Friday, January 23, 2015

[Review] Frostbite (VA #2) - Richelle Mead

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In FROSTBITE, Rose and Lissa are forced to go on a mandatory skiing trip when Strigoi attacks are happening all over the state and close to St. Vladimir. 

Pleasant Surprise!

I was very excited for this novel mainly because I fell in love with every single character in the first novel. Since it's common knowledge that the second book in a series is always not so great, I was prepared for the worst, and therefore pleasantly surprised when I finished this. FROSTBITE is a little off with the pacing and the middle is quite slow, but it's overall not that bad and makes me want to continue the series still, which is a major achievement because I have serious series-commitment issues.

I loved that the book is centered around the Strigoi, the "bad" kind of vampires that just wants to feed and kill. I really like that the series went for the dark path while still keeping the charm and flirty aspects that I loved about VAMPIRE ACADEMY. FROSTBITE has a very strong focus on character relations, which is probably the reason why the plot suffers so much during certain parts. This novel is the novel of new romance, everyone's falling in or out of love and every character goes through major development.

Extraordinary New Characters

Since the first novel, Rose has a giant crush on her instructor Dimitri, but he thinks that it's pretty inappropriate, given the fact that she's 17 and he's 24. In FROSTBITE we meet Tasha Ozera, Christian's aunt, which is a big, big reason for Rose to get even, because she isn't only stunning, she's ready to get some of Dimitri. That's already where my dislike of her starts. I can imagine that I'm not the only who's frowning at the thought of Tasha, but Mead solves this cleverly by making Tasha such a likeable and smart character that you just feel bad for not liking her. 

The biggest appeal about this series has always been the characters and I'm happy that Mead decided to focus on them a lot and give them space to develop in this. It's just a mystery to me how she makes even side characters so lively and real without a whole lot of description. With Adrian Ivashkov we have another awesome character that I hope we'll see a lot in the future. 

I was also very excited to finally meet Janine, Rose's mother. There's a lot of tension between the two and I think it's just amazing how Mead manages to mirrors Rose's behavior exactly in the way she writes Janine. 




Rating: ★★★☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?

If you've read the first one, might as well continue. It's really not a bad read and exceptionally good for a second novel. On it's own though, this probably wouldn't have made me want to read a sequel. 


Synopsis:
"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..."

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