Preface one: Blogger won't let me create paragraphs tonight. Ugh.
I really feel the need to preface this review with my anal retentive grammar problem: page 262 has a grammatical error that *should* have been caught by an editor paying any attention at all. Vlad is placing something (okay, blood) in the microwave and the author describes the scene thusly: "...he sat the cup..." The grammarian in me was immediately pulled out of the story as I contemplated why it was missed by an editor and who uses "sat" like that, anyway. I even punched Jeff and read it to him (he of the "would you stop being so anal about grammar and punctuation?" attitude). He caught it immediately. Arrrgh. I wish it didn't bug me so much but IT DOES. Okay, rant over. Now I'll paste my amazon review so you can focus on the actual story, which is truly the important thing. If Vlad thought 8th grade was bad, he's in for a whole other level of awful in his first year of high school. In Heather Brewer's second book of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, we see Vlad starting to become more aware of his vampiric qualities while still experiencing the normal problems of high school: homework, bullies, and a crush on a girl with whom he thinks he's blown any chance he had. How he handles all the pressure leads us through Ninth Grade Slays. A lot happens in Vlad's ninth grade year, and much of it takes place away from school. Vlad's uncle Otis arrives back in town and whisks Vlad off to Siberia for winter break to help him discover more of his powers. What Vlad also experiences is a sense of who his father was and how that applies to Vlad; it also begins to give us a glimpse into the idea that Vlad might possibly be The Pravus, a mythical vampire who is born (like Vlad), not created, and who will eventually rule the humans and the vampires. Meanwhile, Vlad's got a new friend in his best friend Henry's cousin Joss; the three boys stick together, though Vlad and Henry are careful to keep Vlad's secret identity. I liked this entry in the series, but not quite as much as the first installment. I kept wanting to see Vlad stand up for himself against the bullies (I just know he's got some super human strength coming soon!), and the whole is he or isn't he the Pravus is a bit draggy. I could see the plot "twist" coming, but that didn't make it less enjoyable. I just hope that the next few books will move the story along a bit more and not mire down in what ifs. Fun, escapist reading, however, and those young adult readers who love vampires won't be disappointed.