Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tenth Grade Bleeds
By Heather Brewer
Series: Third in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Warning: Review may contain spoilers for Eighth Grade Bites and Ninth Grade Slays

It appears that sophomore year is going to be the best for Vladimir Tod; the bullies that had beaten him up over the years seem to have moved on to other targets and the girl of his dreams is now his girlfriend. However, the year still sucks; Henry, Vlad’s best friend, is becoming distant and Vlad fears it could lead to the end of their friendship, his thirst for blood is at an all time high and he fears he might harm those close to him, a classmate is on the verge of exposing his secret, he has vivid nightmares of being tortured, and he is unable to communicate telepathically with his Uncle for extended periods. Add to that the possibility that Vlad could be the Pravus of vampire legend and that an evil vampire from Vlad’s past is searching for a ritual that could steal Vlad’s powers or kill him in the process, sophomore year looks to be as sucky as the rest. The plot begins to darken with this installment with an ending that shows changes are going to be made in the last two installments of the series.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ninth Grade Slays
By Heather Brewer
Series: Second in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Warning: Review may contain minor spoilers for Eighth Grade Bites

Although starting his first year of high school, Vladimir’s freshmen year still sucks. Bullies continue to use him as a punching bag, he feels the girl of his dreams was unsatisfied with the way their date at last year’s Freedom Fest ended, and a classmate is on the verge of exposing his half-vampire secret. If that was not enough, Vlad’s best friend Henry’s popularity soars due to his position on the student council, leaving Vlad to hang with Henry’s newly arrived cousin Joss. Plus, Vlad hears that there is a vampire slayer stalking him. But with a surprise winter break trip to Siberia with Uncle Otis, Vlad begins to develop his mind-control and telepathy skills and learns a little about his vampire heritage that might be connected to his own destiny. Readers who enjoyed Eight Grade Bites will devour this second book. Brewer reveals more of Vlad’s vampire world and what it might mean to Vlad’s future. Several plot twists keep the reader turning the pages and eager for the next installment to the series when they reach the end.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Eighth Grade Bites
By Heather Brewer
Series: First in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Eighth grade is tough for Vladimir Tod. He is picked on by bullies, the girl he likes seems to prefer his best, and only, friend, and his parents have both died three years ago which he is still trying to deal with. Oh, yeah, and Vlad also has a secret; while his mother was mortal, his father was a vampire. So, along with his school life, half-vampire Vlad has to additionally deal with his enlarged fangs, his blood cravings (luckily his guardian is a nurse who “steals” about the be spoiled blood from the hospital and “prepares” the blood in various ways), learning the extent of his abilities, and no one to teach him. When Vlad’s favorite teacher turns up missing the substitute is more interested with Vlad then the other students. When Vlad feels his cover on his secret life is about to be blown, he discovers there is a vampire hunter after him. What is an eighth grade vampire to do? Brewer’s debut novel is a real treat for any vampire fan. The simple writing style should appeal to a junior high / middle school audience though may turn away older teens and adults who still enjoy reading young adult novels unless these older readers enjoy vampire stories, in which case it is a quick, enjoyable read. In a way, the first book of the series feels more like a prologue for what is to come, which wets the readers’ appetite for Vladimir’s ninth grade year.