Frostbite

With the vampire community horrified and on full alert after a vicious and deadly attack on one of the royal families, St. Vladimir’s Academy is relocated for the holidays to a secure ski resort.  Rose is glad to be away from the school and with Lissa, but trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes.  Her feelings for her Guardian tutor may be mutual but can never be acted on, a close friend confesses his own feelings for her and when the amusing and aristocratic Adrian enters the scene, she is more confused than ever.  After a terrible lapse in judgement sends people she cares about into danger, Rose feels responsible and falls back on the training she has had for most of her life.  Protect at all costs.

It was good being able to dive straight into book two of the Vampire Academy series.  I enjoyed the first book a great deal and it left me wanting more.

Rose is the focal character once more and picks up where the first novel ended.  Just as an aside before I get into it, I thought the Prologue was nicely done, a recap of the previous book but entertaining enough to read even if you had already read Vampire Academy.

It was really interesting how both main characters developed throughout this story.  I admire the way Richelle Mead has taken teenagers around seventeen, with hormones and angst, and merged it with great responsibility and peril.  Maturity can and often does go out the window but I loved the reasoning behind it and thought it quite clever.

Rose and Lissa’s friendship gets more complicated and conflicted as more is revealed about Lissa’s abilities and what her bond with Rose means.  Rose has a unique perspective on life and it can cause amusing results as she uses sarcastic wit almost as a weapon to get out of awkward situations.  As her extra Guardian training with her tutor, the lovely Dimitri progresses, she certainly starts to kick some serious butt and becomes even more formidable.

The two main characters are supported by a group of friends and their relationships play a big part throughout the story.  Even with unrequited and forbidden love, they definitely make the book well rounded and enjoyable.

Mead’s writing was once again clean, crisp and easy to read but spared nothing with the emotional and action scenes.  They had a lot of impact and one scene in particular was very shocking and brought tears to my eyes.

Any book that grips me enough to be able to do that is definitely recommended!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Vampire Academy

Two seventeen year old girls running away from school might not raise many eyebrows, but when one is the last living vampire of her royal line and the other her best friend and dhampir bodyguard, both vampire and dhampir society are scandalised.  Dragged back under heavy protest, Rose Hathaway is frantic to protect Lissa Dragomir, not only from the rigours of high school life, but also from the very thing that caused them to flee St. Vladimir’s Academy in the first place.

I’ve not read Richelle Mead’s work before, so I had no expectations when I started Vampire Academy, the first book in this series.  I’m not really one to take much notice of labels such as ‘Young Adult’ – if the story sounds interesting, I’ll give it a try and in this case it turned out to be a real treat.

Mead has a very clear style of writing that is both easy to read and very entertaining.  I like the dry sense of humour that comes through in the story and the darker scenes evoked an emotional response in me.

One thing I found to be very well done was the explanation of the differences between dhampir/living vampire/undead vampire.  That could have been extremely confusing but it was actually well explained and written as part of the story, so I didn’t feel jerked out of it, while you learn some essential history.

The characterisations are superb and pretty spot on in how I think teenagers of sixteen/seventeen would behave with a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Rebellious on the one hand, seriously protective of a best friend on the other.  The book is told from Rose’s perspective and she really stood out the most for me.  Sarcastic and sassy but with so much love and empathy for her best friend Lissa.  She manages to get in and out of all kinds of situations, some of her own doing because of her temper and nature, but others not of her own making.  She handles herself well and thinks fast on her feet, even if she is losing.  Lissa is a bit of an enigma, and I didn’t connect with her as well as I did with Rose early on, but that changed quite a lot as the story progressed.

The plot was good, not overly complicated but had enough mystery to keep me turning the pages.  With a few shocks, tantalising forbidden crushes and very entertaining secondary characters added in, this book became a gripping and highly recommended read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)