Frostbite – Richelle Mead
This sequel to Vampire Academy starts out with a step by step, plodding recap. Helpful if you want to start in the middle, painful if you’d already read the first. I’m sure I’m not the only person who falls for these recaps: Babysitter’s Club got me every time. For some indefensible reason, I just felt too guilty skipping that part at the beginning. But since Vampire Academy is the stranger book, it’d be a shame to skip it even though you could be all caught up without it.
The deadly, evil Strigoi vampires seem to be organizing and collaborating with humans to execute royal Moroi families. So what’s to be done? A ski resort vacation! All the kids and their families will be safer in one place than unprotected out in the world. Unfortunately, the family that Rose’s mother works for will be there as well, forcing Rose to come to terms with her mother’s decisions and legacy. Confronted with the threat of an organized enemy, the Moroi finally begin to contemplate learning offensive magic but will discover that their ingrained rules against it will be hard to shake. Rose is headstrong, and very heroic in this book, but ends up pretty broken because of what she does and what she loses. As short a timeframe as these books take place in, Rose is maturing a lot and belivably so.
Sex is not as much of a theme in this book as it was in the first, but it’s still a pretty mature book. Other than the cursing, a lot of it is likely to go over the heads of younger kids who read it. As I was reading it, I was thinking I would probably stop with the series after this, but by then end I was caught up again. I’m sure once the third book is published next month, I’ll be grabbing it as soon as it comes in. There’s something really solid about these books that keeps them from being merely a guilty pleasure. Which is a nice surprise considering how little more than their concept they could have ended up being.