Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Novel – Richelle Mead

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If you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, you might not have heard of this book. In case you haven’t, Frostbite is the second installment in the Vampire Academy series – a very popular series by Richelle Mead.

Those that have been following the site will be aware that I did not enjoy the first Vampire Academy book. Although I didn’t think my review was overly harsh, the vast majority of visitors that read it did. Nearly everyone disagreed with me, and some not so politely, either. So I made it my New Year’s resolution to read the rest, just to appease you guys – and I’m so glad I did. I picked up Frostbite yesterday afternoon and I read it all in about five hours.

Before I move on, I’d just like to say that I stand by my original review of Vampire Academy. The characters were shallow, and being inside Rose’s head was annoying. However, reading Frostbite changed my opinion of Rose and reading her narration was an enjoyable experience, rather than a tedious one.

The sexual tension that was more than evident between Dimitri and Rose in Vampire Academy kicks up a few gears in this installment. Rose has it bad for Dimitri and pines for him through most of the novel. Alas, Dimitri is still her mentor and – as people tend not to age backwards – is still much older than her. Would you defy everything, and everyone, for love? And at seventeen, is it really possible that Rose loves Dimitri in a ‘for life’ kind of way? Rose is a reckless girl, and clearly, is a bit of a slave to her emotions. And let’s be honest here – teenage hormones can get a little crazed at times. As the novel goes on, although readers never get the chance to step inside Dimitri’s head, it becomes clear that these are the kinds of questions he’s asking himself. So, in order to move on with his life and get over Rose he starts acting out a contingency plan and receives a very tempting offer from a very attractive royal. They hit if off immediately and things for Dimitri look prosperous. Accepting such an offer, however, will mean turning his back on Rose forever – in his capacity as her mentor, co-worker and any possibility – no matter how small – that they might become lovers.

So will he, or wont he?

All I’m going to tell you is that Rose does a pretty spectacular job of sabotaging any chance of them ever getting their problems sorted out. When it comes to Dimitri, Rose is her own worst enemy.

While the tension between Rose and Dimitri takes up a huge chunk of the story, its not the entire tale. I mean, this is a vampire novel, after all, so there has to be some kind of vamp action, right?

Right.

The Strigoi are at it again, causing havoc and embarking on killing sprees. Only this time, it looks as if the Strigoi are teaming up with an unsuspecting partner, and suddenly Rose and her friends find themselves in more trouble than they know what to do with. Lives are lost, friendships are broken, and new ones are made. The action in Frostbite is gripping enough that I actually found myself yelling at my book. Emotions were definitely running high.

My favourite thing about this novel is the way in which Rose’s character develops. She manages to grow up a whole lot without losing her edge, her rebellious nature. She makes a few mistakes, sure, but this time she actually learns from them. Lissa still remains her number one priority, but this time around, the novel isn’t entirely focussed on keeping Lissa alive. Perhaps that is another reason that I liked this one much more than Vampire Academy. In both Vampire Academy and in Frostbite, Lissa presents as a very self-centred character. She’s shallow, spoilt and bratty. She’s supposed to be Rose’s best friend, yet their friendship seems awfully one sided. The sections of the novel where Rose steps inside Lissa’s head are definitely my least favourite moments. I was happy to learn that there seemed to be a whole lot less of them this time around.

Frostbite is a sharp, engaging read that tantalizes the senses. Although it’s categorized as a vampire novel, it’s really a story about love, friendship and finding your place in the world – the vamp action just gives it that little extra kick!

I’m proud to say that you’ve made a convert out of me. Richelle Mead, I heart you!

Rating:[rating:4.5]

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