Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA fantasy
Where I got it: ODLC (the library’s e-book collection)
One sentence: Rose, a dhamphir guardian, and Lissa, a Moroi princess, return from their time on the run to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where they become caught in scandal, rumors, and danger, from both themselves and the evil Strigoi vampires.
Themes: Vampires, scandal, rumors, romance, bonds, social pressure.
Main character: I don’t really know how I feel about Rose and Lissa. Their ‘bond’ kind of weirded me out at first, but it came into play later in the book. I felt like Mead tried to hard to make Rose the brash, reckless, aggressive, party girl, and some of it felt too…forced? Obvious? I don’t know. Lissa frustrated me sometimes. She alternated between passive and aggressive, and I know she was struggling with herself or whatever, but it also seemed like she had absolutely no backbone. There was very little character development.
Secondary characters: I didn’t feel enough of a connection to either Christian or Dimitri. They felt wooden, and although Mead explained Christian’s background, I just couldn’t get into what he was feeling.
Writing style: A little wooden at times. I wouldn’t say anything distracted me, but I found it difficult to picture anything, there was little description and the word choice was poor throughout.
Plot: I didn’t mind the background of the story: the relationships and folklore between the Strigoi, Moroi and dhampirs. However, the actual plot left me a little disappointed. The pacing is slow until the last fifty pages, and much of the plot is pretty predictable. I did actually like the last bit, and the plot twist caught me by surprise (maybe I’m just really blind to clues hidden along the way).
Best scene: The scene with Lissa in the bathroom. Really creeped me out, actually.
Positives: Entertaining, good background with the folklore, well thought out world, plot twists.
Negatives: Wooden and unchanging characters, slow pacing, not very descriptive writing.
Ending: Eh. I actually didn’t mind the ending scene, and it did kind of set up for future books, but just…eh.
Verdict: It was entertaining, but I didn’t really understand why it’s average rating on Goodreads was a 4.25. Crazy.
Rating: 6.9 / 10