Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.

Twelfth Grade Kills (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Series #5)

Twelfth Grade Kills - Heather Brewer At the end of Heather Brewer's Eleventh Grade Burns, Vlad has beaten up his sometimes-friend and wannabe vampire Slayer Joss, and seen what appears to be his father. The Keeper of the Prophecy about Vlad's status as Pravus, the "one to rule them all" if you will, is also dead, and Vlad has drunk his blood. That left us with a lot of loose ends to tie up in this, the last book in the Vladimir Tod Chronicles.::: The Plot :::As you can tell, there's a lot going on in this book. Apparently, Vlad's father is back from the dead; the Elysian Council still wants Vlad dead (or his father, if he can produce him), the Slayers still want Vlad dead; the little weasel Ernie still wants something from Vlad or he'll expose his secret to the world; oh, and Vlad is still having girl trouble, having released Snow as his drudge and gone off without a word.Still with me? All this has to get tied up and finished in 224 pages. I went in with no expectations, but I know now why J.K. Rowling wrote such a long book at the end: You have a lot of things you need to explain.::: Can She Do It? :::My daughter loved this book, and proclaimed it her favorite of the series, but it fell decidedly flat for me as an adult. Too much had to go unexplained to keep it this short, and some of the ending tie-ups are too neat and -- dare I say it -- gratuitous. Not all the characters will survive this one, and Brewer promises in her author bios no happy endings unless they have a lot of blood, and this one follows that mantra.Characters who claim they can't live another day without a character seems to go on afterward after a very short grieving period. Characters are saved with a Deus ex machina you don't expect from Brewer at this point, and some of the foreshadowing seems a little too obvious considering readers have been with Vlad through four "years" now in the books; a little more obfuscation about how certain characters are turned to vampires might have been okay. And the sudden turnaround from Joss the Slayer back to Joss the bestie seems a bit too pat.Overall, though, the same snarky overtones (the Twilight dig was exceptional, noted in my Goodreads status as I was reading), teen-focused music (the mention of a Seether song with Amy Lee may end up dating the book, but I'm sure it made my daughter's year) and fashion, and the same characters come through. It was a bumpy ride, and bound to be difficult to tie up in in the end. Brewer does a decent, if not stellar, job of it.

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