Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Frostbite - Richelle Mead

Frostbite is the second book in Richelle Meads Vampire Academy series. I read the first book on New Year’s Eve and I have to say it was a good start.

Now I imagine that a lot of people have read these books already but if you are one of the few who haven't here’s the gist. Our main character, Rose, is a dhampir, half human half vampire, all the good parts of being a vampire - strength, better senses, etc but none of the draw backs - blood lust, aversion to sunlight. She acts as the unofficial guardian to her Moroi best friend Lissa, unofficial as she is to young to legally be a guardian yet. Moroi are “good” vampires who do not kill when they feed and are quite weak as a result, they have elemental magic but do not use it offensively. The other kind of vampire in the series are the Strigoi “bad” vampires who kill when they feed and as a consequence gain benefits like strength.

The first book, Vampire Academy, was about Rose and Lissa’s return to the vampire boarding school after running away for two years. Rose believed Lissa was in danger and felt her only option was to leave. They are caught by another dhampir, Dimitri who later becomes Rose’s mentor, and are forced to come back.

Frostbite follows on from where Vampire Academy left off. There have been several Strigoi attacks and the academy has decided that it will be safer if the students and their families take their winter holiday in the same place, a private ski resort. Rose and her friends are caught up in a Strigoi attack and it has very serious consequences.

I find the characters in this series very likeable. Rose is an excellent main character very strong and independent however I do find her and her boyfriend issues quite annoying sometimes. Dimitri is awesome and absolutely perfect for Rose but it does not take a genius to figure out that their journey is not going to be an easy one. I liked Christian a lot in the first book and even more in the second, I find his attitude and sarcasm totally perfect. The only character I don’t like is Lissa and my dislike of her only grows. I find her quite selfish and irritating, I hope to find some redeeming qualities in her as the series progresses.

I found the first book too heavy on school politics, I figured that with the world they live in and the things they deal with that the students would be more mature than they were. But teenagers are teenagers and I suppose my expectations were to high. While Frostbite was not completely without high school drama - I mean how many potential boyfriends can one girl have - it has greatly improved. The setting has moved away from the academy so the focus has shifted off of the high school drama to the external threats they face. So now I have a whole new issue with this series, keeping in mind I have only read the first two and just started the third, and that is of the politics/rules of this hierarchy that has been created. The unwillingness of the Moroi to defend themselves, the assumptions made about the Strigoi and the position that the dhampirs are placed in and what is asked of them really bothered me in this book.

However the issues I have do not stop me from enjoying the books and I hope as the series goes on the problems I have with the hierarchy may be addressed. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

That’s all for now.

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