Saturday, September 6, 2014

#45 [2014/CBR6] "Frostbite" by Richelle Mead

Frostbite (2008) by Richelle Mead is the second book in the Vampire Academy series. Wikipedia describes the books as "an American best-selling series of six young-adult paranormal romance novels." Paranormal is not my usual go-to genre, but now it's captured my interest and I'm planning on finishing the series.

Rose Hathaway is a high school student at a preppy boarding school in Montana, but she also happens to live in a world with three different kinds of vampires. Moroi are pure vampires: they drink blood but don't kill their prey. Strigoi, on the other hand, are evil vampires. They have red eyes, and are incredibly strong and dangerous. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half Moroi and half human. She has been born and bred to become a Guardian, an official bodyguard of the Moroi, when she graduates.

The two most important relationships in Anne's life are with Lissa Dragomir and Dmitri Belikov. Lissa is Anne's best friend and member of the royal family. The two share a special bond and Anne hopes to be Lissa's official guardian when she graduates. Dmitri is another Dhampir and a well-respected guardian. He is also twenty-four years old and is something of a mentor and teacher to Anne. These two have certainly crossed the line into something inappropriate, but I'm assuming the author is waiting until Rose turns eighteen before she goes too crazy with this appealing, yet disturbing [because of the age difference and his teacher status] relationship. This second book also develops more of the relationship, or lack thereof, between Rose and her mother, another famous guardian.

In this second installment, Rose, Lissa and Dmitri are all still at school. Strigoi have been going to unseen lengths to successfully attack royal Moroi families. The school, as well as the entire vampire world, is on edge. Fortunately, the entire school gets to vacation at a posh ski resort with their families for winter break. And they get to fly there on private jets. I guess it doesn't hurt to throw in a little wish fulfillment for the kids.

What keeps my interest in these books is, well, Dmitri is a very charismatic character, but I'm also a fan of Rose. She's brave, aggressive, loyal, and smart. She's got smart-alecky responses to anything, tries to brazen through all of her weaknesses, and is a natural leader. She is far from perfect, but she is also demonstrably growing and maturing as the books continue. I also like the fact that that there is room for this world to grow, especially the relationships between the Moroi and Dhampirs. The plot of Frostbite seemed to work a little better than the first book, too, which sometimes felt a little strained. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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