Thursday, February 27, 2014

Frost Bite: A Vampire Academy Novel

After feeling lukewarm about the Vampire Academy debut by Richelle Mead, I decided to give the second book in the series, Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Novel , a shot.

Rose loves Dimitri. Dimitri might love Tasha. Mason loves Rose. Of the tangled webs Mead weaves in this series.

Rose, a Guardian-in-training, accompanied by her instructor Dimitri Belikov, is on her way to take a qualifying test with famous Guardian, Arthur Schoenberg. When they arrive at the Guardian's house, they find the remnants of a Strigoi massacre. Even worse, the Strigoi are now working with humans.

The Moroi Society and dhampir Guardians are put on high alert, especially when a second family is attacked and slaughtered. Strigoi are known for working alone, but it's clear from these attacks that they are banding together to join forces against the Moroi race, taking out families one at a time.

But while the elder Guardians and Moroi are arguing over how best to handle the situation, Rose goes rogue, leading a team of novices out into the fray intent on bringing this Srigoi faction down once and for all. What she doesn't bargain on is that they're ready and waiting, and not everyone is going to survive the fight.

While still a tad bratty and dramatic, Rose's character gains strength in this novel. We see her fierce convictions and her willingness to protect Lissa at all costs. She doesn't stop to think about the consequences to herself, or necessarily to others, but suceeds in winning this small war with devastating consequences.

We also learn more about the bond between Lissa and Rose. Mead introduces us to a Moroi magic, something that is no longer used as a weapon among the Moroi. Lissa has special powers. She has the power of Spirit. She is able to bring people back to life, putting her in grave danger. It's a power many people want, and some will do anything to get it.

On the love front, Dimitri avoids any close encounters with Rose, and she turns to her friend Mason instead, hoping she can feel something like love for him. Lissa and Christian Ozera continue to get hot and heavy.

This book is really about introducing the war on Strigoi and the need to change Moroi Law and Rule to go on the offensive again the Strigoi instead of the defense.

I was very pleased with this installment. It drew me further into the Moroi/dhampir society. Mead has a wonderful way of connecting characters from the first book to this one, building relationships and increasing characterization. Her writing was much improved and more adultlike which I appreciated. The first book was a bit too juvenile for me.

Total rating: 50 pts for reading + 40 pts = 90% = 4 stars
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Pacing: 8/10
Writing Style: 7/10

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: "Richelle's books have been on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and received honors from the American Library Association. Her books have been translated into over two dozen languages, as well as transformed into graphic novels. A lifelong reader, Richelle loves mythology and wacky humor. When not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, buying dresses, and watching bad reality TV. More at:

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