Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vamps, Tramps, and Snowmobiles

Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Novel by Richelle Mead

Book 2 in the Vampire Academy series begins with Rose heading off campus for a guardian test. Not much time has passed between book one and two and we immediately see that Rose is still having issues controlling her emotions around her instructor and mentor Dimitri. This book takes place in the span of a couple weeks, cramming all the action into the time right before and after Christmas. There is an attack on a royal vampire family that only lived four hours from the school. Worried that the Strigori are getting closer to the school and possibly organizing their forces while using human to orchestrate daytime attacks, the school is thrown into panic. Parents do not want to have their kids traveling for Christmas so most come out to Montana where a large ski lodge is rented for the school's use. While there, news of another attack sends fear through the Moroi and guardian community. After a few of Rose's friends try and take on a cell of Strigori alone, Rose goes after them to try and stop them before they find anyone. The end I will leave you to find out for yourself but it is not all that happy.

I was very excited about reading this book after I finished book one but for some reason this story left me feeling blah. I think one of the major problems is that this story focuses so much on Rose and hardly has Lissa in it at all. One of the great parts about the first book was the two girls figuring things out together. In this book Rose feels like she can't tell Lissa things for a variety of reasons so we only really hear about Lissa. I also think that the time frame for this book was very fast compared with that of the first book. I was expecting the second book to have the same time frame of the first (which was about 4-5 months) instead it was only three weeks. And while a lot happened in those three weeks it feels like I am missing part of the story, maybe that is to get me to read book 3. Another problem associated with the short time frame is character development, it is hard to have characters grow and learn when you are only given three weeks. Honestly you are not going to discover yourself or learn self awareness that quickly, even in a world where vampires exist. Without the character development the story seemed a little flat. Would I recommend this book? I don't know. I am going to read the third installment and see what I think of the series then. Right now I am not as big of a fan as a I was after reading the first book. We will see if the third offers any more insight into the characters and the relationship that pulled the reader into the series in the first place.

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