Book Review: Frostbite

Photo property of goodreads.com

Photo property of goodreads.com

VOYA

Mead…weave[s] a unique and mesmerizing mystery with a whodunit ending that even the most skilled detectives will not predict…this little gem is sure to be a hit.

Booklist

Teens able to handle the edgy elements will speed through this vamp story and anticipate the next installment.

TeensReadToo.com

In a world that seems saturated with vampire books, Richelle Mead has created characters and a world that is both unique and believable.

My Thoughts

After reading Vampire Academy and watching the movie, I was hooked on this series. I couldn’t wait for the box set to arrive so I could barrel through the rest of the books. In the short time I’ve been with the series, I have already found myself hooked. However, when I opened up the second book and started reading, I was slightly disappointed.

The Prologue needs to be cut from the book.

It reads like a full summary of the first book, not giving any new situation and not setting up the second book. Yes, sometimes it’s nice to get a recap, but as Mead interweaves summary and tidbits from the first book throughout this one, the Prologue just felt redundant. If readers start the book at the first chapter and bypass the Prologue completely, they wouldn’t miss anything and would probably be more excited for the rest of the story.

Right away we’re drawn into the action and overarching plot that is slowly developed through the rest of the book. Each book develops more twists and turns, getting darker and more violent. It appeals to a wider audience range, and although these may be Young Adult novels, they don’t always read as such.

We’ve gotten pieces of the relationship that Rose, a dhampir or guardian, has with her mother, a fellow guardian, but we finally see her in Frostbite. Right off the bat, Rose and her mother, Janine, are confrontational and aggressive towards each other. The lack of a relationship has had an effect on Rose, while her mother seems like it’s no big deal.

I believe that Rose acts like I would in this situation, resentful and hurt, while Janine just seems a little off. I feel like we don’t know enough about her in the beginning to fully understand some of the things she does. She’s hard and aggressive when talking with Rose around others, but alone, she flips a switch and opens herself up. The just doesn’t seem like something she’d do. One scene in the first third of the book really stuck out to me in relation to this issue. Janine tries to connect with her daughter by talking about Dimitri, Rose’s personal instructor, fellow guardian, and love interest. She claims not to like water cooler gossip, and talks about Dimitri and Tasha, a royal Moroi-vampires protected by guardians-whom he has a personal relationship with. This ends up hurting Rose, and it just seems intentional.

In the first book in the series, we were introduced to some of the royal Moroi families, whether through characters or conversation, and in the second book, we are introduced to other members of royal families. There’s a slew of new characters that grab the reader’s attention and figuring out the relationships between them all serves for some entertainment and emotions.

Adrian Ivashkov is one of those royals that turns into more than just a passing character as the series progresses. He’s seen as the bad boy and has a reputation that is known throughout the Moroi and dhampir communities. He sets his sights on Rose, and to a lesser extent, her best friend and princess, Lissa. By the end of the book, we know the reason that lies below the surface. He is a spirit user like Lissa, but not in the same way. Where she can heal and use compulsion on a massive scale, he can enter dreams and see auras. This was somewhat predictable in his actions around both Rose and Lissa, but at the same time, it could have gone in a different direction.

Along with new characters, we see humans play a bigger role in the novel. Although this may have been played out in other vampire novels, Mead twists it and still manages to keep the focus off humans. It’s refreshing. We see more of the human-vampire relationship further on in the series, but the introduction here was done in such a way as to make their part minimal at best.

Rose’s relationship with Dimitri develops further in the second book, and while he may try his hardest to control himself around her, we see her get under his skin and his infamous control slip. Its through this that we learn more about his character and why he is the way he is. We learn more about his family and his past. We don’t get to see his relationship with Tasha, past or present, but feel that would have helped the reader understand some of their choices throughout the novel. They have all these inside jokes and names for each other, but we don’t know where they came from. This relationship could have been elaborated on and not just thrown in to stir up drama between Rose and Dimitri. However, it does provide that romantic and electric tension between the two, which is definitely appealing to the female reader.

Near the end of the story, we get more from Rose and her mother, Janine. We finally get more of Janine’s backstory and some understanding of why she is the way she is. By the end, there’s a slight reconciliation, although not all is forgotten. Rose finally understands what her mother went through when she was pregnant and why she made some of the choices that she did. This didn’t feel pushed, but organic, and flowed really well with the ending. However, I’m still left with a few questions. Who is her father and will we ever meet him in the coming books?

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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