★ ★ ★ ★ ★
When Dymocks says 5-7 days, they actually mean 7, at the earliest. I lost count of how many days or years I waited for Vampire Academy. Though I can confidently say I feel much older and wiser having gone through such hardship. I read Bloodlines by Richelle Mead first – which is actually the spin off series to Vampire Academy. I didn’t realise at the time, but when I did realise – on the first page of Bloodlines, it was already too late to turn back.
While some of Mead’s writing style is similar it pleases me immensely that she has such a different set of protagonists. Rose Hathaway is spunky and sassy and swears and sluts around. She fears no man. Really. She rarely seems to be afraid in the novel, which is what I think is missing from her character – a little more ability to be human. There were some scenes where she was getting beaten up and the way Mead told it was so passive and la de da that I wondered if perhaps she hadn’t quite grasped the calamity of the situation. Maybe I was reading it too fast.
That’s another thing. I finished this bad boy way too quickly. The story was fast paced the whole way through, which when combined with my overwhelming desire to read all the things made for an eventful evening but didn’t last me more than a night. Not to say the story was bad – it wasn’t – obvi I gave it five stars. Though in this first novel you can really tell that Mead’s style has matured when she wrote Bloodlines. I think I will see her progress as I get further into the Vampire Academy series.
The first thing that hit me when I read it was how angry the book fans must have been when they saw the movie. So many things the movie did was so tacky and inserted in for stupidity’s sake. But my goodness they did get one thing right – the bitchiness of St. Vladimir’s. I felt like I was right back at high school. The strangest thing was, with most
high school stories, the protagonist has an adult view of things. Rose and her companions are actual teenagers. They plot ways to get back at people, they spread rumours and conduct evil social experiments. So many times, authors ignore the faults in their protagonists – teenage faults. I think perhaps that they don’t remember what high school was like, or they want to believe that they weren’t that way. Mead remembers. It pleases me beyond belief that she has the characters acting their age in many scenarios.
“Yeah, but did you know that her parents are practically custodians for the Drozdovs?”
The hand on my leg stopped. I’d exaggerated, but he was a sucker for gossip-and notorious for spreading it.
“Yeah. Scrubbing floors and stuff like that.”
I could see the wheels turning in his dark blue eyes and had to hide a smile. The seed was planted.
(p.117, Rose and Jesse)
The darkness that is enveloping Vasilisa (great name) is completely underwhelmed in this book. Rose has a habit of describing the dark moods in a way that reminds me of smoke settling through her body. Which is a great image though doesn’t fully grasp the intensity or hopelessness of it all quite the way it does for Adrian (another spirit user) when I read Bloodlines. I wonder if anyone else had these issues when reading the books. My guess is no, because they read them in the correct order.
Besides the faults that I found in the writing style, as ever, Mead’s imagination more than makes up for it. I know that she will have already improved by the time I settle into Frostbite – it’s laying inches away from me, waiting for the exact second I post this. And I’m a writing fury right now. Must get this out while I remember!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★