Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Series: Vampire Academy #2
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…
“Frostbite” as the name for a vampire book is rather eye-roll inducing, I know, but it actually kind of fits with the book, which is probably the most fun of the whole series (at least until the end, when the intensity ratchets up catastrophically). A brutal Strigoi attack forces the students of St. Vladamir’s Academy to retreat to the safety of an Idaho ski lodge, which is also serving as a safe house for basically the entire Moroi government. I loved this aspect of the book, as it opened up the world of VA so much more We got to see great tension between the Moroi who want to learn to use their magic to fight, and the more traditional Moroi who lean toward infringing on the rights of the dhampirs to defend them. Lissa really comes into her own in this situation, offering diplomatic solutions to these hairy issues.
We’re also gifted with a glimpse of Rose’s mother, a formidable guardian with a daunting reputation. We meet Tasha Ozera, Christian’s aunt, a forceful advocate for Moroi self-defense and an old friend (who would like to be more) of Dimitri’s. And of course, Frostbite introduces my favorite character, the charming, infuriating Adrian Ivashkov. I actually wasn’t smitten with him at first – I was worried he signaled a love triangle. However, I correctly guessed how the “love triangle” was going to play out, so I was able to stop worrying and just enjoy Adrian’s immensely entertaining presence.
“I think you smoke them so you have something to do while thinking up your next witty line.”
He choked on the smoke, caught between inhaling and laughing. “Rose Hathaway, I can’t wait to see you again. If you’re this charming while tired and annoyed and this gorgeous while bruised and in ski clothes, you must be devastating at your peak.”
“If by ‘devastating’ you mean that you should fear for your life, then yeah. You’re right.”
The book’s description made me wary that it would contain non-stop ridiculous relationship angst, but it was actually handled in a reasonable, more funny than annoying, way. It was more like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with everyone simultaneously attempting to piss off and earn the favor of their beloved. Since Rose has to hide her feelings for Dimitri, especially after his insistence that they can’t be together, most people expect Rose to fall for her friend and fellow guardian Mason, who is crazy about her and not uncharming.
“[Dimitri] Belikov is a sick, evil man who should be thrown into a pit of rabid vipers for the great offense he committed against you this morning.”
“Thank you.” I said primly. Then, I considered. “Can vipers be rabid?”
“I don’t see why not. Everything can be. I think. Canadian geese might be worse than vipers, though.”
“Canadian geese are deadlier than vipers?”
“You ever try to feed those little bastards? They’re vicious. You get thrown to vipers, you die quickly. But the geese? That’ll go on for days. More suffering.”
“Wow. I don’t know whether I should be impressed or frightened that you’ve thought about all of this.”
Personal issues take a back seat, however, when some of Rose’s friends decide to go Strigoi-hunting on their own, and Rose must team up with Christian to track them down. Seeing those two work together is always amusing, since their similar (sarcastic, rebellious) personalities tend to clash. We finally get to see the Strigoi in all their terrifying glory, and the suspense of the last several chapters will have you turning pages at a breathless pace. An excellent read.
Oh! I forgot to put this in my review of the first Vampire Academy book, but basically the entire album “Tear The World Down” by “We Are The Fallen” mirrors the VA series perfectly. ESPECIALLY this song:
So if you love this series as much as I do, give it a listen! 🙂