So if it’s one book-reading lesson I’ve learned in 2013 is that it is an extremely bad idea to try and read an author’s adult fiction and young-adult fiction back to back. Almost inevitably, the young adult novel is going to suffer by comparison due to the nature of the genre. Plots and characterizations are generally less complex and finally it’s truly rare to find an author who goes out on a limb and does something different.
Richelle Mead is the poster kind for me for why this is such bad idea. Her new adult series, Age of X had a fascinating premise, so much so, that I’m more than willing to go ahead and overlook its flaws. By comparison, the first Vampire Academy novel came off as much more tried and true. You have vampires in a high school and you largely got vampires with high school drama with some intrigue thrown in on top. I didn’t hate Vampire Academy by any means, I just found it to be kind of lacking. A beach-read kind of book that you forgot about not too long after you finished it.
Well, a couple of people insisted that I had to give the second one a chance, both saying that it was stronger than the first and that I’d get addicted.
And I think I have.
While I definitely do think getting some distance from the other series definitely helped, I think I can pinpoint a more important reason as to why I enjoyed Frostbite better: Lissa’s role felt much reduced. The first book focused on both girls. This book really felt like Rose’s story and was the stronger for it. Lissa didn’t interest me that much as a character, even when she’d reached her lows. I think she’s in this book an appropriate amount: Rose is still bound to her, and they are friends so you can’t cut her out entirely, but at the same point in time you really feel like Rose is her own person in this one, and not just an extension of Lissa.
I also do like that Richelle took the time to humanize Mia a bit (even if the process to get to that point was extreme for the poor girl) and Adrian is an interesting character, even if the pseduo-bad-boy-rich-kid (I’d call him Draco-in-Leather-Pants but he’s definitely not as useless as Draco tended to be in the HP books) is a bit of a worn trope.
I’ll definitely be getting around to reading the rest of these at one point. I’m not in a rush to do so though, because if it’s the other lesson I learned in 2013 is that burning through a series isn’t a good idea for me because it starts to magnify flaws in a series that I’d otherwise overlook. Hey, being picky is in my nature. At least I accept it 🙂
Verdict: If you liked the first book even a little bit, Buy It.