Let's just say this right here, right now: it really does suck being Rose...
Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose...It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.
But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...
So I preface this review in saying that it has been awhile since I have read the first book, Vampire Academy. The review is around this blog somewhere. Just know that I did enjoy that book quite a bit. However, I found all six books in this series on Amazon for my Kindle and well, they were super cheap and how could I say no?! But, because of that, I have been reading these books pretty much non stop (well, with the exception of that read and review of Combustion by Elia Winters). What I'm getting at is that the next few reviews will be me talking about the Vampire Academy series. That being said, on with the review!
I feel like these books have been around log enough that most people have read them, but if you have been like me and you are just now getting around this this series, I will try my best to keep this as spoiler free as I possibly can.
Like I said before, it's been a while since I read the first book so I appreciate the prologue at the beginning. And just so you guys know the players I shall briefly explain. Rose is a dhampire (half vampire and half human) and her bestie is Lissa, a Moroi vampire (living vampire). The bad undead vampires are Strigio. Both sets of vampires drink blood to survive, but Strigio are the real douche bags and kill folks. Oh, and Dimitri and Mason are Dhampires and Tasha and Adrien are Moroi. Okay. Good? Basic gist of characters. Now onto the review.
Here is why I like Richelle Mead's writing: Rose's voice is very conversational and you feel like you can trust her. Her thoughts and emotions and reactions are ones that we would naturally have, so it's super easy to relate and root for Rose. You want her to be with Dimitri, but she is also realistic in describing the horrors when a Moroi family and their dhampire guardians are murdered. Despite the supernatural setting, I am able to suspend my beliefes because Rose's emotions are set in reality. Is she a bad ass? Yup. But when the shit hits the fan, well her reactions are totally legit.
The best written part of the book for me is the after math of Mason's death. (Yeah. Spoiler.) Mead captures what I think is a pretty good idea of death first hand and the emotions and personal implications of witnessing death first hand and them delivering those death blows. It's not something that was glorious or something totally kick ass like an action film. No. Rose, a seventeen year old girl,witnesses her pseudo boyfriend get his neck broken and the fear and rage that comes along with it. Sure. Her reputation as some big badass Guardian is set in stone. However, she is somber abor the kill. She realizes that killing someone, even if that someone is an undead vampire, takes a piece of you Or at least that is how I interrupt it.
Niggles. Problems. A couple. As much as I love Rose and can relate to her on some level, she falls into the trap of "I know better, let me handle this on my own, I don't know what I really want, oh shit I'm in way over my head" female lead character that seems to plague protagonist now a days. However, I can forgive this because it creates conflict and action for Rose. The other issue is constant reminder the Moroi vampire men love those sexy dhampire ladies. Ugh! Okay. I get it. Show me. Don't tell me. I don't need a constant reminder of horny teenage hormones.
We have the introduction of some new characters: Tasha and Adrien. And they are interesting as Moroi vampires go. They are not teenagers and seem to bring a bit more balance to the book. Yes, they are older than Rose and Lissa, but not by a whole lot. So the interactions between these new characters were pretty refreshing.
Yes. I like this book. The story moves at a much faster pace than the first book. But, we do have some forgiving to do for that as its a new series and world building must be done. However, there's A LOT of over description of certain elements. Repetition to me equals word filler and plot fodder. And yeah, that's what some of this book was. ((Cough cough)) Rose's relationship with Mason ((cough cough)) Mason's death ((cough cough)). Poor Mason was plot fodder from the very first book. Shame shame shame.
There you have it folks. My review. I suggested this series to my most fabulous friend Cara and she told me she is eating them up. She's on book 4. I'm just now about 25 percent through the fifth book. But we shall she how finishes first. Despite all the feels and teenage dramarama, these books are ones that can never be sipped. They need to be devoured.
Thanks for reading. Remember to always be a pirated. Unless you can be a pirate. Than always be a pirate!!