The Ruby Circle.
It's with great sadness and excitement that i picked up this book and began to read. This book wasn't just the end of one series but really, two. In concluding the Bloodlines book series Richelle Mead also put to bed The Vampire Academy series. I've been a massive fan of both series since I first read them and now I'm asking myself, what do i read next?
Perhaps me reviewing this book is a little pointless, after all I am a big fan of Richelle Mead's work, my favourite being the Succubus books. I'm going to try my very best to remain neutral during this review, but please, excuse any fan girl moments from me.
So to begin, let me just say, if you haven't already read the Vampire Academy series of books or the other Bloodlines books, just skip this review, I honestly don't have enough time to go into both series of books in one review. If you haven't read the series and like to read Y.A, Vampire Love Stories, then please read them, they're a wonderful read.
So, we start this book with Adrian and Sydney living at court (with Adrian's mum living with them, NIGHTMARE!), the danger from the Alchemists is still present and the disgust from the Moroi is still strong. Poor couple can't catch a break. Princess Jill is still missing, no-one is having luck finding her, not even Adrian with his Spirit powers. The couple are desperate to get out of court and help in the search for Jill, after all the whole reason they actually met, fell in love and broke all rules and tabooness (is that even a word?) is because of their task of protecting Jill from assassins. so they kinda owe her a bit, don't you think?
But how can our young lovers help Jill, when they can't leave Court?
Enter stage left Ms T. with a cat, Mr Bojangles (anyone else start singing or was that just me?) and a special delivery for Sydney. Turns out its a clue to where Jill might be. Naturally when Ms T says they'll be needing Mr Bojangles' help, I think she's going to turn Sydney into a cat to sneak her out of court. Ha I was right. Kitty Sydney, too funny to picture.
Escape plan under-way, Eddie has joined Ms T and Sydney on the hunt for Jill. While the trio are away from court, Adrian must (with help from his mum) keep the cover that Sydney is actually still at court. Oh complicated. To pass the time until he himself can go join Sydney and help with the search, Adrian takes on the task of helping Nina, another spirit user, who is pretty much close to the edge of her sanity and by close to the edge I mean this chick is clinging on with her little toe.
A brief conversation reveals Nina is literally doing everything in her power to find her sister Olive and bring her home. Sweetie you're searching for a Dhampir who doesn't want to be found, you've got more chance of making Dimitri leave Rose then you have of finding your sister.
Adrian strikes a deal with Nina, she'll help cover for Adrian and Sydney if he helps her get through to Olive using his Spirit powers, as well as her own. Oh this isn't going to end well. So, Adrian sneaks out of court and Nina makes it appear that Adrian is still there.
While Adrian is travelling to Sydney, she and her merry band are camping out at some ruins, having followed their clue to finding Jill. Oh look, another clue. Yay for clues. Not.
Oh I see what is going on here, Mead is tying up all the lose ends from the previous books. Wow, quite a feat. So, the kidnapper is revealed and the location. It's a blatant trap for Sydney, and yes it is all Sydney's fault that Jill was kidnapped.
Ms T and Eddie part ways with Adrian and Sydney to search the area in Palm Springs and call in reinforcements from the other Coven members. Meanwhile, Adrian has a date with Nina to keep, which makes Sydney angry because she doesn't like him using his Spirit too much. So Adrian promises not to keep his end of the deal. Harsh dude, real harsh. Ha rock on Nina, for all his promises Adrian can't help but be pulled into a spirit dream by Nina and of course once he's in, he just has to help her. How noble, you two faced donkey bum. Sorry but that has seriously annoyed me.
Okay so they found Olive, kind of, well Adrian has a clue. Oh clues how we love you. And Nina is most likely dead. Yes Adrian, ringing Nina is really going to help. Doh.
Well that didn't last long, their cover is blown, Nina is in a coma of sorts, Lyssa is pissed big style and oh Dimitri to the rescue, he knows someone who might know something about this clue for finding Olive.
Some more running around, figuring clues out and we find ourselves en route to Olive's location with Rose and Dimitri meeting our newly-weds there. Olive is staying at a Dhampir commune. Pregnant. And the father is .... another Dhampir? Wait, what? OMG, fan girl moment, sorry in advance. Eeeekkkkk Rose and Dimitri can have babies together! Omg Omg Omg, how cuuuttteeeeee.
Sorry, let me jut collect my wits, right let us continue. So its basically lore that two Dhampirs can't have a baby together, so this little guy is super special, and at risk of becoming a lab rat for the Moroi and Alchemist. Oh now it all makes sense as to why Olive went into hiding. Awww poor Olive.
And back on the hunt for Jill, with a newborn baby in tow. Wow Adrian and Sydney just can't catch a break. I have to admit I'm starting to feel like a headless chicken with all the coming and goings of these guys.
Haha I love the banter between Rose and Dimitri over the baby, but why oh why hasn't Adrian told them? Surely they need to start being, erm, careful together.
Okay here it is, the big fight, Good witch vs Evil Witch, who will win? Let the fight begin...... Oh, that was erm, quick and totally anti climatic.
Hmm okay let me just brush over all this that happens, naturally Sydney is the only person who can do what needs done, oh look they got their answers, now to rescue Jill.
More travelling, Sydney strikes a deal with the Alchemists, time for Sydney to fight a demon thing, Rose in to the rescue of Jill, and all is well, wait there are other Moroi held prisoner, erm, okay but who are they? Anyone we know? No answer.
Oh come on, I want to know how Rose and Dimitri handle the bombshell! I feel robbed.
Well, I'm finished. The book was ... underwhelming, rushed and not what I was expecting.
This book felt rushed trying to solve the mystery of the missing Olive and finding Jill. I get why they needed to solve the mystery of Olive but to be honest I think that part of the story was for the benefit of the Rose and Dmitri fans (yes okay I had a fan girl moment when I realised what had happened to Olive would affect them in a big way.) and the battle between Sydney and Alicia was a total let down, it should have been bigger and better, more epic, instead it was just, meh.
I've been generous in giving this book 4 stars, there was so much hope and longing pinned on this book for me that I personally feel robbed. Whilst it felt rushed and underwhelming in places it was still a good read, just not what I was expecting.
And the ending .... yeah the ending sucked big time.