Published April 10th 2008 by Razorbill | 327 pages
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…
Review: 3.5 stars
This is a difficult review for me to write and I had to think really hard over the star rating. In the end I decided to go with a 3.5 because I still like the story and the more I read, the more addicted I become to it BUT I still have issues.
Richelle Mead ups the ante for adventure and danger in this book and I loved every moment of it! Rose is still an awesome narrator for the story and I really enjoyed reading about her. Her voice feels like the authentic voice of a seventeen year old girl who’s been forced to grow up very quickly. At times she shows maturity far beyond her years but in this book she also proves that she’s actually still young. I liked getting to see this side of her and seeing her continue to mature further as the book went on. I also liked the romance between her and Dimitri better in this book, it felt more authentic and real because it’s realistic (at least to me anyway)! Plus the way it progressed has totally shut down the rational and hating side of my brain, I feel I understand each character better and their internal struggles which has made me want them to work out more than if they had just been like “screw the rules”. But there are so many other characters that I adore in this book; Lissa and Christian, Mason, Janine Hathoway, Tasha Ozera, Eddie, Mia, etc., I feel like I know all these characters personally.
I enjoyed that this book had a lot more of a dangerous edge to it that involved the Strigoi. There was not enough Strigoi in the first book, especially since they’re supposed to be the main bad guys, but I have a feeling this is going to change and that it’s only going to get more intense. Yay!
Again I have similar problems with some of the writing as I did in Vampire Academy where things are being mentioned but no detail is being given. Like when I read the book synopsis! I was like um hold up, WHAT THE WHAT!? Who the hell is this Tasha?! Totally came out of left field and then didn’t even show up until a few chapters in! There are also issues where too much detail is being given, I read the first book so please stop describing to me in such detail what happened in it and get on with this story! But my main issue has nothing to do with the writing, it’s actually a pretty minor thing but I can’t get over it…
The image of Dimitri that is forming in my head is not a good one. I don’t know about the rest of you, but all of my book boyfriends tend to be pictured with a similar look in my head. Obviously I take guidance from the author as to their personality and sometimes their appearance but in the end they all seem to have a certain sort of style about them that I’m attracted to specifically. The Dimitri in the book is very at odds with the Dimitri I want to see in my head, which would normally be fine but in this book Dimitri tends to get described a lot and he’s taking over my Dimitri’s image. What don’t I like? Well…
- His shoulder length hair. I don’t like long hair on guys. GO CUT IT. Also you’re a freaking guardian Dimitri! Your long hair is hazard when fighting because people can pull it. All the female guardians apparently have short hair so why don’t you!?!?
- He wears a long leather jacket. I can’t even describe how much this pains me. Who wears a long leather jacket besides people in the 1990’s!? You are not a character in Buffy. Also you’re in Montana and it’s snowing, I can’t imagine a leather jacket would be all that useful. Go put on a normal coat. I even looked up long leather jacket to see if I could get on board with the image… this is what I found … NO. GO CHANGE NOW!
- Finally he couples this long leather jacket with leather boots because he harbors a secret fascination with the wild wild west. I don’t care if you want to be a lawless cowboy Dimitri, in fact I think it’s a fun character quirk, but under NO circumstances do leather boots look good with a long leather jacket! I could probably even accept the boots (although again, I have to remind you that their a stupid choice to wear in the snow) but please take the jacket off!
Other than these annoying fashion decisions, I love Dimitri! He’s a great character and an awesome book boyfriend to add to my collection. But he needs to have a serious make over.
Actually there are a lot of weird fashion choices in this book, at one stage there is mention of a man with a sweater tied around his waist. Yes, you read me correctly – TIED AROUND HIS WAIST. Another guy wore a bright yellow fleece jacket and a green jumper underneath… It’s too ugly for me to even imagine. I don’t have a problem with any of the girls clothing, it’s just the guys who seem to have no style. I know these books were written awhile ago, but I remember 2008 and that was definitely not in fashion.
All in all though, I once again enjoyed being immersed in this world and can’t wait to jump back in. As I write this I’m only pages away from finishing the third book so get excited for that review because OMG.