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Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2) - Richelle Mead Good second installment

In FROSTBITE, the follow-up to VAMPIRE ACADEMY, Rose and Lissa continue at St. Vlad's Academy. While on a training trip, Dimitri and Rose discover that the Strigoi have become a threat to all Moroi, including those at the Academy. To protect them, legions of guardians show up, including Rose's long-absent mother. For the holidays, everyone descends upon an elite Moroi ski resort, where the powerful and opinionated argue about the future of the Moroi race and how best to protect them. While there, Rose must contend with the attention of a royal named Adrian, her unreturned affection for Dimitri, her friend Mason's growing interest, and the constant threat of a Strigoi attack.

Like the first book, FROSTBITE has a fast-paced plot filled with action. The book is written in an easily readable style, and the typos/errors of the first book are gone. Rose exhibits some character growth, and the romantic connection between Lissa and Christian is described well. This installment also includes the introduction of many interesting characters who add to the story, including Adrian, Tasha, and Rose's mother. The climax displays the true horror of the Strigoi and the threat they pose to all, both physically and emotionally, and it leaves the reader tensely turning pages to see what will happen next. Of the four books so far in the series, this one is the most engaging.

Even with these strengths, there were notable weaknesses. There wasn't much growth for Lissa's character, and there was no development in the relationship between Rose and Lissa. Despite Mead's ability to make Lissa and Christian's relationship sizzle and feel real, the connection between Dimitri and Rose still doesn't make sense; Dimitri's pull toward Rose remains unexplained. More men continue to pursue Rose sexually, so much that it becomes cliché. As for the writing, the story opens with a prologue that re-caps the events and mythology of the first book in a plodding manner. References to specific clothing designers and similar throughout will also date the book quickly.

Though I had a lot of concerns with the novel, it was still very entertaining, fast-paced, and easy to read. Of the four Vampire Academy books so far, this one has the strongest plot and the greatest amount of character development for Rose. I hope Mead expands this character development to Lissa and others in the books to come and continues to work on the Rose-Dimitri dynamic.