Frostbite - Richelle Mead
FROSTBITE picks up where Vampire Academy leaves off. Rose, a dhampir and guardian, and Lissa, her Moroi best friend, are attempting to get through high school with the added pressure that comes with being a vampire in a world that doesn’t know they exist. Lissa is the last member of the Dragomir royal family and a Moroi. A Moroi is a vampire, but a vampire that doesn’t kill to get blood. They take blood from willing donors and have the ability to use magic that comes from the elements. Usually a vampire only has the ability to use powers from one element. Lissa is special though - she has developed the ability to use an element that isn’t well known - the element of spirit. The spirit allows her to heal living things, but causes her to go a little crazy. Because of this, she must take medication that dulls her use of magic which is difficult for her to accept. In addition to being Lissa’s best friend, Rose is also her guardian. Dhampirs can go in the sunlight and are stronger which make them perfect protectors.At the beginning of FROSTBITE, there is a massacre of a royal family and their guardians. Rose sees the aftermath when she and Dimitri, her trainer and mentor, go to the house to meet a legendary guardian for a test Rose must take. This massacre turns the Moroi world upside down and puts everyone on full alert. The Strigoi are behind the murders. Strigoi are vampires that kill when they drink blood. They are stronger than the Moroi and strike fear in everyone. The most frightening thing about these killings though is the fact that there is evidence that humans have been involved. With humans assisting the Strigoi there is virtually no safe place for the Moroi. The daylight isn’t even a safe place to be since humans are free to move around in the sun.With security at its highest level, St. Vladmir’s Academy makes the decision to require everyone go to a Moroi ski lodge for Christmas vacation. By keeping everyone together in one place, they are hoping to keep everyone safe. The exclusive lodge is large enough to accomodate even the students’ family members so everyone seems excited about the decision. During this luxurious vacation news of another massacre rocks the lodge. A group of headstrong students run off to follow a lead about where a group of Strigoi are hiding and Rose takes off after them so she can bring them back. Rose has learned a lot since the last book. She has developed SOME self-control and has seen first hand what these Strigoi can do and knows her friends won’t be able to handle them. The events that take place on her rescue mission change her perspective on life and about what it means to be a guardian. Rose’s relationship with Dimitri is as complicated as ever and provides romantic tension throughout the story. The ending is a little too quickly wrapped up with not much discussion of the deadly group of Strogoi still roaming around or the ramifications of Rose leaving the protection of the “school”, but overall FROSTBITE is even more enjoyable than Vampire Academy, the first book in the series.