My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I simply adored this book. I loved the whole series. In fact, Richelle Mead is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors.
With that said, let me get the stuff I didn’t like out of the way first and then I can go back to the superlatives.
The first actually has nothing to do with the story but the preface by Richelle or rather, where she determines whether one of the main characters lives or dies. I thought that this was a bit odd to say the least given that the title of the book, after all, is ‘Last Sacrifice’.
The second gripe is that this series of Vampire Academy has come to an end. This is what I don’t like about really good stories. At some point, you come across the inevitable ‘the end’. Cliff hangers, whilst annoying, do generally mean that the story continues.
Right. Now on to the praise which is much more fun.
As it turns out Last Sacrifice won’t be the final Vampire Academy series. I have no idea who the main characters of the next series will be or even what the time frame will be but assuming it takes place after this current series, then whilst Last Sacrifice did tie a lot of things up nicely, there are an awful lot of openings.
As for Last Sacrifice itself, it’s a brilliant race against the clock whodunnit following immediately on from Spirit Bound. The pacing and action were relentless and never let up so much so that it was hard to put down. Thoughts of “I’ll just finish this chapter” were usually discard when, it brilliant style, it was necessary to read the next chapter as the story could not simply be left at that point.
As previously stated, being the last book, a lot of plot threads from throughout the series were tied up, some of them unexpectedly which was a nice surprise. Indeed, with the knowledge that comes from completely the book, it’s realised that there are threads that weren’t even recognised as such when initially read. This is going to be a fun series to read all over again with the benefit of that hindsight. It’s one of those things where I wonder if Richelle, or any other author realised when outlining the books or just picked it up whilst coming up with the plot for this. I suspect it is most likely the former.
The mystery part of the story is handled very deftly. Whilst the fact that this may be a YA story, whilst it is not complex in terms of layers upon layers and lots of false trails, neither is it overly simple. Like all good mysteries, when it may be pretty clear how things are going to play out, it turns out not to be clear after all and when it is resolved, it is done in a way that evokes thoughts of “I did not see that coming.”
A final, sudden thought occurrs and that is that this book is the least vampiric of them all. Oh, there are a couple of elements. After all, with a major exception, there are no humans in this story. Just the two vampire types; Moroi and Strigoi and Dhampirs. But with all the world building already taken care of by earlier books, Last Sacrifice concentrates on being an excellent mix of thriller, mystery and love story.
Here’s hoping that it won’t be too long before details of the next Vampire Academy series are forthcoming. So much for that. See the addendum below!
Edited to add the following information from Richelle Mead‘s site:
The New VA Series
Last Sacrifice will be the last book about Rose, but it’ll be followed by a spin-off series still set in the Vampire Academy world. Side characters we know from the current series will now be our main characters, and there’ll be a whole new storyline (not the last one told from a different perspective). So far, there is no exact release date, but you can expect it near late summer/early fall of 2011.
At the moment, I’m not allowed to reveal the title, premise, or full cast of characters. I can tell you that it’ll be written in third person, so we’ll get a number of characters’ perspectives. One of them will be Sydney. The others are a secret for now. Also, expect a cameo from Rose. 🙂