If middle school stunk for Vladimir Tod, high school is a real drain. Besides being a punching bag for bullies, he’s still stalled with dream girl Meredith, and he’s being tailed by a photographer from the school newspaper. Needless to say, practicing his vampire skills hasn’t exactly been a priority for Vlad – until now. A monumental trip to Siberia with Uncle Otis is Vlad’s crash course in Vampire 101. Training alongside the most gifted vampires is exactly what Vlad needs to sharpen those mind-control skills he’s been avoiding. And he’d better get it right, because the battle brewing back home with the slayer who’s been stalking him could be Vlad’s last.
I definitely enjoyed Ninth Grade Slays more than Eighth Grade Bites. I felt the plot really picked up and the characters were more developed (as they should be in a sequel).
Heather Brewer’s writing is still just as intriguing in this second book as it is in the first, although I still don’t like the massive time jumps (maybe I’m just used to my books taking place in short periods of time). Heather manages to portray Vlad as a normal teenager – with some extra abilities and blood sucking thrown in. She lets us see a bit more into the secondary characters of the book, such as Henry and Otis, and the plot for this second novel was more suspenseful and introduces the overall plot of the series. Loose ends were wrapped up nicely, yet a sufficient amount of questions were left to address in the forthcoming books.
Some of the surprises in the book I saw coming a mile away, but that may just be because of my age. A younger reader might be completely shocked with some of the revelations in the end (regarding the slayer hunting Vlad). Even though I had guessed, I still got that smug satisfaction when I was proved right; I love guessing plot points before they happen!
Vlad is a great character, and these books are definitely entertaining – I’m hooked. I really like Heather’s vampire society and hope we get to see more of the Councils and how the vampire world works. There’s a great base set up for an epic plot and I hope she pulls out all the stops.