Friday, August 27, 2010

Vampire Academy #4-5 [Review]

For the review of Vampire Academy books 1-3, click here.

Title: Blood Promise and Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #4 and  5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
What They Say:
How far will Rose go to keep her promise?

The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.

He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?
What I Say:
You know how they say “The plot thickens” as a series continues? Well, in this case I feel like the plot thins out as the series progresses. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. The fourth and fifth books in the Vampire Academy series (well, at least the fifth) were more enjoyable because they had straight-forward stories. Here, our pool of characters tightens to around five main guys rather than the million being introduced every other page in the first two, and we continue the Darkening and Edgifying that began in book three. That said…

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Plot: wow
Book 3 - Oh nooo, Dimitri’s been turned into a Strigoi vampire and it’s up to Rose to stake his ass out of love. So off to Russia we go for three-hundred-or-so pages. Rose lurks around bars until she meets an Alchemist (kind of like a supernatural janitor?) who leads her to Dimitri’s family in Siberia (because for some reason, she thought that after becoming an Evil Demon of the Night, Dimitri would want to visit his mommy). So after an irrelevant fifty pages, by some crazy coincidence she finds Dimitri! But (big surprise), things don’t turn out the way she planned. Meanwhile, back at school a completely different - but equally irrelevant to the series - story is unfolding. Lissa has a new party-girl friend. Could it be that this binge-drinking risk taker is a bad influence?

Book 4 - So Rose is back at school and the last book becomes nothing more than a sad, boring nightmare. Forget about the fact that Rose dropped out of school, she gets to graduate anyway! She’s finally getting over her evil lost love and starting anew with Adrian the alcoholic angel. Except that she’s totally still obsessed with Dimitri and pulls a slew of crazy stunts in order to ohspoilershmmmhuh? (You’ll see.) Some very powerful people get royally pissed (see what I did there, "royally"? Ha!), and while her tomfoolery gets her the miracle she wanted, she’s going to need an actual-grownup-problem-fixing miracle to get out of the trouble she’s in now!

So, while I didn’t love book four, book five made up for it. I’m sort of proud of how this series has progressed (or maybe I just like it because the Royal Court reminds me of Alicante in the Cassie Clare’s City of Glass). Also, ever see I Am Legend? Strigoi-Dimitri reminds me of this guy. Also, in book five Richelle Mead finally learns the value of having relevant information throughout the whole book! No more nothing-matters-but-the-climax storylines! So proud!

Characters: wow
Oh Rose. While book four put me to sleep from time to time, I was so happy that Jerkass Rose was gone. So happy. Then she goes back home and leaves her maturity in Russia. That said, I have to admire her spunk. At least she means well these days and doesn’t randomly hate people anymore. Baby steps, Rose. Baby steps.

Adrian! I’m so glad he’s a main character now! You can tell because I’m using exclamation points!! In a nearly-hilarious case of irony, he becomes Rose's voice of reason in these books. Also, he’s bleeding money out of his ears and omgheissototallycute. Honestly, I think Mead wrote him into the story just as a personal favor to me.

I would talk about Lissa and Christian, but they haven’t changed much from the first three books. Still cool, just static.

Relationships: wow
Rose and Adrian - Giggle-squeak. These two are what Rose and Dimitri could be if they weren’t angsting it up all the time (and if Dimitri were cleverer). Poor Adrian has to deal with Rose pining over her lost lover all the time. He’s too good for her. Despite the fact that, being a YA book series, Rose is doomed to end up with the First Guy She Liked, I still have hope that she and Adrian will grow old together and have a whole litter of “Little dhampirs”.

Special features: ooh
I like me a royal court, at least when it isn’t full of Queen’s English-speaking assholes. Lissa being the Dragomir princess and Rose being a pawn (let’s face it, she’s a pawn), we get to see both sides of the system, and how people with power like to screw with people; or do they? (see Mysterious Motives).

Parting Quote:
"Yeah, that's exactly what I want. To help my girlfriend get her old boyfriend back." He turned away again, and I heard him [Adrian] mutter, "I need two drinks."
If Adrian took a drink every time Rose was a little brat or spat on his feelings, he’d die of alcohol poisoning. True fact.

1 comment:

  1. I read and loved the first three books in this series. I books 4 & 5 but let my daughter and daughter in law read them first so I'm still waiting to read them.


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