Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Review: Frostbite, by Richelle Mead (second review for the 2015 Halloween Reading Challenge)

This is my second review for the
2015 Halloween Reading Challenge,
If you'd like to participate, 
click on the link above, both for
signing up, and to leave your
review links!
Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!!

(Vampire Academy, Book 2)
Richelle Mead
Trade Paperback, 327 pages
Razorbill, April 10, 2008
(first published April 1, 2008)
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Source: eBay

Book Synopsis:
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi, the fiercest vampires - the ones that never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them. Rose has serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor, Dimitri, has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian.

Then a nearby Strigoi attack puts St. Vladimir's on high alert, and the Academy whisks its students away on a mandatory holiday ski trip. But the glittering winter landscape and posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose - and her heart - are in more danger than she ever could have imagined...


The second book in this series is just as riveting as the first, as the characters continue to interact in very interesting ways. There is a lot of intrigue in this novel!

The story opens with the massacre of a prominent Moroi royal family, just as Rose was about to undergo a trial of her fighting skills as a future Guardian. Tension runs very high, as the shadow of the Strigoi menace looms, too close for comfort.

Even when most of the residents at St. Vladimir's flee from Montana, the school's location, to an Idaho ski resort which is considered safe, trouble ensues....and the reader encounters Strigoi villains up close and personal -- even closer than in the first book.

There is just as much angst in this novel as in the first one, as Rose has to deal with her feelings for Dimitri, even as he seems interested in another woman. At the same time, she tries hard to avoid hurting Mason's feelings. He's had a crush on her since before Rose and Lissa returned to St. Vladimir's, and continues to pressure her for a more serious relationship in this novel. 

Lissa, too, has some relationship issues with her boyfriend, Christian, and it's because of one Adrian Ivashkov, the mysterious Moroi with an aura of danger about him....

I'm not sure how I feel about Adrian. He seems to have a bad reputation, but then, so does Christian, who ends up with Lissa, anyway. Adrian is just as snarky as Rose (except that, in my opinion, his comments are not as witty as Rose's), and she doesn't really like him. Like me, she wonders if he can be trusted. Only subsequent events prove that he's really on the side of the good guys; at least, for the moment.

I love how Richelle Mead makes her characters so appealing! They are vividly drawn; the reader feels their feelings, and lives through their triumphs, defeats and romantic conflicts. This is one of the marks of a great storyteller!

As with the first novel, Mead concentrates a lot on the personal drama going on among her characters, so the plot does take a back seat at times. This means that things move along slowly throughout some parts of the novel; there are spurts of action, then everything seems to slow down again, while the conflicts between all of the main characters heat up. The action only picks up dramatically towards the last third of the book. This doesn't bother me at all, as I find the personal conflicts very interesting to read about. I  love psychology, so I think it's just wonderful how Mead shows us who these fictional people are, just by having them argue, fight, and even just have apparently friendly conversations with each other. I am just as fascinated by the dialogues as I am by the action!

The romantic relationships in this novel were very well-handled, too. Lissa and Christian were totally adorable together without being so silly as to make me roll my eyes. Instead, I can only say I envied them. As for Rose and Mason, it made me sad to see that Rose could not fall in love with Mason, who totally worshiped the ground she walked on. Rose was having a hard time moving on from Dimitri, and I really didn't want her to! However, circumstances were not favorable for a relationship between them, as Dimitri told her, on more than one occasion. So that meant that poor Mason's hopes were being constantly dashed....and he had no idea why, either.

Rose's mother, Janine Hathaway, made an appearance in this story, and, of course, hostile sparks immediately flew between her and Rose, who resents her mother's lack of interest in her own daughter, for most of Rose's life. I have to say that I don't like Janine much myself, although I do admire her for being such an excellent guardian. Where Rose is concerned, though, Janine has indeed been very negligent, and I don't blame Rose at all for disliking her.  She and Rose had a very unpleasant encounter at one point in the book, which symbolized all of the unfinished business between them.

I really like how Lissa became bolder in this novel! She stood up for the Moroi, and this was a really controversial stand she took. I was so surprised by her new self-confidence! I totally agreed with her viewpoint, too. The Moroi are indeed too passive, too dependent on their devoted guardians.

Things came to a head when some students -- led by none other than Mason -- decided to go off and hunt some Strigoi, so as to take revenge on them for the recent killings. They got in over their heads, though..... This part of the book was very hard for me to read, as the author pulled no punches in making it very clear that the Strigoi are very, very evil.

In spite of the section of the book mentioned above, I really loved the world-building! Mead has created a very believable vampire world, with clear boundaries between good and evil, while, at the same time, she frequently makes readers doubt their own perceptions. This is not an easy skill, and one I totally praise her for!

I do have to point out that I was very saddened by a particularly tragic event..... The same thing happened to me when I was reading Book 6 of the Harry Potter series. Hopefully, I will be able to get over this pretty soon, and move on to the rest of the books in this fascinating series......

I do recommend Frostbite, as well as Vampire Academy, to all paranormal and urban fantasy fans. These books present unforgettable characters and events, so I would encourage you to dive in, if you haven't done so already!


Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.


  1. I'm so glad you liked the sequel so much! :D I just had to stop myself from reading this, because I still have to read the first one! Haha :P

    Lipstick and Mocha

    1. Hi, Carla!

      Yeah, this is a really AWESOME series! It's too bad that Mead included that one tragic event.....but I will definitely keep on reading the series! I know you'll enjoy it, too!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! : )

  2. I also did re-read the whole va and bloodlines series a month ago. I planned to do a second review but lot of things are preventing me to doing so LOL

    Anyway, Frostbite really made my heart ache.... but the third one's the best of this series for me


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