Friday, April 10, 2020

Reread Book Review: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #6
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date:  December 7th 2010
My Rating: 3 Cups
Source: My copy
Blurb (from Goodreads):
They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won't give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri's face join Lissa's. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

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?

Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead's international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series.
The day has come, my dear fellow book lovers. Jamsu and I are finally at the end of our Vampire Academy buddy reread. I didn't imagine I'd be this happy to read the final book in a series that I love so much, but here we are. Here's the thing. This reread has made me realize once again that the way one feels about the book they're reading is influenced by a lot of things that are not related to the book itself. Let me tell you all about it.

I was about 23 when I first read this book. At the time, I felt seen by Rose. She was impulsive, I was impulsive. She let her emotions guide her actions, I did that. She loved hard, I loved hard. She acted first, thought about things second, I also did that. At 23, I felt as close to Rose as I did as a 13 year old reading about Hermione Granger for the first time.

Let me start with what I did like about my reread of Last Sacrifice. I enjoyed the hunt for Lissa's lost sibling. It was a good story line, that I wasn't all that into the first time I read the book. I also enjoyed seeing how the gang tried to solve Queen Tatiana's murder, which...considering who the murderer turned out to be, is quite amusing to read.

I liked seeing Rose and how she struggled with spirit's side effects on her. As we've learned in previous books, Spirit has an influence on her, but it was never as bad as it was in this book. I just wish it would have been explored more, just as I hope that in the Bloodlines spin off we get to see if she's still being affected by Spirit residue even after the bond broke.

I enjoyed seeing more of Sydney. I especially enjoyed seeing her struggle with her distaste for everything vampire. This is because I truly enjoy reading about characters that have their beliefs challenged, and I feel like Mead did a great job forcing Syd in situations that had her act in ways that she wouldn't have in any other situation. I feel like Sydney needed it, and we'll see that side explored in the spin off as well, just because this shows there's no true good on the good side, or bad on the bad side. I just like those kinds of situations.

I liked reading this book, but as I said before, there's a few things I noticed now that didn't bother me the first time I read this book, which ultimately made me lower my rating quite a bit.

The first thought that struck me during this reread was the fact that in reality, I don't like the Lissa-Rose friendship. It felt one-sided from book 3 onward, but now it was confirmed. While Rose is always constantly worrying about Lissa, I never felt as if Lissa was worried about Rose. She selfishly shamed Rose for wanting to leave the Academy to save Dimitri, she made their love story about her, when it wasn't her story at all. I took issue with most things Lissa did in her relationship with Rose, and even her decision to temporarily block Rose from seeing through her eyes annoyed me. I'm sure there could have been a loophole to be found there, like maybe Lissa not participating in the planning of certain events, but since that's not the case, I was annoyed.

Something Jamsu told me about Dimitri made so much sense. We were talking about this book and she was so right, because she said that Dimitri was acting like he was sired to Lissa. Which is so true. (That is a The Vampire Diaries reference in case you have no idea what I'm talking about). He was doing anything that Lissa wanted him to do, which kind of annoyed me, but not enough to make me completely hate him, but I did hate that it took way too much time to be solved.

When I read Last Sacrifice I saw nothing wrong with what Rose did. Of course those things happened, of course she needed to be with Dimitri. At 31.... I'm not saying I'm "wiser" now, but I see things differently. I absolutely hated how she got back together with Dimitri. First of all, she needed to lose it in order for Dimitri to contemplate getting back together with her, which felt wrong. But on top of that, she was still with Adrian. I wish Rose had broken things off with Adrian before she slept with Dimitri. I was annoyed by the whole "yay, I waited for sex" speech when it was paired with cheating.

I also hated the last conversation that Rose had with Adrian. Adrian is dealing with a lot. His aunt was murdered, he's an alcoholic, and he's going crazy because of the toll that using his magic is taking on his mind. On top of that, he is convinced that he needs to change in order to be with Rose. See, this right here is why I never liked the relationship between Rose and Adrian. Just the fact that Adrian wanted to change and to control his addiction because he wanted Rose to like him tells me that it's not a positive relationship for him. But the fact that Rose called him a victim.... UGH it makes me want to shake her so badly.

All of that aside, I don't regret rereading this series. I don't know how I would have felt about these books had we took longer breaks between books. I do believe I would have had a different reading experience.

I'm excited though, because now we can finally dive into the spin off. I am very excited for Sydrian stories. Don't forget to read Jamsu's review of Last Sacrifice!!

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