Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose...
It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.
But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...
This is the second in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, and it was just as good as the first! I really like Mead’s take on vampires, where the pure-blood Moroi rule, the half-vampire dhampirs acting as their guardians. Rose is a dhampir in training to become the guardian to Lissa, who in addition to being the last survivor of the Dragomir family, is also her best friend, who forged an irrecoverable bond between them when she brought her back from death in an accident. Lissa has powers few other Moroi have, as she works not with one of the four traditional elements but with spirit, which is how she brought Rose back to life. Unfortunately, a side-effect of this bond means that Rose can link up with Lissa’s emotions – and getting into her friend’s head when things are heating up with her boyfriend really isn’t what she intended! But Rose has bigger problems to deal with – for one, resisting her attraction to her mentor Dimitri, whilst knowing her friend Mason nurtures a hopeless crush on her. She also meets the enigmatic and charming Adrian, but with Strigoi brutally attacking members of the royal families, her tangled love lives are soon to become the least of her worries.
Richelle Mead has a writing style that pulls you right into the world of the story, and Rose’s witty narration and snarky attitude make this an entertaining ride. There’s plenty of action and the plot unfolds at a good pace. I like that we finally get to meet Rose’s mother, too. Rose develops as a character in this book, which is nice to see. I didn’t see all the twists coming and the ending was pretty shocking, but really well put together. I really like the creative vampire mythology and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!