Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Title: Silver Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #5
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source: Purchased, Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads:
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.


Note: This review contains spoilers for The Fiery Heart

Silver Shadows was just the book to get this series back on track, after The Fiery Heart's lackluster performance. Sydney is in an Alchemist re-education center and is struggling to stay true to herself and her beliefs while still managing to appease her captors enough to survive. It's no easy feat, as she is mentally and physically tormented, but she is the strongest she's ever been. I loved watching her try to outsmart and outmaneuver the Alchemists and she does a damn fine job of it. Meanwhile, the Palm Springs crew is devastated over her disappearance but nobody is suffering as much as Adrian is. His feelings of helplessness and loss eventually overwhelm him and he slips into his old destructive behaviors. I admit, I expected the worst of him when I started this book so I was a little relieved by what I saw but I still wanted to shake some sense into him until about 30% of the way through.

This book just got better and better as I read - with Sydney working from the inside and Adrian working from the outside - everything just came together so well to culminate in one action-packed conclusion. Since the outcome of The Fiery Heart was pretty predictable, I worried that Silver Shadows might read the same but I am happy to say that it still managed to surprise me (and left me a little smitten). I am pretty pleased with the progression of events and the ending of this book. But I admit that I have high expectations for the final book, fair or not. I feel like the scope of this story has expanded with each book but we haven't really received any closure yet on what's been introduced. I hope everything is tied up nicely in the end, and if I had to venture a guess, I think it will be.

In summary, Silver Shadows was a great follow up to The Fiery Heart and a nice set up to The Ruby Circle. I was thoroughly entertained while reading, more and more so as the book progressed. And Sydrian fans are in for a treat! I can't wait for the next book (and fortunately, I only have to wait until February)

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