For an ‘ultimate’ guide, I have to say that it was disappointing.
The majority of the guide and I do mean about 75% was taken up by pointless re-cap of the six books of the series. Aside from brief introductions to each book written by Richelle Mead, I fail to see the point of these. I’ve read all the books in the VA series and I remember them quite well. If I didn’t, they are on my shelves where I could go and read them again, if I wanted to. What’s the point of re-hashing the story? The only answer that I can possibly think of is it might be useful for those who wish to pick up the Bloodlines series without having read the VA series and what to know the background.
The remainder of the book actually contains the real guide. It gives biographies on all the major characters. That actually contained a couple of surprises such as how young Victor Dashkov is and where Janine Hathaway comes from. It also includes the author’s views on the love triangle between Rose, Dmitri and Adrian as well as the romance between Lissa and Christian. And a page is devoted to the various magical elements.
I think part of my disappointment is that this written by Michelle Rowen, an author whose Sarah Dearly books I enjoy so I know what she is capable of. But when it comes to insider guides for book series I would point to The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider’s Guide by J.R. Ward as a perfect example.
Definitely one for completists and die-hard fans only.