Hello humans! I very rarely read books about vampires anymore, despite having been the perfect age to be completely obsessed during the height of the Twilight hype (we all live with our past selves somehow). But, a few years ago, when I was suffering from second-degree burns caused by dropping a cup of tea on myself (be warned), I binge read the entire Vampire Academy series while a little bit high on Codeine. I think that, of all the teen vampire novels, they are some of the best, dealing with issues of depression, of grief and so many more. I was therefore tempted by this collection of short stories on my library ebook service. This will be a speedy review, just to let you know what I thought, but if you’re still not quite out of the Vampire phase you might enjoy…
An exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the Vampire Academy world and its players:
The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty . . .
From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life . . .
The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes . . .
Hello My Name Is Rose Hathaway reveals the chaos that ensues when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt . . .
Content warning: Self-harm
What I liked about this collection of stories is that it gives you deeper insight into some of the characters you know and love from the books. Since the books are told from Rose’s perspective it is nice to read stories that focus more of Lissa or on the Ozeras. There is still some Rose in there, don’t you worry, and her voice is as amusing as ever.
Possibly the most powerful story of this collection was that which, from the perspective of Lissa’s diary, details the events leading up to the start of the first book. I’m not a huge fan of prequel novellas as sometimes they feel a little too ‘tidy’ when they are written after the fact. But the short story format works here as it is snappy and engaging. This story does contain self-harm which some readers may find disturbing. I liked reading Lissa’s perspective on events and seeing her work through one year of grief for her family, which is an aspect you don’t get to the same extent in the books.
The other stories are equally good snapshots of aspects of the story not included in the books. Ever wondered what it was like when Christian’s parents turned Strigoi? Ever wondered what happened when the world wasn’t ending between books one and two? Ever wanted to get inside Dimitri’s head? These are very short stories, easy to read and digest, but they do give a glimpse of the world beyond the main storyline.
I have read quite a few similar short story collections which are connected to a wider series and this has been one of my favourites, I think because it takes different characters and perspectives as the focus, that and it isn’t too long!
My rating: 4/5 stars
All opinions are my own.
What say you? Which vampire novels were you obsessed with as a teenager? (or did you escape the hype?) let me know in the comments below!