rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an interesting read with a different take on vampires that borrowed from familiar nuances but took things in a different directions. Rose is a likeable protagonist, despite being a touch reckless. But then she's a teen who has a tough road ahead of her. Dimitri is some kind of yummy. A formidable warrior and guardian, he is disciplined, observant, dedicated, and hopeless in love with Rose, although she is forbidden to him. He accepts and understands her as no one does, even Lissa, who has a unique bond with Rose. I do hope that they get together at some point, and I look forward to more interactions between Rose and Dimitri.
I don't feel like I got to know Lissa nearly as well, but I hope that over the course of this series, I will come to know her. I do love that she cares just as much for Rose, and made enormous sacrifices for her, despite the fact that Rose is expected to literally lay down her life for Lissa.
Christian is an intriguing character who has the elements that I really like in a character: misunderstood, enigmatic, a little bit dark and tortured. I definitely want to know more about him.
The infusing of Slavic/Russian culture into this book was a welcome surprise. Fascinated as I am with Russian culture, I enjoyed those elements. It also added to the mysterious and in some ways sinister mood of the story.
Things I didn't care for as much: There is a good bit of the high school pettiness (I hated high school with a fiery, burning passion) in this book: reckless partying, cliques, casual sex (not the main characters), gossiping, etc. I'm not a big fan of all that, but since this is a teen/young adult book, it's expected. Despite that, I think a older person who likes a good vampire story would definitely enjoy this story and find something fresh and interesting in it.
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