Series: Vampire Academy series #2
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: young adult, paranormal romance
Published: April 10, 2008
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase this book: The Book Depository
What would you do if everything you knew came to an abrupt end? If no place were safe anymore? If death and heartbreak became all-encompassing? This is the premise of Frostbite, the second book of the Vampire Academy series. After escaping from the threats in the previous novel, Rose is trying to find some normality in her life at St. Vladimir’s school. However, the massive Strigoi attacks prevent such a thing. Add to it the shattering of her relationship with Dimitri, the intrussive thoughts from Lisa’s mind, and the arrival of mysterious characters, and it becomes a matter of time until Rose breaks down. It seems as though danger follows her whenever she goes, a danger that overpowers anything she had experienced before. Death is a shadow that embraces even the most powerful; it is closer than ever.
Frostbite sets the tone for the rest of the Vampire Academy series. While the first book dealt more with the school drama and politics, in Frostbite, it is the personal claustrophobia and the feelings of loneliness which prevail, all set to emphasize the continuous heartbreak and loss. Frostbite is the book where the real coming of age begins, as Rose is forced to deal with situations that change her outlook of life forever. Guilt and regret are always present, generating despair in the protagonist as she finds herself unable to escape from the terrors that surround her.
I loved this book as it set a glimpse of the darkness that prevailes in the rest of the series. Richelle Mead excels at creating dark and gloomy atmospheres; I found myself sharing the rollercoaster of emotions that Rose experimented. All decisions made throughout the novel carried consequences, even the most fatal ones, which made the coming of age more real. I highly recommend that you read Frostbite even if the first book wasn’t entirely to your liking. New characters are added to the series and others get a more predominant role. The novel uses these additions to work on Rose’s and Dimitri’s character development. The story is compelling, with both light and dark moments, although the later ones prevail as the dominant mood of the novel. The title is a reference to the setting in the ski-lodge but it also works as a metaphor for the feelings that accompany the loss of innocence and the facing of death.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves vampires, fantasy, and gothic novels. It deals with profound topics that, as usual with Mead’s writing, are presented in a very straightforward and mature manner. The characters are extremely compelling in their human flaws.