Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Last Sacrifice [Review]

Title: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
What They Say:
Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir. But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?

What I Say:
So after my Vampire Academy binge this summer, I've been counting the hours until the last book in the series, and I was not disappointed. Well, I wasn't totally not disappointed, but you'll hear about that later. This series closer had jailbreaks, hillbillies, and a whole lotta spirit. That said...

4 out of 5 stars

Plot: wow
So Rose is in jail for a murder she didn't commit. But not for long! She has better things to do, like run across the country as a fugitive searching for the Lissa's dad's long-lost love-child with her ex-lover Dimitri who totally hates her even though he's all over her and it's pretty obvious he still loves her. (whew). Not to mention tracking down clues on Queen Tatiana's real murderer to clear her name so she can, you know, show her face in public without getting shot down by Guardians. Yikers. So achieving this near-impossible feat is not easy, but will enlisting the help of some of her old nemeses get Rose into more trouble than she was bargaining for? (Spoiler: Yeah, it will.)

I love a mystery. Provide me with clues, shady motives, and a high chance of betrayal, and I am on board for at least three hundred pages. That said, I especially love a mystery in which you're pretty sure you know whodunit, but nahh you don't! As I predicted in my review of the last two books, we get a good long look at positions of power in the royal court and lengths to which some will go to get them. Or to make sure other people don't get them. It's a vamp-eat-vamp world out there, kiddies. In all, I was glad to see a big decrease in dullness this time around. I wasn't bored to tears even once. Though I was moved to rage at one point (see Relationships).

Characters: wow
Oh Rose. If I were an elementary school teacher, I would give this girl a pat on the back, a Most Improved award, and a freakin' gold star on top of that. I have never been more proud of a YA character's dynamic-ness. I mean, she wasn't an awful, hideous brat from hell in this one! I didn't want to flog her or cut her hair or lock her in an attic! She was smart and thoughtful and sympathetic. So much respect. Except in the case of one plot development for which I may never ever be able to forgive her (see Relationships).

Adrian, Adrian, Adrian. After six books, he has earned a place on my list of favorite YA characters, if I ever write a list of favorite YA characters. He pretty much fills the snark quota for the whole series. The rest is just gravy. I only wonder what he plans to do with his life. Seriously. A person can't drink and smoke and flirt forever...can they?

It's hard to focus on specific characters in this series. They're really an ensemble, tiny aspects of each character making up the story as a whole. Though I will note that at a certain point in the book, all of the characters seems to lose their color. It's very apparent in the last few chapters. The story is still strong, but everyone just seems...tired. Which kind of makes sense. After everything that happens, I'd be too tired for clever quips, too.

Relationships: ooh
Rose and Adrian - It isn't really spoilering to tell you that no, these two don't end up together. Why, you thought they would? Well, apparently Rule #1 of YA is "The girl never chooses the Second Guy, no matter how beautiful and snarky and perfect he is for her because apparently girls are like Memory Foam Mattresses that mould to the shape of the first guy who sleeps on them!" Gahh, I bleed for you, Adrian. I really do. To be fair, I saw this coming, seeing as they spend less than fifty pages together in the whole thing, and a good eighty percent of those meetings take place in Rose's dreams. So.

Rose and Dimitri - Sigh. Well, I get it. They complete each other and stuff. Their auras get all tingly around each other. I guess they're soulmates. He's just so serious all the time. Rose says so herself, "[Adrian and I] have fun together." I just feel like Rose and Dimitri can't be all intense and angsty forever, right? I can imagine Rose and Adrian growing old and domestic, sure. Dimitri, not so much. Though, of course, there are probably a thousand other readers who think the exact opposite, haha.

Special Features: ooh
I was sad to see so little focus on Moroi elemental magic in this one. I mean, it pops up when it's really necessary to the plot, but it's hopelessly eclipsed by spirit. (Spirit, if you forgot, is the mysterious "fifth element", linked to mind powers and emo-ness). There was mention of spirit on at least every other page. Spirit this, spirit that. Well, sure it was central to the plot, but gahh, too much. Also, please Richelle Mead, can we reprint this series with different covers? Those angsty, pouty covers are pretty much the main reason I've had to put this series into my Guilty Pleasure pile. I can't imagine walking out into public with them...gahh.

Parting Quote:
     From behind Lissa, I heard Christian say, "Worst. Timing. Ever."
     Adrian studied Lissa and then looked at Christian sprawling on the bed on the far side of the suite. "Huh," Adrian said, letting himself in. "So that’s how you’re going to fix the family problem. Little Dragomirs. Good idea."
    Christian sat up and strolled toward them. "Yeah, that’s exactly it. You’re interrupting official Council business.” 
Oh these guys.


  1. As much as I love Adrian, I knew they weren't going to be together. I was always a Dimitri supporter, they fit really well. And lets be honest, Rose growing old and domestic? Iiiiii don't see that ever happening. I also completely agreed with Rose when she said Adrian needs to find the strength to be better for himself rather than have someone else do it for him - and I feel like we'll get to meet that someone in RIchelle's spin off series. I really can't wait for Bloodlines, it's going to be great.