly flipping back and forth between the two, and you know it's only going to get worse before it gets better. There's Marcus and his quest against the Alchemists and while he wasn't at all what I was expecting (and thank goodness there is no love triangle forming), he's still a fun, interesting character. I especially like the insights he gave Sydney into her tattoo. In contrast, we have Ms. Terwilliger's mysterious witch, who is hunting down young witches to steal their youth and power. The idea's not new, but I still found it tense, with good twists and a sort of "dun dun dun" (cue music) cliffhanger of its own.
Adrian. Everyone loves Adrien, but I especially liked him in this book. He could have been all sighs and puppy-dog eyes after the Golden Lily's ending, but he's not. He loves Sydney, but he's not all mopey about her rejection at the end of the second book. He's simply there for her whenever she needs him. Plus, he's starting to live up to his potential.
You can tell The Indigo Spell is something of a turning point in the series. While there has always been outside conflict in each of the books, half the battle was Sydney vs. herself and her upbringing. The next three books will be different. Not only is she facing all sorts of problems (including that lovely cliffhanger twist at the end), but they are building, and you know there's some bad stuff coming.
I adored this book. It's a strong 4.5 stars for me. I'll be honest, part of me is afraid for the next one because I hear it has a horrible cliffhanger. A small part of me wants to wait until the next three are out, then I could read them all together. It will never happen, of course, but I'm kind of really enjoying the mostly happy feeling at the end of this book.