Vampire Academy and Frostbite by Richelle Mead

3/27/2014

I'm an avid reader of Hypable, I especially love their Battleships segment. I got the chance to participate in their Books edition, and I was surprised that Vampire Academy won. I didn't know a thing about it. I admit I was prejudice about it because it had "vampire" in its title and I'm sick of all that Twilight crap.


                  

Well, Rose and Dmitri ship won over Harry Potter's Ron and Hermione for crying out loud, so it must be worth reading. This month I found the time to finally read the series since I ran out of series on my to read list, and also I saw a featurette of its upcoming movie and it intrigued me. So here are my thoughts about Vampire Academy and its sequel, Frostbite.

Because I was so prejudiced about it being a vampire fiction, I was expecting it to be all twilighty. In my head I was thinking they are gonna be learning about being a vampire in that academy of theirs. You know all that gory things and such and such. Okay, I admit I don't have any knowledge of any vampire fiction because I haven't read one yet, except maybe an Anne Rice book which I think is  a bit darker compared to VA. So I was stumped with what to expect and just told myself to keep an open mind.

If VA's goal was to let us see how a school for vampire looks like, well it succeeded. It's like regular high school except most of the students are blood suckers and then there are the dhampirs. They protect the vampires/morois from strigois. Strigois are what we conventionally know as the vampires that kill people and  they also attack the morois, especially those with royal blood and so they need protection from the dhampirs. So basically morois are the wimpy vampires. Having powers that they can not use, because they believe that they should only use it for good or something like that.
                    

This concept just doesn't add up to me in the start but as I read on and learn more I became comfortable with the idea of a dependent vampire, needing protection.  Well that totally defamiliarized me from what I know of vampires.

So what do I think of the story? I think it was lacking. It was missing an element I can't quite tell what. It felt like it had no climax and so I was reading on like there was nothing. It's like this first book was to teach the readers of the basice of the series. What moroi, strigoi and dhampirs were, their history, how they function as a community, about the royals and non-royals. And that's good so we can create a relation to characters, but then I think the story was compromised, Viktor Dashkov's evil plan... well yeah that was good, but it wasn't really that exciting. Yeah that's it! It wasn't exciting. That's what I was looking for all along.

This book was not exciting at all. It was not also boring because I liked learning about stuff and stuff. Don't even get me started about the characters' love lives. I understand that they are young, but it just wasn't carried out elegantly, in my opinion. It did not compel me to read the next book right away.
                                          



Last week I started reading Frostbite, I liked that in the start there was already a sense of danger when rose and Dmitri went to a royal's house and found them all dead, suspecting it to be a strigoi attack, the academy is put on high security alert. This got the story moving to a good start. Nothing dull. Because of the attacks, instead of the students going home for the holidays, their family will be with them in the academy then to a ski resort. So that is definitely a recipe plot for something interesting, what with mostly royals in the story.

I like the development in Rose's character, she is more focused then before and she's not that bitchy anymore also. From the start i felt that this book will be where we'll see the other side of Rose. Beyond the tough and badass image, her emotional side. I came up with this because from the first book you could sense her angst against her mother, and no one drives our craziness home like our family members right? From the start I knew she was gonna crack up. I hated Janine when she gave Rose the black eye. But I guess it was sort of a lesson for Rose. She did cross the line. But I did want to know too about Rose's dad.  Maybe in the next books? Maybe we'll find out that his dad is someone royal or something. That'll be fun!

I'm not seeing it yet why Rose-Dmitri ship won the Battleship. I understand the emotion their love story wants to convey but you really can't sympathize with Rose if she goes off with the first guy who's interested in her. I like Mason in the first book, I'm not feeling him in this one. My question is, was he really inlove with Rose or was it just infatuation? They would've made a power couple.

Lissa and Christian are exact opposites, so since the point of view of the story is Rose's, I tend to wonder how they are as a couple. Well we know for a fact they can't get their hands off of each other, but how about their conversations and their actions towards each other? I'd like to know more about that. Christian is my favorite character. I strongly believe he and Rose should be bestfriends. They'd be a handful and I like their banters.

Speaking of the guys in Rose's life... my most favorite character thus far, Adrian Ivashkov! How he was introduced in the story was cool. When I picture him in my head, I see Loki (Tom Hiddleston) I don't know why! I guess because what I would picture out in his actions and his playfulness reminds me of Loki..? Ah, I don't know that's why I was looking for maybe pictures of a potential Adrian but there was nothing that could uproot the image of Loki as Adrian. It's kinda sweet that he enters Rose's dreams and just talk to her. They have something they share that's only theirs. Stalkerish though it seems on Adrian's part.

                                          

I have a rule of not googling about the book I'm currently reading so as to avoid spoilers. I don't mind spoilers but it's different if I have to write about it. So that the element of raw thoughts stay with me. But I kinda broke it with Adrian because I googled information about him whether he also appears on other books! I'm happy to know that he and Rose will eventually hook up but won't end up together and I hoped that the Sydney character will be a great match for Adrian's. I'm so looking forward to reading about Adrian and Rose's story. Oh oh I just realized something! They are my ship!! My OTP! How will Adrian woo one tough cookie Rose? Let's see about the Dmitri though.

                              

Jump to the EXCITING part, when they were captured by strigois. I really thought that they would only be saved by Dmitri and other guardians. I also thought Mia and Christians magic were useless with their hands bound, that's still really not clear to me. I thought Mia and Rose will forever be arch nemesis, but that kinda changed upon Mia's loss because Rose was truly sorry for her and Rose wanted more than anything to protect her from the strigoi that captured them, regardless of their past.

The moment Mason and the others walked out the door of that house where they were held captive and Rose left behind, I kept thinking now Dmitri should come! Mason came back against their agreement that he had  to bring the morois to safety first, that moment I knew Mason was that necessary death in every story. I thought it would be Eddie, but ofcourse it would be someone that has already an impact on the story. This isn't the sad part yet, when Rose screamed at Mia to get out, I felt Rose's anguish and grief... her regrets and guilt. I cried at this part. She was so intent in protecting Mason until the very end, she was half mad. It was just so heart breaking see her crack that way. Then Dmitri appears, which annoyed me 'cause he could've saved Mason if he were there earlier!

I know that that incident will make Rose a totally different person in the coming books, so I'm looking forward to that. In fact, that change is already apparent in the last part of Frostbite.

I kinda understand now that the first book had to show them especially Rose as these bratty teenage kids, spreading rumors about each other and doing all those petty things teenagers do, so that the contrast between an oncoming mature and more responsible Rose and the old one will be striking.

Yup, I am loving this series, especially how the story is developing. I have started reading Shadow Kiss last night and will hopefully finish it sooner but I doubt it since I have one last exam this Saturday. After that I'm free to finish the series! Wohhoo! Excited for that!

I give Vampire Academy 3 stars and 5 stars to Frostbite.

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