Vladimir Tod, growing vampire and probable Pravus, knows things aren't going to be easy when he begins his tenth grade year, even if he does have a wonderful girlfriend, Meredith. For one thing, his uncle Otis is leaving, just when Vlad thinks he's most needed; for another, his best friend Henry seems to be slipping away as a friend. Most troubling of all, though, is the increased thirst for blood that Vlad is constantly fighting. Oh, and yes, D'Ablo, his archenemy, is still after him, even slipping into Vlad's room to demand Vlad's father's journal. So when does that leave a fifteen-year-old time to study?
The third book in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series follows the standard formula of a school year in the life of Vlad. But things are becoming more difficult on several levels for Vlad. He realizes he's not the most popular kid around, but with Henry wanting distance from being his drudge, and other kids teasing Meredith about liking him, Vlad suffers in silence. Otis is MIA for most of the book, and Nelly begins to realize that raising a vampire isn't an easy task. At least half of the book is teenaged angst, which of course makes sense, but when the action does pick up, it's fast and furious.
Like the other two, I liked this installment well enough, even if I did get tired of Vlad's insecurities at times. There were times when I felt the writing definitely was more childish than young adult, making me wish that the author would adjust as the character grows older (much as JK Rowling did with the Harry Potter series). And speaking of HP, I really did get a sense of a very Harry Potteresque ending when Vlad was facing D'Ablo for the big ending. Though not all of the final action made sense as a fight scene, I did enjoy it in general. I also feel that the final chapters really set the stage for major conflicts for Vlad in the future, and that makes me anxious to see how it's all going to turn out. Recommended for those who like books of the vampirish flavor.