October 29, 2014

The Vampire Academy Gala: Mini Reviews, Books 4-6

My last set of mini-reviews! I flew through these books over the course of three or four days and pretty much started one right after the other. So, I think it goes without saying that I enjoyed them. But I will mention a couple of my reservations with this last set up front rather than to keep repeating myself. For the last three books, I think they sometimes suffered from uneven pacing and the plot dragging. There were definitely moments and scenes that could've been edited out completely or shortened to keep things moving along. Also, at this point, the recap and explanation of the vampire mythology in her world is unnecessary. If you’re at book 4 and still can’t remember the difference between Dhampirs, Moroi and Strigoi — I don’t even know what to tell you. Now, onto everything I did love about the books.
Here are the basics ...
The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

Summary: Two races of vampires walk our world. One, the Moroi, are alive and wield elemental magical. The other, the Strigoi, are undead and evil—feeding on the innocent to survive. Rose Hathaway—a half-vampire with poor impulse control—is training to be a bodyguard for a Moroi princess. Learning to decapitate and stake is hard enough, but Rose's real danger may lie in an illicit romance with one of her instructors.
(Adapted from official site)

> Blood Promise (Book 4)
As I mentioned before, Shadow Kiss was a turning point for the series and that especially becomes clear in Blood Promise. For the first time, Rose chooses herself, her grief and her need to move forward over Lissa and sets out on a journey on her own. In a lot of ways it worked. We get to see the world beyond the walls of St. Vlad’s Academy and this experience gives Rose a lot of new knowledge. Not to mention more fights to add to Rose’s list of badass moments (she has A LOT). Even though her character is at her lowest in Blood Promise, at the same time she also felt like she was at her strongest? I mean we know from the moment we met Rose that she’s tough. We know it, she knows it, the whole Academy and then some know it. But striking out her own, especially with her particular objective, requires a level of physical and emotional strength we’ve never seen from her. It seems almost impossible and yet that doesn’t stop her from trying. Through her travels, new characters are introduced (Sydney, the Alchemist!) but old characters are still cleverly intertwined due to Rose “checking up” on Lissa in her mind. I will say this book had a slow start but the ending is heartbreaking (although I continued to be in denial) and it was yet another solid book in the series!

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> Spirit Bound (Book 5)
Spirit Bound is the calm before the storm. Which isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its own set of crazy ups and downs. Because it does! Rose is back from her journey. She’s finishing up her senior year, prepping to take the final Guardian exam and more importantly, reunited with Lissa and their friends. More than ever she’s trying to be normal and focus on a future that includes being Lissa’s Guardian. But she can’t completely let go of the past and well, it can’t exactly let go of her either. (I know, I’m being so vague!) Let’s just say that no matter how hard Rose tries to be normal, it’s not in her nature to give up or lose hope and that’s one of my favorite things about her. She’ll believe and fight for the impossible if it’s for the good of someone she loves. So she keeps digging and what she discovers unquestionably changes the Dhampri/Moroi/Strigoi world forever. The ending of Spirit Bound is one that I’d been waiting for since Shadow Kiss and it definitely pays off.




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> Last Sacrifice (Book 6)
With a title like Last Sacrifice, it was hard NOT to worry about the characters I’d come to care about (except Lissa - yeah, I still don’t like her much). And this book is absolute chaos but in the best way possible. When Rose is falsely accused of crime that could get her killed, all our favorite people team up to free her and prove her innocence. And along the way they also decide to shake the whole vampire political system. Because, why not? The latter lets us gets to know Lissa more and it finally let me, personally, like her a tiny bit more too. Again, this book takes Rose and Lissa in opposite directions but their goal is the same and it’s one takes takes Rose on yet another big journey. One that helps Lissa and herself but also, I think this book also required Rose to examine her heart and those around her. Who does she want be? What and who does she see in her future? In Last Sacrifice, there’s love, friendship, mystery (I totally called one twist which made me feel so smart!), adventure, heartbreak and action. It was a fitting end to the series and had all the elements I’ve come to love about it.


Check out Alexa's blog to see her mini-reviews of these books!

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