Friday Face Off : ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’

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Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ – A cover featuring a school

Schools – I think this has been a past theme but I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.  I thought this one should be relatively simple and there’s one very obvious choice that we could all use.  My book this week is: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

My favourites are :

My favourite this week :

VA4

Which one is your favourite?

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so we can all visit and check out each others covers.  Thanks

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – A cover featuring a sunrise/sunset

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ of one of your favourite covers)

2019

26th April “The sunrise was the colour of bad blood” – A cover featuring a sunrise/sunset

(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

3rd May  – “How sweet to be a cloud, floating in the blue” – A cover that is predominantly blue

10th May  – “As full of spirit as the month of May” – A cover featuring a festival/party/celebration

17th May –  “The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow!” – A cover featuring a fantasy beast

24th May – “bibbity, bobbity, boo” – A cover that features ‘magical things’

31st May –  “simples” – A favourite fantasy cover 

7th June  – “One swallow does not make a summer” – A cover that makes you think of Summer 

14th June – “Coraline opened the box of chocolates. The dog looked at them longingly.” – A cover featuring something sweet

21st June – Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – Pagan rituals/standing stones/blazing suns – a cover with your own interpretation

28th June – “And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas” – A cover that is striped

5th July – “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered” –  a cover featuring something/somebody historic 

12th July – A wrap around cover

19th July – “You can’t choose between life and death when we’re dealing with what is in between.” – A cover that is grainy or looks like ‘white noise’

26th July – “Ludo ….. down” – A cover that is Upside Down

2nd August – “There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.” A cover featuring children

9th August – “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” – A cover featuring Pirates

16th August – “The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagles own plumes” – a cover featuring feathers

23rd August – A cover that is a movie tie in

30th August – “I wandered lonely as a cloud” – a cover that is predominantly yellow

6th September “Warm September brings the fruit” – a cover that is seasonal for Autumn/Fall

13th September – Friday the 13th – unlucky for some!  A cover with ‘curse’ in the title

20th September – “Your hair is winter fire,January embers.” – A cover featuring hair

27th September – Freebie

4th October – “Feed me Seymour” – A cover that is 60s horror

11th October – ““And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.)

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Last Sacrifice is the 6th and final installment in the Vampire Academy series of books (although there is to be a ‘spin off’ series based on some of the other characters).

I’ve really enjoyed this series of books – although I don’t particularly recommend that they be read on their own – I think that the whole series needs to be read to give a proper understanding of the lifestyle, history and characters involved.  I think RM has down a wonderful job of creating this whole other vampire world that sits secretly alongside our own, a world with a fully developed background, superstitions and myths.

I also enjoyed watching the change in Rose throughout the series.  Rose is a great character.  She’s tough and can stand up for herself but she’s also devoted to her friends and not afraid to get into any number of situations to help others.  She’s not perfect of course and makes a lot of mistakes, some which she deeply regrets, but with the benefit of hindsight I guess it would be a perfect world (or a boring book with very little story involved!).

Anyway, this book starts with Rose in prison, accused of the murder of the Queen (for which the punishment is the death penalty).  Dimitri is also being kept under lock and key as not everyone is convinced that he truly is a dhampir again or think he may be a Strigoi spy.  Rose’s friends, assisted by Dimitri break Rose out of Jail and she becomes a fugitive assisted by Sydney (the plan being to keep her safely in hiding).  Meanwhile, Lissa remains at court and tries to uncover who the real killer is.  Of course Rose has no such intentions of playing a sleepy role and embarks on her own search for Lissa’s secret sibling.  And so two stories begin to unfold.

I did enjoy this book although not as much as I hoped.  Whilst I think that RM has tried to give everyone a happy ending this is never going to be easy – and particularly where a love triangle has been written into the plot.  As far as I’m concerned I never had any doubt about who Rose would (or should) end up with but obviously in this case there’s always somebody who is going to be unhappy.  That being said there were a few surprises along the route and I never guessed the actual murderer or the final outcome between Rose and Lissa.  I guess what I found a little disappointing was the interaction between Dimitri and Rose which wasn’t as gripping as in the previous books and the ending felt a little bit rushed (even though this isn’t a small book).  In the last book Dimitri was absolutely adamant that he didn’t want to be near Rose or to speak to her and she was understandably heartbroken and yet here he is at the start of book no.6 helping her to escape from prison and joining her on her road trip/hideout/adventure.  Also, it seemed rather obvious that Dimitri’s feelings for Rose had changed and yet I didn’t really have any real understanding or sense of why that was  – or more to the point how quickly he’d had a turn around.  I think that I might have enjoyed a little less time spent in Lissa’s ‘head’ and a bit more time sorting out some queries between Rose and Dimitri.  Although I thought the Lissa element was enjoyable in this book and at last give Lissa a chance to do something for Rose.

This probably sounds more critical than I intended.  I think this has been a really excellent series, I think Rose is a great character and I would definitely recommend reading them.

Rating -A

Vampire Academy: Last Sacrifice

Vampire Academy: Last Sacrifice