My introduction to paranormal YA was two amazing series. The Mediator and 1800 Where R U by Meg Cabot. I enjoyed these books because they had spunky heroines that could kick ass. Unfortunately, most YA books have gone the route of The Twilight Saga rather than the route of The Mediator which is a shame. Even Cabot’s recent paranormals fall more in the mode of Bella Swan than Suze Simon which sucks. Vampire Academy, however, goes that old school Cabot which is just awesome.
General Summary: It’s Christmas time at Vampire Academy and what does that mean….ski trip. Well, a ski trip with hot mysterious guys, vampires being killed left and right, and Rose’s mom popping up out of the blue. And of course, Rose is still going all gaga over Dimitri when she knows she shouldn’t.
Wow. Just wow. This is an amazing followup. And usually second books in series suck. But this is an exception.
I think what makes Frostbite different from a lot of the placeholders other sequels I’ve read is that it really doesn’t focus on drilling in our head what happened in previous installments. Rather after a quick recap in the prologue we get down to business to defeat…okay, why is that stupid song stuck in my head?
But yeah, the novel is action pack from the first to the last page. Shit happens. And it’s not random shit either. You can totally see that Mead is building her series, but not forcing it down the reader’s throat which I like.
As I mentioned in my introduction for this review, this series reminds me a lot of old school Meg Cabot. In particular, The Mediator series. And in a lot of ways this book reminds me of the second book in that series. Not because the plot’s similar or anything like that, though there is that thing with the fish tank…but because both books were important to their respective series but didn’t seem important. Because you didn’t feel like you were being forced fed a lot of information. In this installment of Vampire Academy you find a lot of things about Rose, about Lissa, about Christian, about everyone really. But your left with wanting more. And it’s not through the usual I’m going to info dump you a lot of new stuff sort of way. It was through action and that’s always nice.
And I liked the fact that Mead wasn’t afraid to kill off characters at this point in the game. Yep, characters die. Right from the first page. And there’s one death that I think will actually have an impact Rose in book three and I’m excited to read about it because of that.
Best Feature: New characters that actually serve a purpose. Usually I get really annoyed when new characters are introduced, but in Vampire Academy it works. Maybe because both of these characters, Rose’s mom and Adrian, serve a purposes. And even though normally a character like Adrian would’ve annoyed me-because it’s sort of obvious where Mead is going here-I can’t help but enjoy him. Dare I say it, in some ways I like him better than Dimitri. And Rose’s mom, I really think bringing her in the series gave us some insight into Rose which was nice.
Worst Feature: Sexual Harassment Panda. I’ll probably never get over the fact that Dimitri is seven years older than Rose and that he’s her teacher. I think it’s the teacher thing that really bothers me because I can totally get the whole Rose being into older guys thing. Do I approve of it? No. But it’s obviously a part of the character. I just the teacher thing….The age thing is bad enough, but the teacher thing just really is a power play if there ever was one. And honestly, while I’m glad he rebuts her pursuing him at times I get mad at the way he treats her and…it works though. These two have amazing chemistry, like Suze Simon and Jesse and that’s why I like them. It’s just….just Sexual Harassment Panda.
Appropriateness: These books are pretty panty melting worthy. Two characters obviously have sex, though we don’t get an actual depiction of the act. Rose likes to make out with guys too. And obviously some of this flirting made me a bit squeamish because she’s like seventeen and Dimitri is twenty-five/twenty-six. There are a couple of f bombs there and there too. And drug use and cutting are also discussed. So definitely for the mature teen.
Blockbuster Worthy: Oh, God yes. And there’s going to be a movie (for at least the first book), so I guess I don’t have to dream cast this book.
Overall Rating: I’m giving this one a nine out of ten. I really enjoyed it. It was a great follow up and very action packed. The romance still bothers me a little bit, but honestly I’m sort of okay with it because Dimitri shows self restraint (for the most part). And there’s actually chemistry between these two characters so that helps too.