Thursday 16 October 2014

Book Review - Frostbite

Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #2
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 1st September 2009
Publishers: Razorbill (Penguin)
No. Pages: 322
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
It’s winter break at St Vladimir’s, and a massive Strigoi vampire attack has put the school on high alert. This year’s trip away from the academy to the wintery peaks of Idaho has suddenly become mandatory.

But Rose’s troubles seem to follow her wherever she goes - dealing with the pain of knowing that her relationship with her tutor Dimitri can never be, things get even more complicated when one her closest friends admits his feelings for her.

The glittering winter landscape may create the illusion of safety but Rose - and her heart - are in more danger than she ever could have imagined..

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

By now we're all well aware I enjoyed Vampire Academy and it was without a doubt that I would be continuing the series and I'm very glad to say that I have indeed done just that and while Frostbite in places wasn't as good as Vampire Academy, I do have to agree with near enough everyone who has read these books before me - they do get better, they do improve and the endings do in fact either make or break your heart. Thankfully, Frostbite made it.

So why wasn't Frostbite as good as Vampire Academy in places Amanda? Well, honestly, the absence of Lissa and Rose's friendship was something I had an issue with, as this was one of the major selling points to me in Vampire Academy. They had this wonderful understanding relationship between one another that really did compliment them and encourage their character development, but in Frostbite, Rose spent an awful lot of time with Mason, who bless his soul, really didn't touch me at all in Vampire Academy and actually began to seriously frustrate me in Frostbite. I am well aware that Rose's intentions towards Mason where both that of 'I deserve some happiness with a guy' and 'lets make Dimitri just a tiny bit jealous' which maybe didn't help the lack of relationship and chemistry I saw between them, but neither did I make me feel much of anything when unfortunate events affected Mason, which is quite a shame, but I've deviated. The lack of dynamics between Lissa and Rose was really quite disappointing, but also, Frostbite just felt a little dry in areas and dare I say it, a little, teenage. There's plenty of tension between Dimitri and Rose (I WILL get to them later, those lil'..) but that just meant that there was plenty of eye staring, paddy throwing and general jealousy in the air which really didn't compliment the whole 'we could be murdered at any time' vibe Mead was trying to create. I had my issues yes, but I also have huge compliments to pay to Mead..

The biggest feature I found myself noticing in this series came from Dimitri, Tasha and Rose relationship with one another, specifically, the similarities between the two women. When it becomes clear that Dimitri is clearly interested in them both, I began to pick up on features that both women had; they were both callus, spontaneous, strong willed and passionate about their beliefs. They had faith in not only other people but in themselves and they had people both admiring and fearing them and it's this connection, this feature that followed me throughout Frostbite, even going as far as to compare Rose to Mia and it's that Mead has created and developed female leads and characters who aren't afraid to do what is necessary and I love it when authors feature this in their novels. Some have female leads but don't create them to have enough strength or enough believable weaknesses, but in Vampire Academy, they do have them. Rose's strength is her feisty personality, her quick wit, her passion and her faith, but her weaknesses are the people she cares about and her emotions and I think this represents women in a whole different light. It highlights that we can be strong but it's human to have weaknesses, we can be faithfully, but it doesn't mean loyal and we can share so much in common with people we dislike that sometimes it's hard to see the friend from foe and it's these features that makes connecting to these characters, to the relationships they forge, perfect.

I know I know, I've been delaying the inevitable, you want to know my opinions on Dimitri and Adrian (well, I know you do Stacie, you've been waiting patiently throughout this review haven't you?) I will start with Adrian, just so you can hate me a little bit more. I was told of a character being in Vampire Academy that has more notice in the Bloodlines series and I've read my fair share of those reviews, so the moment I had a face and personality to go with the name, I knew who Adrian was and he seemed a little, well, unexciting. You can tell straight aware that is a guy with issues and hides behind a facade, but you can also tell that he cares about people and their safety and will do whatever it takes to help them, but has connecting and feelings go, there wasn't a lot there for him. Dimitri though, he can have the other half of my bed any day. In Vampire Academy, the brooding, dark and handsome Russian was okay and his relationship with Rose was, steamy, but in Frostbite, things were far from cold on his side of things. I will readily to admit to falling and still being mid-fall in love with Dimitri and it's got nothing to do with the fact he's Russian or that he broods or even how damn fantastic his and Rose's relationship is, but because what you see is what you get. He is a reserved man who acts on his logic rather than his emotions sometimes, but he's both a waterfall and a fire, a calm steam and a volcano, a pillar of strength and a kitten in disguise and it's his character that I adore most. His relationship with Rose is so honest and so well developed, yes, they may have acted like teenagers sometimes, but they seriously don't feel that way. What they have is really quite wonderful to read about.

Frostbites plot might not have been the strongest I've read, but it had plenty of tension, plenty of development and was enjoyable, especially during some of the last few chapters - if an ending could rate a book, those last few chapters would be 5 complete stars. The character development throughout most of the characters, from Christian and Lissa to Mia and Mason, Mead is definitely a talented woman who knows what's doing with this series. I am aware that my heart will break, that my mind will fry and that I shall be destroyed by the amazing, the alluring and the angering sensations that fill me in Shadow Kiss, but I will continue this series until the end, there's no doubt about that, and throughout all the pain I'm bound to suffer, there best be a happy ending eventually..

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