Wow! I don't even know what to say! Except that I'm so sad I read this book so quickly and have to now wait ages before I can read the third book!
This review is going to be difficult because there are major things that happen and the hints of them start fairly early on, so I have to be careful about spoilers. I would suggest those who would like things to be a complete surprise stear clear of the product description on Amazon UK. It tells you more than is necessary in my opinion. Back to the review, I will start with the things I can talk about. The relationships in this book - all of them, friendships as well as romantic ones - are effected in this book. Friendships become strengthened, particularly between Sydney and everyone else, which worries her slightly. She's forever questioning her relationships with these people as this is a job ad they are not human! But for people who aren't human... they're not too bad. Because she's a Moroi, and particularly because she's a Moroi princess, Jill's relationship wih Micah becaomes strained. Her life gets more chaotic, and she feels uncomfortable with hiding things constantly, but their relationship also progresses a step, which leads to her worrying about her fangs. She's finally realising how complicated things can be. Sydney gets herself a boyfriend with a fellow knowledge geek, which provides endless amusement, but I will say no more. There's a almost a four way love square (not a triangle!) going on, which sounds complicated, but provides moments of "aww!"
And then there's Adrian Ivashkov. And I am lost for words. This guy... this guy is truely amazing! Behind all his snark and confidence, he is the most caring and protective guy, and at so many times in this book I just wanted to hug him. But not always for being so lovely. He goes through quite a hard time in this book in a number of ways. My heart goes out to him, and I just want to take him away from everything, and bring him home. Ahem. And also slap Sydney a few times, because, GOD, that girl is blind!
Now for the things I can't exactly talk about. What I will say is that the secrets discovered in this book - and the questions they raise for Sydney about everything she has been brought up to believe - are going to effect the rest of the books in the series from this point on. There's no way they couldn't! This is major stuff! Not completely surprising in itself, but a surprise because a whole series and the first book of this series went by with no real hint of anything like this. This will effect everyone, and it's huge! I cannot wait to see where this will lead in the next books!
As I said, things that lead to the major events start on fairly early on, but despite this, I found the pace of the book, to begin with, to be kind of slow. I wasn't really bothered, because there could be no problems at all going on for these characters, and I'd still want to read about their everyday lives. But this book leans more towards firguring things out and discovering and the personal lives on the characters, more than the action and danger. Don't get me wrong, around the second half of the book things pick up, and there is the edge-of-your-seat action we're used to (and woaaah!), it just takes a little longer for us to get excited/anxious about things. It's still a fantastic book, and one I love!
THE ENDING! Oh. My. WORD! How anyone is going to be able to coherently talk about the end is beyond me. All I feel like saying is, "DIKARHGKHFDGAJKGRTEYUG!!!!!!" But that's not really good enough for a review. If you get emotionally involved in the lives of these characters, and you happen to be a particularly big fan of Adrian, well, your jaw will be hanging down on the floor! There are no words to explain how I feel, but I could probably cry! Mead is a horrible, horrible person to her characters - yet, there is absolutely no other way that situation could have gone. Not at this point. But oh, my heart aches!
An amazing book, and for multiple reasons, I AM SO EXCITED to read the third book in the series! Just brilliant! Fans of this and the VA series need this book!