Y.A. Sci Fi / Fantasy / Horror (489 pgs.)
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Siberia, Dimitri's birthplace, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's--and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives outside of the academy's cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he has silenced her... forever.
But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey--whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what--and who--matters most to her. And in the end, is true love really worth the price?
Let me just put this out here right now... THIS REVIEW IS GOING TO BE INFESTED WITH MONUMENTAL SPOILERS. Moving on.
Rose's epic journey continues in the fifth installment of one of my favorite vapire series, Vampire Academy. In this episode Rose breaks into a high security prison, rescues Dimitri, and is mistankenly condemned for the murder of Queen Tatiana, just to name a few things.
In order to bring back Dimitri from being undead, Rose found out in the last book, Blood Promise, that she would need to consult Victor Dashkov's half-brother Robert Doru. The only person who knows where Robert is is his half-brother, of course, Victor. And in order to get him to talk, Rose has to break him out of Tarasov, a supposedly high security Moroi prison.
Richelle Mead wrote the prison break as being decidedly easy for the three teenagers who accomplished it (Rose, Lissa, and Eddie), and with little severe consequences to follow. For me, it was kind of unbelievable that these three could accomplish all that and get away, but hey, it is fiction after all. Believablitiy is kind of stretched in this book.
After breaking Victor out of jail, the foursome head to Sin City, that's right, Las Vegas. And... to the Luxor!! I used to stay in this hotel all the time when I was a kid and me and my family wen on family vacations to Vegas. I was so excited that Richelle Mead picked this hotel!!
But back on topic. After Victor contacts his brother and persuades him to come to the Luxor, Rose and Lissa subsequently learn that the way to bring back a Strigoi is to stake him/her with a stake infused with spirit. And here's the catch: the staking has do be done by a spirit user themself.
So, of course, Rose becomes conflicted. She wants to bring Dimitri back, but she doesn't want to risk her friend's life. She spies in on Lissa a couple of times practicing staking Strigoi and is furious, but it's like "Yeah, Rose, save it, we all know you really want her to be practicing."
Anyway, Lissa and Christian end up being captured by Dimitri, which leads to Lissa's staking and bringing Dimitri back from the dead. I cried so hard at this part! They brought him back!
Which brings me to my next point... Richelle Mead's writing just makes ya feel. It's like I can feel every single emotion that Rose is feeling, and it's all because of Mead's brilliant writing. I enjoy this element so much in her books... it never gets old.
But Dimitri and Rose didn't get the happy ending I was pining for, and it's easy to see why. Dimitri is (naturally) ashamed of all of the things he did when he was Strigoi, especially of all the things he did to Rose. He claims that he is incapable of loving anyone anymore, and tells Rose "Love fades. Mine has." which completely broke my heart. The interludes where Rose is verbally sparring with Dimitri, desperately trying to bring him back, were BEAUTIFULLY written. However much I wanted them to be instantly happy and Dimitri to turn right back into what he was before, I understand he has a lot of baggage, and that's what Rose eventually has to come to terms with too.
This was a REALLY great read. I was litterally shouting "No!" as I came to the last pages. I just couldn't bear to have it end, and I CAN'T WAIT for the next book! It basically ended on the biggest cliff hanger EVER!