Monday, February 7, 2011

Jenn's Review: Ninth Grade Slays

Ninth Grade Slays #2: The Chronicles of Vladimir TodSummary:  High school totally bites when you're half human, half vampire.

Freshman year stinks for Vlad Tod. Bullies still harass him. The photographer from the school newspaper is tailing him. And failing his studies could be deadly. A trip to Siberia gives “study abroad” a whole new meaning as Vlad connects with other vampires and advances his mind-control abilities, but will he return home with the skills to recognize a vampire slayer when he sees one? In this thrilling sequel to Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad must confront the secrets of the past and battle forces that once again threaten his life.

Review:  This is an endearing middle grade series, and I completely agree with that ALA that it is a great series for reluctant readers.  It's also a great read for the Joss Whedon's Buffy generation.  There are lots of  references to Whedon's series but I don't think Buffy's a prerequisite for enjoying Brewer's books.  Just a bonus.

Though I saw where this book was going from the opening chapter, I still enjoyed the journey.  We get to know all of the characters a little better and investigate Vlad's vampiric abilities right along with Vlad.  Now that Vlad is developing his telepathic skills, we also get a peek into the minds of the characters around him.  I love Otis and it was wonderful to meet more of Brewer's brand of vampires, especially ones that aren't out to kill Vlad.

Vlad has been living around humans so long that he is reluctant to use his abilities.  While I can understand that in regards to friends and family, I cannot understand his reluctance to use them to protect himself.  He needs to be able to protect himself from the bullies, yes, but he also needs to keep from being discovered.  I'm sure Ms. Brewer will be addressing this in the books to follow, but I was starting to get a little frustrated with Vlad on this point.

As with Whedon's world, you have to have a certain sense of humor to appreciate Brewer's writing.  Needless to say, I fit the bill.  I think this series is a hoot and a great read for parents and kids together or solo.  I am looking forward to Tenth Grade Bleeds.

Final Take:  3.5/5



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