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Saturday, September 25, 2010

REVIEW: Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer

It all comes down to this.

Vlad’s running out of time. The Elysian Council has given him weeks to live, and that’s if the Slayer Society doesn’t kill him – along with all the citizens of Bathory – first. Then there’s the issue of Vlad’s father, who may or may not still be alive after all these years, and oh yeah, that tiny little detail in the Pravus prophecy about Vlad enslaving Vampirekind and the human race. So much for college applications.

In this epic finale to Heather Brewer’s heart-stopping Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, dark secrets will be revealed, old friends will become enemies, and warm blood will run cold. Just be careful it isn’t yours.

Book: Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #5
Obtained: Bought
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

CoVT has been one of my favorite YA series so far, and the one that really got me hooked on paranormal YA.  I really hate to see it go, but since one of the most awesome characters in this entire series, in my opinion even more awesome than Vlad, is getting his own spin-off series, that makes it kind of better. If you even understood that horribly long run-on sentence. This is what happens when I write late at night, or early in the morning, as it were. Which is what, more often than not, I seem to do. Oh, well.

I was worried at the beginning of TGK because Vlad's problems, besides a few, seemed to be being resolved, but Auntie Heather didn't disappoint. Within a few chapters, she managed to get Vlad into more trouble than I believed to be humanly possible. Which is, of course, why Vlad is a half vampire. Duh.

Unlike the previous books in the series, TGK is very dark, in the same way the end of the fourth book was. Lots of characters are hurt, physically and emotionally, and sometimes killed. Insults fly like airplanes. Things are said that no one can take back. The characters' world is so altered in such a way that, no matter what happens next, short of traveling back in time, you know that things can't ever be the same as they were before. Even if Vlad and Co. find some new normal, things have been so inexorably changed for them that it won't feel like normal to any reader who's been with Vlad since Book 1.

Much like in Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, for those of you who've read it, this final CoVT book addresses not only Vlad's problems, but the overarching societal issues that have been brought up, and it happens in a way that is very shocking and depressing and insane. I loved every second of it, but cried through most of those seconds.

Some of the loose ends in the last fifty pages were tied up a bit too cleanly in not-so-realistic ways, but since I loved Vlad so much I kept trying to rationalize it away. No, of course this would've happened. Vlad seems to have some very selective hearing, in a very convenient moment (for the plot, not for Vlad). But it still wasn't too bad. Just kind of a happy ending that didn't seem all that plausible. But not everything was happy, just enough that Vlad wasn't left in the same miserable situation as Katniss. I know that I keep making Hunger Games comparisons, but I can't help it, even though the two series are completely different. TGK just had a similar feeling, if that makes any sense. Not a similar plot or setting or characters, but the actual feeling of the book.

Everyone should check out the final installment in this fabulous series and then go see Heather Brewer at Mrs. Nelson's in Laverne, CA on Tuesday! I'll be there for sure :)