Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead

Rating 8.5/10
Richelle Mead turns what could be a standard vampire graphic novel into something more interesting.

Rose Hathaway is seventeen, training to both protect and destroy vampires. Rose herself is a Dhampir, half-human, half-Moroi. She is a strong girl, but the difference is that she can go out in the sun, has heightened senses and lightning reflexes which makes her a great bodyguard.

Rose has a few friends: Lissa, a Moroi princess she likes to protect as she is the only one left in the family even though there are twelve Moroi royal families. Dimitri is the one Rose hasn't quite got over as they were nearly lovers after Victor had put a love spell on the two of them while he was trying to kidnap Lissa. As he is "traffic-stopping hot" she finds it hard to concentrate on her work.

When Rose and Dimitri visit Arthur Schoenberg's estate they don't expect to find him dead. What is weird is that Arthur is Moroi royalty and a Strigoi killing legend, but if neither Moroi, Strigoi or Dhampir could touch a silver stake, then it means humans are possibly helping the Strigoi. It seems the Strigoi's targets are the entire royal family. Scrawled in blood on the wall of Arthur's mansion is: "One royal family dead. Others soon to follow."

Rose and Dimitri take their time to investigate the murders even though they have an idea of what is going on.

Richelle Mead turns what could be a standard vampire graphic novel into something more interesting. In the Richelle Mead novels there are many forms of vampires, not just Dhampirs, Strigoi and Moroi. Strigoi are known as the walking dead to Rose and others like her. They are cruel and merciless killers, strong, fast and immortal, and this can make them very hard to kill. There are three ways to kill them, decapitation, fire and a silver stake thrust into the heart. Moroi are alive, unlike the Strigoi and can wield magic using all four of the elements, earth, air, fire and water. Moroi, like Strigoi need blood to live, but they have humans who donate a small amount of blood to keep them alive. These are called Feeders, or vampire-bite junkies as the act of biting humans causes feel good endorphins.

There are several novels in the Vampire Academy series; Bloodlines, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice. Richelle's world of mixed vampire races, Feeders and strange humans is what vamp readers need after the Twilight novels.

Leigh Dragoon is the one who adapted the novel into the manga, and her credits are for her work on the Fraggle Rock comics and the Timeline series.

Emma Vieceli, who we interviewed in 2013, is the professional artist who made it into the manga graphic novel and her work was on the Manga Shakespeare series.

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