Author: Heather Brewer
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, vol. 2
As though middle school hadn’t been bad enough, Vlad seems to be dragging most of his problems with him into high school: neanderthal bullies, social awkwardness around girls (or at least, around THE Girl), hiding the fact that he’s a vampire from everyone around him. All in all, it’s basically life as normal. Only this year, he’s also got a social outcast shutter-bug who’s determined to discover what he really is. Plus a vampire slayer roaming around town bent on staking him. . . . It’s a good thing Vlad can count on his best friend Henry, aunt Nellie, and uncle Otis for support. And as a bonus, Vlad even becomes friends with Joss, Henry’s cousin–who has no clue Vlad’s a vampire.
Ninth Grade Slays is a solid follow through on the first book of this series, Eighth Grade Bites. The characters and style are consistent–and quite well done. I really love the characters in Brewer’s books; whether human or vampire, they are all very solidly individuals with consistent and developed personalities. Plus, I just like them as people, especially Nellie. The plot in Ninth Grade Slays builds on the first volume quite nicely, but you should definitely plan to read the series in order since there’s a good bit you’ll miss otherwise. In this book, I especially appreciated (while at the same time hating) the angst of the whole Joss situation (you’ll see what I mean); it added a maturity and depth to both the book and to Vlad’s character that was spot on. My one . . . not really complaint, but less enjoyed part . . . was they way the whole Pravus thing was brought up repeatedly. But then, it bugs Vlad too; it’s supposed to. I think Ninth Grade Slays and the whole Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series are exciting and enjoyable to read–definitely on my recommended list.