Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Last Sacrifice
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Vampire Academy #6
Pages: 594
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: December 7, 2010
How Received: Bought

Summary: Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose—for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back... and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

My Thoughts:
As the final chapter closes to this amazing series, all I felt was a bittersweet goodbye. It’s so hard to let go of a series you love, and I definitely love the Vampire Academy series.

The previous book, Spirit Bound, was closed on a big cliffhanger, so I couldn’t wait for Last Sacrifice to be released. I had to restrain myself from combing through all of So. Cal. B&N’s and Borders the day before to see if any had stocked it earlier. I had been waiting such a long time for this book, and thankfully, it was one that totally lived up to my expectations (more or less).

I’ve previously mentioned that in every book, you could see Rose maturing from the hard-headed, stubborn, outburst-prone snark that she was... Well, actually, she’s still all those things! However, Rose also pissed me off in this novel. Probably moreso than she did in Blood Promise. The actions she did towards the end of the book pissed me off so damn much. I can’t say too much without being spoilery, but I’ll say this: Rose had matured so much since Vampire Academy, but with the actions she took in Last Sacrifice, it felt like she was going downhill instead of maturing. She was taking steps back. What Rose did was not what I would have expected of her character – she’s better than that, so when it happened, I was nothing short of disappointed.

Most of the book was action-packed. Rose was a fugitive and was running from the Guardians, so there was a lot of running, close-calls, and insane plans from front to finish. For someone who is supposed to be laying low, Rose found herself in a lot of dangerous situations. It sure did keep me turning the pages like a wild woman, though, since I absolutely had to find out what happened.

Every single book, Richelle continuously surprises me. You’d think that by 6 books in, there’d be nothing she could throw at me that would faze me. Nope, wrong! While I understand her writing style more and can predict when she’s throwing us something fake or getting ready for something big, I don’t understand the big plot twists until I’m right on them. And boy, did this book have plot twists! Rose even candidly mentions that her life was turning into a soap opera – it was funny, because I was thinking the exact same thing as I was reading. One thing is for sure: Richelle knows how to drop bombshells on me.

While I’m a bit bittersweet that the series ended, I also didn’t like the ending. I had pretty much guessed what the “last sacrifice” was before I even bought the book (there were only so many options), so I wasn’t too shocked when it rolled around. In fact, even though there was a happy ending, there were so many loose ends and so many hurt feelings that I couldn’t feel happy about the ending Rose got. I’m sure those loose ends were left so they could be tied up in the next VA spin-off books, but I would have liked a more conclusive ending in Rose’s perspective.

Regardless of how I disliked the ending, overall, the book was amazing. And then some.

Cover Musings: Compared to the other covers for the novels, I wasn’t too... impressed by this one. Why? Oh, the model. I preferred the other models they used on the previous covers. The look in this one’s eyes is a bit vacant – not something I’d expect from a book titled “Last Sacrifice”.

Memorable Quotes:
“Sometimes the greatest tests of our strength are situations that don’t seem so obviously dangerous. Sometimes surviving is the hardest thing of all.” (pg. 19)
 Too close, too close. We’re moving too fast.
Fast? Not by my estimation. I could have never handled this slow, stately pace. I felt especially bad for the pallbearers. If I were one, I would’ve said to hell with propriety and started jogging toward my final destination. Of course, that might jostle the body. If the funeral coordinator had been upset over Lissa’s dress, there was no telling how she’d react if Tatiana fell out of the coffin. (pg. 47)
The rest of the crowd and I couldn’t help but stare at the dazzling display.
So, you can imagine our surprise when the statues blew up. (pg. 47)
I’ve punched lots of guys who were kissing me but never one I actually wanted to keep kissing. (pg. 97)
“You’re Tainted because you joined the modern world and left behind their backward ways for your own messed up customs.”
“Hey,” I retorted. “We’re not the ones with overalls and banjos.”
“Rose,” chastised Dimitri, with a pointed look at the door. “Be careful. And besides, we only saw one person in overalls.” (pg. 148)
“I need a coffee shop or something.”
“I think I saw one in a cave down the road,” I said. (pg. 175)
From behind Lissa, I heard Christian say, “Worst. Timing. Ever.”
Adrian studied Lissa and then looked at Christian sprawling on the bed on the far side of the suite. “Huh,” Adrian said, letting himself in. “So that’s how you’re going to fix the family problem. Little Dragomirs. Good idea.”
Christian sat up and strolled toward them. “Yeah, that’s exactly it. You’re interrupting official Council business.” (pg. 313)
Being with him after so long, after everything we’d endured... it was like coming home. Like finally being where—with whom—I belonged. My world, my heart... they’d shattered when I lost him. But as he looked at me, as his lips spoke my name and ran along my skin... I knew those pieces could come back together. (pg. 484)
“But she made her choices, and all the charges against you have been dropped. You’re a free woman now. More than that. A hero. Abe’s bragging that it’s all his doing.”
That brought my smile back. “Of course he is. I’ll probably get a bill from him soon.” (pg. 555-556)

Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: As soon as I flipped through the last page, I was left with a bittersweet feeling. While I’m finally glad to get to the end of Rose’s story, I’m going to miss being in her perspective and reading about all of her crazy plans and adventures. I’m going to miss her interactions with Dimitri and her other friends. Over the course of the series, I’ve ranted on about how bad-ass, snarky, crazy and calculating she was; I’ve ranted about how many times I wanted to throw a book in her face or slap her. I didn’t realize until this book how much I had come to connect and love her character, her personality, and how much I’d miss it. In a way, I feel like I’m losing a friend. In another way, that’s a sign of an insanely good book, and an amazing series. If you guys haven’t read this series yet, I urge you to do so. It’s one series that has been my ultimate pleasure to read and easily surpassed the ranks of my other favorite books.

Lastly, I figured I’d rate the books on how much I enjoyed them from best to least now that the entire series is finished. (Also included are links to my reviews)

1. Shadow Kiss (3rd book)
2. Frostbite (2nd book) 
3. Vampire Academy (1st book) 
4. Spirit Bound (5th book) 
5. Last Sacrifice (6th book)
6. Blood Promise (4th book)

Rating: 5/5


Danna (Bananas For Books) said...

Thanks for the review! I just started the first book and I'm LOVING it. Now I just need the last five:)

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

I can't wait to see what you think of the series! I absolutely loved it! Actually, I loved it so much I'm almost tempted to do an entire series re-read. :P

Book Kritik said...

Bah! I have the darn thing but im afraid to read it. I'm rereading the series to make it last longer...Hopefully it's good and it ends the way I want it to. BTW, team dimitri.

Jenny said...

Wonderful review Kristina, I adored this one as well! Rose's antics didn't really bother me, I think she's come such a long way from the beginning that I sometimes forget she's still a teenager so I'm able to forgive some of her less than stellar decision making:) I'm really sad to see this series end as well, but I'm excited the world isn't over and we get to focus on familiar characters that were in the background of VA.

I'm with you, I love this series so much I can read it again and again. And it's been a while since I've read the earlier books, so maybe I need to go back and do that:)

Angela Tolsma said...

oh I can't wait!!

Jen (@ Jens Book Closet) said...

I heart Vampire Academy. But, I agree with you on Last Sacrifice. I'm sad that it is over, I'm going to miss Dimitri and most definitely Rose. I know there is going to be a spin off series to it, so I'm excited for that. I hope it closes up some of what felt like it wasn't all the way closed. I am very curious about who is in it. Maybe she is going to hit on the Keepers or something. Really, I wanted to know what happened to Sydney and of course Adrian. Plus, that huge thing with Jill just didn't end. Maybe we get to follow along with her. Who knows, either way, I'm pumped!

In the Closet With a Bibliophile

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

Maria: Ooh, that's smart! I should have done that. xD I don't really think there were "team's" for VA. It was always Dimitri. Adrian stood no chance. I used to say I was Team Dimitri too, but then I realized there wasn't really any competition. And dammit, I felt so bad for Adrian and I want to give him a hug.

Jenny: I suppose I can see that, but Rose's actions really bothered me. BECAUSE she's come a long way from the beginning, I expect her to make more sound choices. I realize she's a teenager, but she's a teenager that went through hell and back. I expected more of her, you know?

I'm with you on the re-reading the series part, though! As soon as I finished LS I was tempted to just go back and do an entire re-read! :P

Namine: Read faster! Lol, no just kidding. But really, this is such a good series, you need to read/finish it! :)

Jen: Like I mentioned on your review, I'm super sad that it's over. Every time I see the title pop up in places, I get nostalgic and sad. I hope the spin-off closes loose ends, also. I seriously want Adrian to find some lovin' in the spin-off series. That boy seriously needs it, after EVERYTHING he went through. >_<

Jen (@ Jens Book Closet) said...

It's so true, Adrian really needs lovin. He needs to be that super hero. Also, she can't leave it like she did with Jill, I mean, come on. Who's perspective is the new series through I wonder?

In the Closet With a Bibliophile

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

I think Richelle set it up as a precursor to Adrian getting the ending he deserves. He gets slighted by Rose, but ultimately, he will (hopefully) get his happy, and better, ending in the spin-off.

I never really thought of Jill as getting "face time", perspective wise, until you brought it up. I truly thought the spin-off series would be in Sydney's perspective, but now I have to wonder... Also, now that Adrian's "off the hook", Jill?! Sydney?! Who are his next potential romances?!

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