Archive | February, 2011

Heading off on travels

10 Feb

I never ever blog about anything but books here, but I thought I’d make an exception just this once.

You see, I want to let you know that I’m heading off on travels to Central America (Panama to be exact) for the next 5-6 weeks.

Meaning, I’m also taking a break from blogging.

I still plan to keep reading though. For one, I’m bringing Mockingjay with me on the plane over there. Meaning, I’ll probably barely even register the flights (or the airport wait, or anything in between). My travel companion will be reading Catching Fire, and let me  just say: Thank god for that.

No doubt otherwise, I would have qualified as the most boring travel partner in history.  Instead now, we’ll both be

1) Blissfully lost in the world of Katniss and Peeta.

2) The most quiet traveling couple ever witnessed on a continental flight.

Once there, books will take a second place, as we start our travel through Panama. Needless to say, I’m very excited!

Of course, as soon as I come back, I’ll be jumping into the blog world with a renewed energy, as there are so many great books to read, and more keep coming (City of Fallen Angels just to give one example yay!!).

Have a great couple of weeks and see you soon!

Tess

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Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead

10 Feb

Series: Vampire Academy, book # 2

Published: April 10th 2008 by Razorbill

Details: Paperback, 327 pages

My Rating: 4/5

My Summary:

Sequel in the Vampire Academy series. Several strigoi attacks upset the Moroi community. Rose has guy issues and we learn more about Lissa’s ability. I was not addicted by book one, but have to say it is getting better the more I read. Looking forward to read third book in the series, Shadow Kiss.
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A few chapters in:

I’ve been wanting to read this sequel for a while, more out of curiosity than anything else.  You see, this series seems to have taken the whole blogging community by storm – and I feel weirdly left out. I read the first book (Vampire Academy) expecting to feel the same excitement, yet just felt like it was.. okay. Definitely an entertaining read – fun, fast paced and all, but not something to get superexcited about. And nowhere near comparable to Twilight.

So what had I missed?

The only conclusion I could come up with was that I simply hadn’t read enough to get myself addicted. Hence, here I am with the sequel, which I hope will make me jump the fence and join the many Vampire Academy fans out there.

Ok, so I’m now a few chapters in. It starts only a couple of weeks after book one ended. Rose is trying to get over her romantic feelings for Dimitri, her older Russian trainer and Lissa has hooked up with Christian. Not many pages in, on her way to a guardian test, Rose and Dimitri stumble upon a massacre. An entire royal Moroi family have been slaughtered by Strigoi vampires.

Following this terrible event, it’s decided that the safest option for all Moroi (and Damphir’s) at the Vampire Academy is to accomodate them at a royal luxuary ski resort during the upcoming christmas holidays. Something which many students welcome as a pleasant surprise.

Another surprise, is the sudden appearance of Rose’s mother. As a well-known and respected damphir guardian, she has arrived to the academy in order to protect Moroi royal family. Rose’s relationship with her mother can be descibed as frosty (at its best), and sparks literally fly during each one of their encounters.

We are also introduced to a new character, Christian’s charming aunt, who seems very (and perhaps too?) close to Dimitri.

In short, there are lots of little threads that have sparked my curiosity. Moreover, Rose seems more likable in this book, less flirtatious and arrogant. So, it’s looking good.

 

 

After finishing the book:

Well I finished this book fast – in under two days.

Does that mean I’m now officially addicted to the Vampire Academy series?

Well, it’s getting there, I think. It’s not anywhere near the addiction I felt for Twilight. But I did get a bit teary-eyed at the end, and my hands are itching to get the next book Shadow Kiss. So maybe, just maybe the VA addiction will reach Twilight levels at some point. All I can say now is that the series is growing on me.

And here’s why:

If you read my review of the Vampire Academy, you know that I complained about it including too much high school drama, as in too much gossiping and bitching around. Well, I was glad to find out that there is much less of that in Frostbite.

Instead we learn more about the outer workings of the vampire world that Mead has created. The evil Strigoi are a more prominent threat here, and the Moroi’s and Damphir’s are being forced to reevaluate their structures and traditions in order to face that threat. All this I found really intriguing.

As you know, I also complained about Rose’s arrogant and flirtatious nature in Vampire Academy, which was hard to relate to. In Frostbite however, she started to grow on me. She’s still Rose, kick-ass and flirtatious, making the occasional impulsive and stupid mistake, but the big difference is that I’ve started to understand and empathize with her.

The appearance of her mother probably helped. Seeing Rose with her mom, it made it easier to see through Rose’s tough shell, and discover the sometimes small and vulnerable girl hiding beneath. I also liked the fact that Rose started to make a conscious effort to work on her less attractive traits. In short, she is maturing fast, and I like watching the process!

Not only Rose is growing on me, the other characters are as well. In Frostbite, new characters are introduced (Christian’s aunt, Rose’s mom and in particular Adrian!), and old favorites such as Mia, Dimitri and Christian remain. I can’t wait to see where the story will take them.

Lastly, in my review of the Vampire Academy, I called for more background info on Dimitri (Rose’s Russian trainer). While I can’t say I learnt anything new about him, he continues to intrigue me. The bond and chemistry that he and Rose share feels real, which is very good. I’m so voting on these two to get together.

That said, I haven’t fully comprehended why them being together is such a huge issue. I don’t think the age difference is that great. I mean, had he been 34 years old, then yeah we’re talking a major age gap, but 24? No big deal!

And while I understand their reasoning around love getting in the way of protecting Lissa, I’m thinking there has to be a way around that. For instance, would it not help having Dimitri reassigned to a different Moroi? Or would that implicate them never seeing each other?

As you can see, I haven’t fully grasped the impossibility of their relationship. Yet, I enjoyed reading about these two, so in the end I suppose it doesn’t matter. Because, to cut it short, this was a great read!

If the rumours are true (and I believe they are), the third book Shadow Kiss is even better. Hence, I know that I am sure to continue my VA journey in a very near future. I’m certainly feeling the pull..