Last Sacrifice: A Vampire Academy Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The astonishing conclusion to the number one international best-selling series...
Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice.
The Queen is dead and the Moroi world will never be the same. Now, with Rose awaiting wrongful execution and Lissa in a deadly struggle for the royal throne, the girls find themselves forced to rely upon enemies and to question those they thought they could trust...
But what if true freedom means sacrificing the most important thing of all?
Can't get enough? Look out for Bloodlines, Richelle Mead's best-selling spinoff series set in the world of Vampire Academy!
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|Listening Length||17 hours and 36 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 07, 2010|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #8,145 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#17 in Paranormal Fantasy for Teens
#19 in Paranormal Mystery, Thriller & Suspense for Teens
#23 in Paranormal Romance for Teens
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2018
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Rose is in trouble. She’s in jail as the prime suspect for killing the Moroi queen, a crime that she didn’t commit but may very well die for. Fortunately, her well-connected father and her loyal friends soon bust her out of prison, leaving her free to search for both the real murderer as well as the other remaining Dragomir with both Dimitri and Sydney by her side. Meanwhile, back at the Moroi court, Lissa is nominated as a candidate to occupy the now-vacant throne, a position that she initially accepts as a ploy to buy her friends more time to ferret out the killer…though she soon finds herself tackling the candidacy trials with genuine intent. The fate of the Moroi world hangs in the balance and Rose hopes to turn the tide in Lissa’s (and her own) favour.
I’ll start with a positive – though, if I’m going to be honest, there are precious few positive things to say about “The Last Sacrifice” – and say that a lot happens within these pages. When I think back to the big things that occur, it’s actually quite a list: Rose’s prison break, a frantic flight across several states, the discovery of a secret group of vampires and humans living in harmony, Lissa’s royalty trials, the reentry of Victor Dashkov and his brother, the ongoing investigation into Tatiana’s murder, spirit causing more problems, turning another Strigoi back…let it never be said that nothing happens in this book. From start to finish, there’s usually something that’s at least mildly important going on…
Which isn’t to say that Mead has solved her pacing problems from the last two books. While there’s a lot that occurs in the novel, the old “stop the action so Rose can lament her romance drama” issue still raises its ugly head often. I don’t know why this problem persists. Did Mead initially write it this way, or did she plot out the novel and then decide to start shoving in Rose’s introspection to make it more teen-friendly? Whatever the case, it’s a common occurrence that something significant and exciting will be followed by several pages of Rose bemoaning her complicated relationship with Dimitri. I’m all for a respite after some fast-paced action, but I can’t begin to tell you how much I don’t care about Rose being with Dimitri. And that’s all she ever thinks about. Doesn’t matter what just happened or how important it is, she’ll always fall back to angsting about Dimitri. It takes what should be a pretty packed book and drags it to a slog. A book can’t be back to back action (not giving the characters – and reader – a chance to rest makes for an exhausting story), but it does need to be balanced…and “The Last Sacrifice” has way too much of Rose interrupting important moments to argue with herself about Dimitri to achieve that balance. I found myself skimming or outright skipping some sections.
Alright, so pacing issues aside, how did I feel about the actual events? I’ve just said that a lot happened, but were the events satisfying both on an individual level and as the series ending? Well…I guess to answer this, I’ll start with my expectations and predictions going into the novel:
1. Rose would end up with Dimitri.
2. Jill would be Lissa’s secret sibling.
3. Lissa would be elected queen.
4. Rose’s bond with Lissa would somehow be severed.
5. Rose would be assigned as Lissa’s Guardian with Dimitri possibly being Christian’s or otherwise getting an assignment that would put him and Rose close enough to continue their relationship.
You know what? I was right on every account. Part of it can possibly be attributed to just having read a lot over the years and knowing what trends to look for (Jill was the only character who could be the missing Dragomir since she was the only character who hadn’t yet accomplished anything within the story…and I highly doubted that Mead would pull out someone new for such a significant revelation), but the rest was foreseeable simply by thinking about what needed to happen for Rose to have a happy ending. Because that’s pretty much all that happened – Rose got her perfect ending…and it makes for the most predictable story ever. It’s incredibly unsatisfying and frustrating to see Rose get absolutely everything she wanted with no great consequences; I’m not against a happier ending, but a good final novel still needs to pack a punch and throw in a few twists. “The Last Sacrifice” is just too predictably blah to contain the necessary gravity of a finale.
This makes me wonder why the book is titled “The Last Sacrifice” when no one – especially not Rose – sacrifices anything. Everything works out perfectly for the protagonists with little suffered in the long term. I wish Mead had taken a risk and done something a little weightier to throw a greater shadow of consequence over the characters’ actions…but at the end of the day, she wasn’t willing to risk Rose’s perfect outcome to end her series with a bang. It’s a shame really – there was a lot of potential for big things to happen in this series.
And if the key events weren’t predictable, it’s because they fell into the WTF? category. Who the Hell are the Keepers and why have they never been so much as mentioned until now? Why do I feel like this was just Mead’s way of introducing something that’s going to feature in her spinoff series to whet our appetites? I’ve always hated it when authors use their last book in a series to start trotting out things that will feature in their next set of books and this was no exception since the Keepers have practically no part in “The Last Sacrifice.” Just leave them out next time and focus on the story that’s currently being told, okay Mead?
I can’t move on without addressing Tatiana’s murderer since it’s the motivation behind much of the book. It’s Tasha Ozera (though Mead tries to…ah…cleverly deceive us with a red herring pointing to Daniella Ivashkov). I know, I know, sorry for the spoiler and whatnot, but there’s no way that anyone could have guessed that. Why? Because it makes no bloody sense. Even when Tasha’s motives are revealed, it still falls under the WTF? tag. Until now, Tasha has been portrayed as being on the more radical end of Moroi politics, but she’s always seemed reasonable and sane enough to not go around assassinating queens, but that flew out the window as soon as Mead decided that Tasha needed to commit regicide. It’s not the clever “gotcha!” moment that Mead likely intended - it’s a “huh?” moment because there’s no logic to it.
Let’s shift to the romance, because “The Last Sacrifice” is chock full of it. When it comes to romance in this series, I keep eating my hat: in my review for “Blood Promise,” I declared that it had the worst relationship drama; then when I reviewed “Spirit Bound,” I said that it had bested its predecessor as being unbearable in the amount of time it spends on its love melodrama; now, I think I have to revise my opinion again and say that “The Last Sacrifice” takes the cake and wins the sad award for having the most painful, selfish romance of any book in this damn series. And it’s all because of how Adrian is treated. I’ve always liked Adrian, both as a character and as a partner to Rose. He and Rose positively sizzle together and have chemistry that I rarely see in Young Adult novels. Yet, that being said, I wouldn’t say that I’m “Team Adrian” largely because I don’t really care who Rose ends up with, I just want to see that Adrian – and all characters, really – are treated fairly…but that’s not the case here at all.
See, Rose must end up with Dimitri. It doesn’t matter if Rose is exclusively dating someone else; she and Dimitry are the one true pairing of this series come Hell or high water. So what is she to do when she has a committed boyfriend back at the court while being on the run and in close quarters with Dimitry, the destined love of her life? Why, cheat on Adrian, of course! Good God, I wish I was having a laugh with that. I wish I could say that Rose displayed some maturity, ended things with Adrian, and then crawled into bed with Dimitry, but that would be too good to be true. Worst of all, this isn’t even portrayed as a fault on Rose’s part! That’s what irritates me about this the most: Mead justifies Rose’s actions by yammering on about how Rose and Dimitry are soulmates (which makes cheating ok if it’s with your soulmate, I guess) and really focusing on how angry Rose is that Adrian smokes or drinks when he’s stressed. The latter have always been tendencies that Adrian has exhibited due to spirit wearing on him; he succeeded in cutting back on them when with Rose; and then relapsed after his aunt was murdered, his girlfriend was put in prison as the prime suspect and then broken out to go on the run with her ex-flame, and he began investigating the murder, the result of which started pointing pretty heavily at his mother. I’m not saying that drinking heavily and smoking like a chimney are desirable habits or even ones that Rose should accept in the long term, but would it have killed her to give him a chance to recover and move on from his family tragedy before deciding that it simply wasn’t meant to be because he did something she didn’t like? Who am I kidding? This is Rose – she’s the epitome of selfishness, so of course it’s out of the question. She babbles something at Adrian at the end about how she doesn’t inspire him to make changes and how he’ll know when he’s met his other half (all while thinking of Dimitry), and he delightfully calls her out on this nonsense. So thank you, Adrian, for voicing my thoughts on this, but it still sucks that Mead decided to treat you like a second class citizen just so Rose could get exactly what she wanted.
Which Rose does, in that she gets to be with godlike Dimitry, her “other half.” You know, after six books, I still don’t get the attraction between them. I like Dimitry well enough, but I’ve never seen this burning chemistry that Mead wants to insist that they have…and I continue to maintain that Mead must have realized this since she’s made a point to tell us how much this pair is simply meant to be together. It started with weird flashbacks in “Blood Promise,” but in “The Last Sacrifice,” Mead just outright says that Dimitry is Rose’s one and only. I’m not kidding: recently-turned Sonya has a pointed conversation with Rose during which she observes that Rose’s aura is brightest when she’s around Dimitry (there’s also the added jab that Rose doesn’t seem nearly as happy when she’s around Adrian). Rose of course clings to this and references it again and again and insists that Dimitry is the only person who can complete her, as their complimentary auras prove. A good, intriguing relationship needs to be based on a strong connection; we need to desperately feel that these characters absolutely must tackle life together because they bring out the best in one another and hold each other up and the only way that can be accomplished is by showing us through character growth and interactions that they are a great pair. As it stands, Rose needs to be with Dimitry because…well…because she just does. And that should be good enough for us, apparently. After six books, they still feel like a mentor and student who awkwardly crawl into bed together sometimes – very little chemistry, just two congenial (though not at the same level) people who occasionally bump uglies…not soulmates or impassioned lovers or whatever else they’re supposed to be.
Speaking of getting down and dirty, I’m mildly bothered by the fact that Rose and Dimitry only seem to do the deed when Rose is emotionally compromised. I don’t subscribe to the “Dimitry is grooming her” blather, but even I have to wonder why they only have sex when Rose isn’t in her right mind. And as an aside to that, I also feel the need to point out that had the characters’ positions been reversed, Rose continuing to touch and seduce Dimitry while he’s telling her no (because he tries to be honourable and doesn’t want to sleep with another man’s girlfriend…not that Rose gives a damn about honour) would have been unacceptable to many. As it stands, it’s still highly disturbing (no means no, Rose). This whole relationship sometimes has an off vibe.
I’ve made it no secret that I rather despise Rose at this point. It’s a shame, too, since I loved her at the start of the “Vampire Academy” series. Then she was a competent young woman who was still very much a hard-headed teenager but seemed willing to learn from her mistakes to better herself. Now, she’s a selfish brat who does whatever she wants without any thought for anyone else or the consequences of her actions. It’s unbelievable how many steps back she’s taken as a character; in my review for “Frost Bite,” I praised her for using her head and not being so impulsive (a huge improvement for her even at that time!), yet in “The Last Sacrifice,” after having just been broken out of prison and fleeing to a remote part of the East Coast, she decides after a couple of hours that she just doesn’t want to be in such a boring place and takes off into the woods alone. Great bloody idea, Rose! The Guardians are hot on your trail with orders to shoot you on sight, your father has called on every connection he can think of to get you somewhere safe, many of your friends are putting their jobs and lives on the line for your sake, and there’s a carefully plotted plan to keep you hidden while your friends try to clear your name…and you run away because you hate the small town that’s been deemed a secure place to stash you for now. This is how she makes most of her decisions in this book: she either suddenly does or doesn’t want to do something and just flies into action on that first impulse.
I end up saying this in a lot of reviews (and possibly have for almost every novel in this series), but a trait like this isn’t always character-breaking if it’s portrayed as a genuine flaw that the character must either overcome or otherwise grow from. That’s not the case here (and, indeed, it almost never is when I bring this up) since Rose’s stubbornness, refusal to listen to logic, and impulsivity are always given some attempt at justification that everyone else accepts with little questioning. In the above example, she insists that she wants to find the missing Dragomir, which almost everyone immediately agrees is a good idea. She’s either right and gets to rub it in everyone’s faces or others end up paying the price for her actions and she doesn’t really care. Either outcome, the only reason that she ever succeeds in doing anything that’s not just running off and beating things senseless is because she (somehow) has a great, supportive group of friends that (for whatever stupid reason) believe unquestioningly in her. She’s a terrible main character because she hasn’t grown at all, relies on everyone else to carry her through her bad decisions with no acknowledgement that this is what she’s doing, and is ultimately frustrating to read about. I don’t understand how a character improves for three books and then regresses for three more, but this was somehow accomplished with Rose, one of the worst protagonists that I’ve encountered.
Honestly, I think Lissa would have been a better main character. I know a lot of people seem to dislike her because of how perfectly she’s portrayed (which is a fair criticism), but hear me out for a moment. Throughout the course of the series, she grows from a passive, unsure girl with a frightening, rare element as her specialty to a confident young woman willing to put herself in the spotlight for the sake of her friends and people while bravely facing an uncertain future due to her use of spirit. Unlike Rose, Lissa is willing to own up to her mistakes and atone for them (even when she actually has the reasonable excuse of having been controlled by spirit’s effects). She puts her mind to learning what she needs to achieve her goals, even if they’re outside of her normal abilities (like staking a Strigoi), and is in a relationship with someone who, despite their ups and downs, ultimately brings out the best in her and supports her through her trials. I’ve very much enjoyed watching Lissa develop as a person and was even happy to forgive the bond-as-a-plot-device issue simply because I found Lissa undergoing the monarchy trials and dealing with her side of the investigation so much more interesting that whatever Rose was doing.
Actually, almost every character is better than Rose. Even Dimitry, who I don’t mind when he’s not waxing idiotic about Rose’s beauty, is compelling in his own right. I find it somewhat astounding that Mead can craft such interesting characters while completely failing with her protagonist. I’ve already touched on Lissa, but Christian, Adrian, Janine, Abe, Ambrose, Sydney, Victor, Sonya, and even Jill are well fleshed out and play their roles and often then some. I especially enjoyed Adrian and Christian’s bromance – I wish Mead would let characters interact in these casual ways with people other than their romantic partners more often. The cast that inhabits this Moroi are all fairly intriguing, almost surprisingly so at times, and I’d have loved to see more of them.
On a random character-related note, I was surprised to find myself warming to Sydney. When she made her appearance in “Blood Promise,” I was rather indifferent toward her, but she really grew on me here. Perhaps I just felt bad for her and her situation, perhaps she had more of an opportunity to show her personality, perhaps I sympathized with some of her quirks and reasoning…whatever the reason, I liked her a lot more in “The Last Sacrifice,” than I did when she first popped up.
When I closed “The Last Sacrifice,” the one thought running through my mind was “thank God that’s over!” I’m not sure what it is about final novels, especially ones I’ve experienced in the Young Adult genre, but this can be added to the pile of underwhelming, predictable conclusions that are bogged down by a vomit-inducing romance. There’s a lot that happens and it’s certainly not a boring book, but many of the novel’s events are easily predictable as the necessary pieces to Rose’s perfect ending. The romance is still underdeveloped and sometimes disturbing in its portrayal and Rose has fallen into the ranks of whiny, selfish protagonists, a mighty tumble from the favourable position she used to hold in my eye. So, why have I given this two stars instead of one since it seems like I have very few nice things to say about the novel? Well, at the end of the day, I still enjoy Mead’s world and find her worldbuilding to be pretty satisfying and interesting to the point that I’ll give the book a star for that alone; the other star comes from the characters that aren’t Rose…especially Christian and Adrian’s snarky interactions. The “Vampire Academy” series had so much promise when it started, but somehow we ended up with this lackluster offering as the series’ grand finale; it always hurts to see such potential squandered.
The Vampire Academy Series is my favorite series of all time. I thing its beautifully written, and the story couldnt be more perfect.
Last Sacrifice is the last book, and I was shivering of anticipation on December 7, when the book finally went out. The fifth book had finisihed in such a shocking way I didnt know how Richelle would solve everything.
The sixth book is so surprising it will take your breath away. Impossible revelations hit Rose hard, and truths are unraveled in that unique way Richelle writes.
In the last 100 pages of the book there is a twist that will have you gasping for air: it is incredible.
Dimitri and Rose's relationship grows a lot in the book, although I felt thay should have had more conversations regarding the trip to Siberia, the time at St. Vladimir`s, Dimitri`s family. A questioning from the guardians about their romance when they were instructor-student deffinitely was missing!
Here are the reasons I didnt like the ending: (SPOILERS).
By ending I refer to what happens after Rose wakes up in that palace`s room. Before that, the book is MARVELOUS.
I didnt want this series to have a perfect ending, and it didnt: the ending was a little bit depressing.
Rose wakes up one day and has everything worked out for her. Yeah, she has been through a lot and deserves to have Dimitri, etc. But, as she`s got the palace, Dimitri, and Lissa, everything is OK, and on the last 40 pages Rose became a total selfish girl. She doesnt seem like the Rose we got to know on the series.
She doesnt ask A SINGLE QUESTION about Sydney`s future, she doesnt care about it. The poor girl had helped her through everything. She had put her life at stake, she had done things that scared her to her very core just for Rose to get her way. And she didnt even take her out of that hotel, she left her. She didnt come back for her once she could. She let the Alchemists have her and never even found out why Abe had her doing all the things he had her doing. In the last scene between Sydney and Rose, Sydney looks at Rose with sadness and what I thought was betrayal, and she is right. Poor poor Sydney. She didnt deserve that.
The other thing I didnt like was the ending with Adrian. Poor Adrian. He totally didnt deserve it! I was freaking mad at Rose when she started giving him that talk about being a victim. She broke his heart and said that to him?? THE POOR GUY HAD LOST HIS AUNT, REALIZED HER MOTHER BRIBED PEOPLE TO GET HER WAY AND THOUGHT HE WAS GOING CRAZY. And Rose breaks his heart. Not pleased with that, she tells him he acts like a victim and thats why they cant be together? That was very low of Rose in my opinion. And he goes away, they probably never see each other again. Ok, Adrian lost his friends because Rose is in the group of friends and he cant be near Rose. Lets not forget he was in love with her, waited for her, was a total sweety and respected her. He financed her trip to Russia to look for her soul mate for gods sake! And then, this ends like this? With Rose not trying to fix things?
Eddie was another one who is in trouble at the end of the book and Rose doesnt help him, when we all well know he was always there for her.
I didnt want a perfect ending, but this hurt me. I believe the book is FANTASTIC, except for the last 40 pages. I think Richelle should totally re-write them. Ths series should have ended another way for me, like: Lissa doesnt win the election and Rufus Tarus does. That way the group of friends (who stays together because Adrian and Rose react to the facts differently) has to remain fighting, but they are together. Its like they have a lot ahead of them now, but after this, everything should be OK. THAT is not a perfect ending, yet, there is a really good feel about it.
Another good ending is for Adrian to end up with Jill and, although very mad at Rose, in the long run they build a friendship. And Rose should have worried about Sydney and called her, although not solving all her issues, but at least she should have showed some interest in helping her friend.
Of course I loved Rose and Dimitri ending up together, but I had thought that was a given through the whole series. Only if Richelle wanted to lose her readers and ruin her series would she have separated them in the end.
I still love Rose. I`ve known her for 6 books and know who she is. She is not the person in the last 40 pages. I like to think she was too shocked by having Dimitri with her that her mind was reeling and her priorities were turned upside down. I hope she realizes what she did in those 40 pages and tries to fix it. I have faith in her, I know the character will fiz things in that universe Richelle created.
I want to clarify, that this is my FAVORITE SERIES, and the BEST I`VE READ. I really think so. This book was FANTASTIC, and that is why I put 5 stars. The only reason why I spent a whole review explaining why i hadn`t liked the ending was because this series is soooo perfect I was really stunned by that really confusing ending (confusing since the real characters wouldn`t act like that: Rose is not selfish).
I think Richelle should write one more installment: this isnt a series finale. There are a lot of things to solve and/or change. I dont want everything perfectly worked out, but there are many questions that should have answers, attitudes to apologize for, and scenes to be written (scenes that HAD TO BE in the book, but they aren`t). Richelle should leave some problems, leave us a question mark, but letting us, readers, have a good feel about it. There a lot of things she couldnt leave the way she did. Anyway, I want to thank Richelle for the beautiful serries she has created, I`ll be sure to read her other series, and of course the spin-off series, although I really think she should write another VA book (I know she probably wont because of editorial stuff but I can still wish for it). And I know we are going to have some answers on the spin-off but I want to read the problems from Rose's point of view. She has been all the reader`s companion through out the series and I need to see her world fall back into place from her eyes.
And now, to summarize, I will post user "Dee18 "Dee"" `s[...] last paragraph of her review because I think its just great:
"The `Vampire Academy' series has been a hallmark of the young adult paranormal genre. It has been an epic series of love, hate, violence and kick-ass girl heroics. This series is a work of unparalleled teen brilliance and Richelle Mead has cemented her place amongst not only the teen heavyweights, but paranormal-writers. If you haven't read this series yet, then you're doing yourself a disservice. Even if I wasn't thrilled with the finale, I can appreciate the series as a whole and will forever count it amongst my all-time favourites. "
I totally agree with her, and I repeat this was written by her, not by me. ¡Cant believe its finally over! Cant wait for the spin-off series.
Well, I hope my review helped you.
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I hadn't read any of Richelle Mead's books until this series, but I do admit I had definately heard of her. A few friends praised her up, one in particular (yes that would be you Shannon!) and I eventually got round to these wonderful, wonderful books.
The beauty about Richelle's writing is that I never 'felt' like I was reading, her words 'danced' around in my mind as I watched the book play out in my imagination, I almost 'seen' the characters and what they were doing rather than have to grasp the words and work with them... Richelle has a beautiful way of capturing my interest.
OMG!!! They got Dimitri back.... and what a miserable git he turned out to be... ok, ok, I was seeing through Rose's eyes and I was god dammed jealous of Lissa... he was supposed to love Rose!!!!
And at what point was Richelle Mead going to warn us about Tatiana getting murdered???? WOW, I didn't see that one coming!!!!
Mind, I enjoyed Adrian's relationship with Rose for what it was, well, let's face it, he is no Dimitri (or what Dimitri was huh)!
So Rose get's pinned for murder and the guys (obviously) break her out, they mastermind it with the help of Abe (got to love that guy!!). Whilst enjoying her remote freedom with Sydney and the newly transformed Dimitri, Rose has the idea of trying to find out if there is any truth in Lissa maybe having a sister or brother!!!
It's during all of this running around and watching Lissa at the Court through Rose's eyes, that Dimitri begins to discover himself again and the love he has for Rose obviously breaks through!
Whilst the antics surge forward, Team Lissa is trying to clear Rose's name and we end up thinking of potential suspects. Although things are worked out in this area and we have the murderer revealed, I was utterly shocked!!! Oh My God... I thought Mia, the lovely little Mia, may have been at the top of the list after Danielle, and although Mia had her moment, I was so surprised to see who had really done this.
I was saddened about the bond being over, but it made sense. I was saddened about Adrian.... and I am left wondering about Rose's relationship with Christian (although I think this would naturally turn out ok) and then there is of course Jill and our Sydney....
HOWEVER, I am overjoyed to know that Bloodlines takes us on the journey with Sydney, Adrian and Jill... and this will be a book I pick up in the next week or so... I can't wait to see what happens to them.
I thoroughly recommend this series, what a wonderful, wonderful way to spend the evenings, wrapped up in the adventures of Vampire Academy!
Last Sacrifice is the final book in the Vampire Academy series and is just as amazing as the others in this series. This is because they have everything; there is humour, politics, romance, action and friendships. I did not predict who the killer was and it was such a shock and a real twist.
While Rose and I have had a rocky relationship over the series I love her character as she is so loyal and passionate and it was nice to see how much she has matured since the first book. I also like Lissa and how selfless, good and a smart leader she is.
I am so happy that Rose and Dimitri have their happy ending as they deserve it after everything they have both been through. However, I did not like how they got together as it felt like it cheapened their love by having Rose cheating on Adrian, even though I don't think Rose and Adrian belong together, it made me think less of both Rose and Demitri.
While it is bittersweet that it is the end of the Vampire Academy series I am glad Rose and Lissa got their happy endings and that we get to see them in the spin-off series Bloodlines. I would recommend Last Sacrifice and this series to fans of YA and/or paranormal books.
This is the sixth and final book in the Vampire Academy series (after Vampire Academy , Frostbite , Shadow Kiss , Blood Promise and Spirit Bound ). This is a series you really need to read in order so I'd definitely recommend starting with book 1 (as well as not reading any further as I may spoil all the previous books).
This is a pretty awesome end to the series. The storyline is well plotted and action packed, leading the characters off on two interlinked quests - proving Rose's innocence and finding Lissa's sister - whilst some stay behind at court to buy them time. There are a lot of twists and turns, although I figured out some in advance, and lots of plot lines from earlier books are brought forward and concluded.
However some storylines were left unconcluded which I have mixed feelings over. On one hand Adrian, Sydney and Jill are all set to feature in the spin-off series which starts with Bloodlines so I'd expect their storylines to continue, but I've heard no mention of Eddie continuing. If he doesn't I'll be really disappointed as he gave up a lot to help Rose and there's not really been any mention of his future.
Rose has to fight to prove her innocence, whilst also being protected by her friends and family which she is resistant to as they are putting themselves at risk. It also forces her to work with Dimitri and leaves her battling her feelings for him while trying to honour her relationship with Adrian. She's grown a lot since the series started and I felt for her as she struggles to clear her name.
Lissa has also grown a lot since the beginning of the series and in order to buy Rose time she has entered the race to be named the new Moroi Queen. This not only gives a view into the monarchy tests which I found fascinating, but also brings the vampire politics storylines to the forefront and seeks conclusion to them. I loved how her relationship with Christian has helped bring out the best in her and their scenes together were incredibly sweet.
All in all this was a good end to a fun series and I'm looking forward to the spin-off.
The book takes places several days after Rose is thrown in prison, wrongly accused of killing the Queen. With the funeral not far off, Rose's trial is set to be shortly after, meaning little time to find evidence to clear her name and find the real killer. When all hope seems lost, Rose finds herself on the run for her life and all her friends made across the Vampire Academy journey coming together for the final book and explosive conclusion.
One thing I do love about Richelle Mead is her ability to surprise me, and she doesn't disappoint here. I was constantly kept on my toes throughout the book as something was always happening. Thankfully we don't have the situation like in Spirit Bound or Blood Promise where only half the book had plot important events going on, in Last Sacrifice both Lissia and Rose are working hard to find the murderer, set things to right whilst also sorting out their personal lives. A lot of side characters are thrown and dragged in from past books but all have a part to play in the finale, all have lines and if one character was missing we couldn't reach the end at all. The book also has a great sense of humour, despite the subject matter being dark and a lot of their actions being nothing less than law breaking, Rose comes through with quick wit and sharp observations. I also enjoyed that Richelle Mead took time to expand the universe of Vampire Academy further about 1/3 into the book, I've got a feeling that what we see will be further explored in the spin off but I've always like diving into a new world and seeing how far it stretches.
The book isn't perfect though; outside of a few punctuation mistakes towards the end and one or two minor incorrect throwbacks to previous books, not everyone is going to be happy with the events in this novel. A series this loved and lasted this long, there will be fans who will disagree with some events (including me) and how some side characters aren't given a proper closure. But we have to remember this is ROSE'S story, and there IS a spin off to come. Last Sacrifice does a good job of rounding up some major plot points while keeping enough some small threads loose as well as leaves food for thought on the consequences of this book's actions to follow in the spin off - but the driving core of the series (the love triangle plus Rose and Lissia's friendship) does get an ending. Some characters are sacrificed, some end happily, others are left unclear; but with the huge events that happen and the ripples they create, it would be unrealistic to give everyone a perfect ending, the book sticks to its title - sacrifices are made for the greater good.
Saying that; I did have a few worries about the book that thankfully didn't come to fruition. First of all, I was worried about Rose's behaviour; she seemed to have matured greatly in Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise, but took serious steps back in Spirit Bound by making terrible judgements to the point where I wanted to shake her, but apart from 2 blips on the radar, Rose showed how much she's grown since book 1 and has turned into a strong woman by the end of this book. This also covers other characters who take everything into account and play true to their colours; I enjoyed Dimitri's coming into his own after his trauma in the previous book and Sydney's part in all of the harder events in the book, I look forward to learning more about her in the spin off.
I was also concerned about the love triangle's conclusion; the ending of Spirit Bound left a few things in the air with Dimitri's behaviour being cold and Adrian's loyalty on edge. But the build up towards the end wasn't rushed too much, there were some great moments for both male characters. Although you might see it coming a mile away, in the end nothing felt too forced when Rose made her decision as it seemed natural considering all that's happened up to that point. A few have complained it wasn't `intense' or `passionate' enough, admittedly you won't get any very heated moments like the lust charm from book 1 or the very dark turn of events in the latter half of book 4, most of it is discussion about how they feel and the quieter side of relationships, such as just being in each other's company. I liked it personally; it felt it was fitting considering we've had the intense forbidden romances, the stolen kisses, the heated misunderstandings and physical interactions, this book explored the more mature side and later stages of any relationship of talking about how they feel and making tough decisions - which isn't always easy to do. If the book had back to back sex, shouting battles and more of the sort, the relationships would just come off as superficial, but Last Sacrifice took a gamble of letting the littler side of the relationship take over instead of the safe route of over-the-top lusting.
Instead we get lot of intense scenes where characters are on the run, investigating people we've trusted to get to the bottom of the murder mystery, some fight scenes (not all with Strigoi), constant hiding and aliasing with unlikely people to get to the end. Admittedly; I did grow tired of reading in parts where we were pulled away from the romance and murder mystery, and instead thrown into Lissia's personal trials she has to face, but Richelle's writing kept me in as not only was it important to the plot but also to Lissia's character development; she's grown a lot since book 1 and it was nice to be thrown into her shoes when it counted. The book also features a heavy political side, something I normally speed read through but again, Richelle's writing kept me interested.
Last Sacrifice is a good Vampire Academy book, it has a fitting end from what it started out from. I liked how they included the first chapter of book 1 right at the end `cos you can see how far we've come; from 2 teenagers on the run to a huge political battle, from illicit crushes to true love. All Vampire Academy fans should read and mostly enjoy this book, Richelle Mead's done a fantastic job with this series and I can't wait to see where the spin off takes us. Hopefully from then and it's sequential books, we can all see the full potential and ending of this fantastic YA series.
It's an entertaining saga, but I think it should have been a little more spiced up. The drama with Dimitri turning Strigoi, then Damphir again was great - I particularly liked her going to Russia to have them killed; then he kept chasing her and even the wicked way he looked at her was really interesting. But the whole denial with Rose after he was healed again was a little bit unnerving.
The best books for me were the first two (VA and Frostbite). My fav was that one that included Strigoi Dimitri being a little sadistic and nasty - like, a real big bad vampire adding inevitable adrenaline to the story.
Rose and her excessively bad/rebel temper was sometimes annoying. There is needed the right dose of rebel yell attitude to make things interesting but let's admit it - when it's too much, it tends to get "unreal".
But! I enjoyed reading the saga, nonetheless. Of course, in within 8 books there are things you enjoy more and that you enjoy less, but I would recommend this saga to anyone. It's not gore... or childish, but it's a mild vampire story with action, adventure and suspense, soft passion and love. In my opinion, Rose and Dimitri's relation-ship could have been more explored. I liked Adrian reaction at the end of the book - devastated, revolted and giving Rose a good "slap". She deserved it.
Well I guess that's all.
Hope it helped.