The Compulsive Reader: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Monday, November 17, 2014

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

I've been a pretty loyal follower of the Vampire Academy series almost since the very beginning, and I was happy enough when the Bloodlines series came out--I liked Sydney in the VA series, I was grateful Adrian finally got over Rose (let's be honest, his puppy dog act over her was pathetic), yay witchcraft, etc., etc. But Silver Shadows... Silver Shadows takes my love for the characters and the world and stretches it. So far. So thin. Silver Shadows doesn't just ask you to suspend your disbelief a while--it required you to kick your disbelief right over the edge of a cliff...or a Las Vegas tower (we'll get to that).

So let's get started. This will be spoiler-y.

We start out with Sydney locked away by the Alchemists because she dared to see the humanity (ha) in vampires and because she likes the sexy times with Adrian. NEVER MIND the fact that the Alchemists have been using vampire magic and powers and literally tattoo vampire blood into their skin. Being friends with a vampire? Not cool.

There was a lot of talk about how The Fiery Heart was going to be like, The Shadow Kiss of the Bloodlines trilogy. I would't quite go THAT far, because, 1) We all knew that Sydney was going to go to re-education the minute Mead told us such a program existed (that's called creating reader expectations and making good on your promises) and 2) Nothing was as heartbreaking as Dimitri turning Strigoi right after he and Rose finally had the sexy times. Even still, yikes. Sydney in re-education. It can't be good, right? I mean, they like, lobotomize people and make rapists these really wimpy, weak human beings. (For the record, I don't feel sorry for that rapist, not a bit.)

But I was willing to go with it because I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity for Adrian to finally get off his ass, put away the vices, and do something after being a terrible noodle of a character for ten books.







He broods attractively for weeks after she's kidnapped, whining and complaining and basically being the opposite of attractive until Marcus freaking Finch shows up and is all like, "We going to rescue Sydney or what?"

(Also, where the hell is Ms. Crazy Pants Witchcraft Instructor in all of this? Talk about lack of loyalty. She doesn't even poke her nose out in this book, much less offer her help. And after Sydney saved her life from that crazy-ass witch and house fire!)

So Sydney has to do what any strong, resourceful, intelligent woman her age would so--save her own goddamn self. And let me say, she works at it pretty well, using magic and making allies and slowly, subtly thwarting the uber Alchemists. Only...she's caught! Because the Alchemists are just that good. Good thing that Adrian is finally done feeling sorry for himself at this point, and he and a bunch of other people rescue not just Sydney, but EVERYONE stuck in re-education. That's how gallant Adrian is. And Sydney is eternally grateful.

Adrian and Sydney take off on their own because Sydney knows the Alchemists are going to be after them, and thus begins the truly spectacular part of the book. Go get a refill and a snack because you're going to need it.

I would like to nominate Richelle Mead for the "Longest Chase Scene" award. Because the chase that ensues covers not just blocks, but miles and days and I don't think they sleep at all, plus they're injured, and in between all that THEY GET MARRIED. Yes, you read that right. The chase takes them through Vegas, where OF COURSE they decide to get married. Because love. But also because the Moroi are all major dicks who won't stick their heads out to protect Sydney because she's an Alchemist. NEVER MIND that Sydney helped put Lissa on the throne. Nope, Lissa is all like, "Let the Alchemists do what they want, I don't care, I've got exams coming up." And Rose is like, "Meh, Sage was cool and all but I think I'll defer to Lissa on this one." So rather than appealing the Moroi conscience, Adrian is all like, "Hey, wanna get married?"

And Sydney goes, "Yeah, sure."

And Adrian is all, "That's cool, cause we love each other. But it'll also give you Moroi protection."

And Sydney is like, "Dude, I could so use that right now. Plus a bath."

So because this is Vegas, Adrian manages to get into a high-stakes poker game, win big, and use that money to bank roll not just a Vegas wedding, but the finest, classiest goddamn Vegas wedding that money can buy.

Which of course, the Alchemists crash.

Adrian and Sydney go running down the strip in their fancy pants clothes (just married!), lugging a tote bag of all of their possessions. They climb a freaking tower to a helicopter pad, have a major showdown with the Big Bad Alchemist, and then jet off to Moroi court.

The end?


At court, everyone is all WTF, Adrian? You can't just marry an Alchemist! She's like, human!

And Adrian is all, "You have to protect her! She's my wife! I love her!"

Then the Alchemists show up there, along with Sydney's father and sister, and are all, "SYDNEY SAGE, YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE."

And Sydney. Precious, charming, bad-ass, magic-wielding Sydney, who not just thirty pages earlier told Adrian that she wasn't changing her name because feminism, goes, "My name is Sydney Ivashkov."

And everyone freaks out, and is all like, Man this shit just got real, but first, they decide that maybe the newlyweds should get some sleep, because they haven't slept since chapter five.


*brain explosion*

#wtfRichelleMead #wherewasyoureditor

And there wasn't one single Strigoi in the entire novel!

The Ruby Circle comes out in February. It's the last one, and I think it's a good thing because I don't know if I could handle much more after this book. I just can't, guys.

Cover Comments: The covers continue to be awful.

Book purchased at an indie. I had a coupon. I am grateful to that coupon.


Anonymous said...

At least the covers are consistently bad!!! Something you can trust.

The book sounds kind of exhausting, to be honest.

The Compulsive Reader said...

Exhausting, yes. Oh my word, YES. I needed a nap when I was done. And some ibuprofen. I am scared/anxious to read the final book. I'm not sure how one can top whirlwind Vegas wedding and helicopter pad showdown (with flames!).