Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
Razorbill (Penguin Books Aus)
Read from my local library
Although her place at exclusive St Vladimir’s Academy is safe for now, Rose Hathaway still has problems – mostly problems of the male persuasion. Her mentor Dimitri has told her that nothing can happen between them. Not only is he her tutor and 7 years older than she is, but for them to fall in love as two guardians would cause a huge conflict of interest. Their concern always needs to be the Moroi vampire they are charged with protecting. Not each other.
Rose knows her friend Mason has a crush on her. And when she notices that Dimitri may be moving on with Tasha Ozera, she begins to think that maybe she should do the same. Mason is cute and funny and he adores her. But Rose is distracted from romance by news of several vicious Strigoi attacks, ones where they seem to be organised, grouping together to systematically attack and destroy the Moroi Royal families. This brings a lot of the Moroi and their guardians together as well and Rose is face to face with the absent mother she can’t relate to. And for Christmas the Academy is going to an exclusive ski lodge that is generally only reserved for Royalty. It’s the only place where the guardians might just be able to effectively defend an attack and there’s strength in numbers.
The ski holiday complicates Rose’s life even further. She learns that Dimitri has been made an offer to go elsewhere, perhaps opening himself up for something that he could never have with Rose. The mysterious Adrian Ivashkov lurks around corners, knowing a lot more than he’s letting on and Rose feels a sort of compulsion to be around him but she doesn’t know why. There’s also the problem of Mason, whom Rose wishes she could feel more for but her heart still belongs to the one she cannot have.
When three of the students go missing to track down and kill Strigoi in what would surely be a suicide mission Rose must team up with Christian Ozera to go after them and try and bring them home before they get themselves killed. What happens will break her heart and possibly take not only her life, but the lives of her friends as well.
Frostbite is the second novel in the Vampire Academy series and picks up not long after the first one left off. Lissa, Rose’s Moroi best friend is happy with her new boyfriend Christian and her pills are working at keeping the crippling depression and blackness away. Rose can still sense Lissa’s emotions and occasionally still gets sucked into her head (which can be embarrassing when Lissa is with Christian) and she and Christian are still sniping at each other, each both jealous of the other’s role in Lissa’s life and their attempts to balance time with her.
Rose is the sort of person who acts first and thinks later and she lashes out a lot when she’s hurt. She has a lot of baggage concerning her mother, whom she believes doesn’t care about her at all. Her mother is a legendary figure who has many kills but Rose almost never sees her because her mother’s duty as a guardian comes first for her. Rose also lashes out at Dimitri in this novel several times because she has to witness him potentially getting closer to another woman. At times Rose seems very grown up – her years on the run have forced her to be responsible, to always be on the lookout and ready to fight. However in other ways, she’s still very young, perhaps for the same reason. As a guardian she doesn’t get a lot of time to just…be. It’s always about duty and training for it and making sure that you have every skill to protect the lives of the Moroi and also, her own. She struggles with what to do – she understands about Dimitri on one level but on another, she wants to punish him, the way she believes that he is punishing her. I pity their struggle and I think it’s played out in a very realistic manner. When you can’t have the one you want, you are briefly tempted by others, to see if you can get some form of normality. But pretty soon you learn that it’s a poor substitute.
I had the ending for this one spoiled for me on twitter just a day after I read the first novel so I knew it was coming. That didn’t lessen the impact by much though – I was surprised by just how many emotions the end of this book brought even though I knew the big terrible thing that was going to happen. I think Rose realised just how different it is to actually face a Strigoi as opposed to doing a lot of talking about facing them. The fact that they’re considered evil, that they’ll kill her and those she’s supposed to protect, that can all fade in the moment when you realise that you have to kill in order to survive. She finally understands what Dimitri has been trying to teach her. It’s not just about staking or beheading or setting on fire. There’s a lot more that she needs to learn and at the end of this book, she has come to terms with that. There were some nice moments with her mother too towards the end of the book that also helped Rose understand her mother and see that they are in fact, quite similar. Her mother might be tough, might be distant at times but she still does care a lot about Rose and she’s proud of her.
Frostbite was a great follow up to the first novel. I’m getting sucked further into this series and I can’t wait to dive into the next book. I have them all here sitting on my shelf just waiting for my undivided attention!
Book #209 of 2013