Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: Frostbite

Author: Richelle Mead
Published: April 10, 2008
Paperback, 327 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose... 

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...

This series is quickly becoming one of my favourites and I'm only two books in. Mead's world of vampires is believable and refreshingly different than what I've seen in YA lately. The first novel, Vampire Academy, began the thrilling tale of Rose Hathaway and her best friend Lissa Dragomir, a vampire elite whom she'd do anything for. Rose's job in life is to protect Lissa from the Strigoi, an immortal race of vampires out to destroy the Moroi. When an attack on one of the royal families causes alarm, the academy takes to a sheltered ski resort in hopes of keeping everyone safe. The students spend their days making out, and falling in love. Rose desperately tries to get over Dimitri while hanging out with Mason and deciding whether he's worthy of her love. But some students aren't satisfied with just hiding in the shadows, some want to go out and fight the Strigoi themselves, and unfortunately for Rose, those students also happen to be her friends. 

The story weaves itself so tightly it's hard to put it down even at chapter breaks. I found myself halfway through it in one day and wishing I didn't have to sleep so I could keep going. The tension between Rose and Dimitri only heightens in this book, making me want to tear the pages until they finally kiss. There's no doubt those two are meant for each other, and I love that it's going to take them until the end of the series to finally get together (just a prediction). The friendship between Rose and Lissa is lovely to watch. The way that they act is very realistic. They love each other but still keep secrets and don't tell each other everything, as most of us do. It's the kind of friendship I know will transcend every awful thing that happens to them, and I know there will be more terrible things if these first two books are anything like the rest of the series. 

Mead just has a way with words. There is nothing special about her writing. The prose does not roll off the page and stay with you long after you've finished the page, but I like that about it. I don't need fancy words and metaphors galore, in fact I prefer the simple writing of hers. She tells the story as Rose, a straight forward girl who doesn't have time to dream about the flowers or gaze into the stars as she thinks about Dimitri. But Rose is more memorable a character than most I've read. She is loyal, loving, and determined to protect those she loves. She hasn't had an easy life, her mother wasn't around and she never knew her father. It may be impossible for her to find love and start a family as her role as a Guardian means protecting Lissa above all else. But you don't feel sorry for her, in fact you fear her. She is strong and brave and snarky. My kind of girl. Every character i this book stands out on their own, begging for attention from the reader. Dimitri is tortured and dreamy but it's never annoying. Lissa is in more pain than Rose, but does not want to burden her friend even though she fears for her life. And even those characters you want to hate, like Rose's mom and Adrian Ivashkov are likeable in the way that their characters are well rounded and real. Everyone has good and bad in them, and that's what creates a remarkable character.

Each book gives more information about these vampires and what it means to be them and fear them. Rose has a lot to learn and Lissa still has to figure out her powers. The need to find out how this series ends makes me crave the next chapter, Shadow Kiss, which I'll no doubt start shortly.

“There's nothing worse than waiting and not knowing what'll happen to you. Your own imagination can be crueler than any captor.” 

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