Frostbite - Richelle Mead It’s always frustrating to read a book starring astoundingly dim characters. And in Frostbite, the characters are sooooooooooo stupid. And I don’t think those eleven o’s adequately represent how stupidly the characters behave in this volume. People are dying left and right and everyone decides that it’s the perfect time for a ski resort vacation. Like doomed characters in a horror movie, Rose and company knowingly venture into dangerous territory where evil Strigoi are known to live. Even worse, Richelle Mead continues to treat us readers as if we’re unintelligent. The writing is still weak—Mead or her editor expect us to believe “examinated” is a word—and foreshadowing takes the obvious form of the narrator thinking, “You know, there’s SOMETHING important about this information I just learned, but it can’t be revealed yet so I’m just going to strongly allude to it.” Newsflash: characters and readers alike can be smart. Don’t over simplify.And still…I quite enjoyed this. While the first half is bogged down by teenagers behaving too teenagerly, the final part is super fun. Mead introduces Adrian, a Moroi vampire described as “charismatic.” His charisma drips off the page—he is sexy, charming, and awesome. The stakes are slowly rising too, boding well for the rest of the series. As I was reading this, I was struck by the thought that Paranormal Romance is such a bizarre genre. It rapidly oscillates between trivial love games and matters of life and death. This blend of fluff and serious can make the genre endlessly exasperating. I don’t think Mead managed to adequately balance these two acts in Frostbite. But this book served to develop Rose into a loveable heroine. I’ve always adored young upstart heroes and heroines that surprise wizened adults with their success. Rose’s growth in this book leads to such a moment. For me, it was worth sticking through ski slope shenanigans, hot tub parties, and ludicrously unintelligent decisions to reach that point. (And okayyy, maybe I kinda liked those hot tub parties.)