My rating: 4 of 5 genies
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Vampires, Action, Romance, Paranormal
Published: August 16, 2007
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: TheBookDepository.com or Amazon.com
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
"The spell. Victor said you had to want me... to care about me... for it to work." When he didn't say anything, I tried to grip his shirt, but my fingers were too weak. "Did you? Did you want me?"
His words came out thickly. "Yes, Roza. I did want you. I still do. I wish... we could be together."
"Then why did you lie to me?"
We reached the clinic, and he managed to open the door while still holding me. As soon as he stepped inside, he began yelling for help.
"Why did you lie?" I murmured again.
Still holding me in his arms, he looked down at me. I could hear voices and footsteps getting closer.
"Because we can't be together."
"Because of the age thing, right?" I asked. "Because you're my mentor?"
His fingertip gently wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek. "That's part of it," he said. "But also... well, you and I will both be Lissa's gaurdians someday. I need to protect her at all cost. If a pack of Strogoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her."
I know that. Of course that's what you have to do." The black sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes again. I was fading out.
"No. If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you."
Rating: 4.5 (And who could ask why with a quote like that being only the brink of the iceberg in terms of swoon-worthiness? The book promises so much and it delivers in full.)
Setting: Was better than most settings usually go, and I liked the whole Gothic-feel of the school, major bonus points! It was an Academy and while some parts could have been expanded on, it would not have been in character for Rose to suddenly take an interest in what the cafeteria looked like in detail let alone anything else. The environment was familiar to her, and having her suddenly keen in on everything would have been weird. I still got what things looked like fine so I'm not complaining.
Also the world of Moroi and Dhampirs was very intriguing, kind of sad that they can't reproduce together though. I want Dimitri and Rose babies and I'm praying for a miracle. The system is very unique to me, the whole idea of royalty and then guards trained to guard them with their lives has not been done. I applaud Ms. Mead for her ingenuity.
Plot: A solid four from me, it was a consistent and fluid ride. There were certain areas that were a little slow and I would have liked more excitement in the middle portion - but it worked out - and ultimately all the decisions Mead took regarding the plot twists ultimately panned out. I was engrossed so much so that while I was supposed to be studying, I was tucked in a crouch, Godiva on my lips and book in hand. It was magic.
Characters: These people were so awesome, I can't really begin to describe. It wasn't that they were perfect - far from that, actually - but that they were connected and you did not need to give yourself a migraine thinking about just how. The ties were clear, and I enjoyed the easy way of their interactions. Drama certainly existed, what book lacks that component, but it was so easy to understand.
Like for instance, I know for sure that I hate Mia for her desperate need to be accepted by the royals and the means she goes about achieving her goal, love Rose/Dimitri for what they give to each other, despise Natalie for what she did and find Lissa too lukewarm for my liking. Christian is still on the fringes for me, and Mason is a sweetheart. See? No needless complexities, I loved it! Did I forget to mention how badly I melted on-sight for Dimitri? I went to sleep murmuring his name and I completely believe that I am normal.
Because he was so studly and so not the typical angry/brooding Russian guy. He was still composed, but he was so amazingly dimensional and I know that there is more to him. That is why I will read all the books in this series, I already have them requested at the library. And then I will make plans to purchase volumes 1-6, because I adore Rose as well.
She was so selfless and devoted to her job that I had no choice but to admire her determination and strength. Finally a heroine who smacks the bitch down! I was exponentially pleased.
P.A.(problem areas): Would probably just be the slowness in the middle, but that isn't an issue, the end delivered. Also I would have appreciated more of Dimitri and yet I look forward to the fact that I have reserved the next five books! Suck it everyone else who was to wait, I get Dimitri first. Boo-yah!
H.M.(honorable mention): must go to my girl Rose, there is no other like her and she was largely why this book worked for me.
Overall I think I understand now why people coo over this series, they have due reason and while I never plan to become one of those screaming fangirls obsessed with the book and ruining it sideways (like most are. Seriously someone needs to hand me a rifle, I'll take them down myself. Daddy didn't raise no fool!) I am in love with this series. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. 4.5 sexy Russians, ahem, genies!
A great, fun adventure of a read, I recommend this book and can't wait for more in the series!