Book Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead

19258492Frostbite by Richelle Mead   

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publishing Info: Kindle edition 2008 by e-Penguin (first published 2008)

Pages: 336

Star Rating: 3.5/5

Back Cover Summary:

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

Frostbite is the second book in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. Although I rated this 3.5, the same as I rated the first book, I did think it was a little stronger. Just not quite edging to a 4 for me compared to other books I have given a 4 star rating.

The friendship between Rose and Lissa was a little sidelined in this book, which I think was a shame as it was one of the strongest aspects of Vampire Academy. I hope their friendship will continue to evolve through the rest of the series. Other relationships were explored more, such as Rose and her mother. As we didn’t see much of Janine in book one, it was interesting to see how Rose interacted with her mother and how their relationship shifted over the course of the book.

Character development was stronger in this book, perhaps because the first did a good job of setting up the world, meaning Mead had more time to spend on her characters. Rose, although still very much the same fiery person, does change and learn to think a bit more which was good to see. I can also imagine the events of this book having a big impact on her outlook. Mia’s character was given more attention and became a more fleshed out character, rather than just the stereotype she fell into in Vampire Academy. New character Adrian at first had me rolling my eyes but he became more interesting later in the book and could have a larger role to play going forward.

A couple of the earlier action sequences were lacking suspense in the same way they had in the first book, but the concluding action scene had a lot more tension and was a great improvement. I liked seeing Rose think on her feet and taking the role of leader at the end in what was a very dramatic conclusion.

Considering the novel is called ‘Frostbite’ and the setting is very wintery, I think Mead could have played with that element a bit more in terms of setting the scene and creating atmosphere through the characters’ environment. It’s not essential, but I think it would have added another layer.

A few more elements and little nuggets of information were introduced so I’m definitely going to continue reading the series. Mead has created an intriguing world with compelling and complex characters. This series is definitely one of the better young adult paranormal I have read, since I have found a lot of paranormal YA to be full of tropes or very wishy-washy. This is a stronger example of the genre and worth a read.

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