Lissa's Reviews > Last Sacrifice

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
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's review
Jun 19, 11

bookshelves: kick-ass-heroine, 2011, hey-that-s-my-name
Read from June 07 to 19, 2011

** spoiler alert ** This book only gets 4 stars because Rose has a superiority complex and always seems to come out on top.
Even when the low points of her life were being told in previous books, like being a trapped bloodwhore in Siberia, she was still having an awesome time.
And that time she staked Dimitri? He totally lived.
Only to be brought out of Strigoi-ness by her best friend Lissa, who just happens to be, like, the strongest spirit healer in the world.

Now, I'm not going to go so far as to say that this story is totally unfair on everyone apart from Rose, and I'm not someone who hates happy endings (I LOVE happy endings, so long as they are believable - I grew up with the 90s Disney movies, after all) but in this book, despite all Rose has been through (which she happily tells us was awful, like losing Mason, being a part of the attack that solidified her goddess-like status, going to Siberia and being framed for murder) Rose still comes out on top, better than anyone else in this story (including Lissa!).
And while for the past five books I sympathised with Rose and thought she was totally awesome and a really cool role model for not having sex with OMGsohot!Adrian, and always putting Lissa first (except when she didn't) and always putting Dimitri first (except when she didn't), in this book I just find her an insufferable, egotistical know-it-all.

She's always going on about how her guardian training (which she has been doing since elementary school) helps her be all superior such as notice things no one else does, or track people, or help defeat people in a fight. The other guardians - guardians who have been in the field much longer than she has - are dealt with like annoying gnats - like the expendable extras/minions in Power Rangers the rangers always had to defeat before the bad guy really appeared. Rose is only 18. I don't care that she's the best guardian the school ever produced, and it's all because of Dimitri's training, and Dimitri himself is like a god-warrior badass - Rose pretty easily defeats everyone she comes across, including Strigoi ten times stronger and faster than her. She's a tiny young woman. It's meant to be hard to defeat other experienced guardians, let alone Strigoi.

And I know Rose knows what she does to Adrian is inexcusable, and I find her reasons simply pathetic. I'm all for conflict in the narrative, but cheating on Adrian was just wrong. I mean, she's only 18. Why is her sex drive so damn high? Why does she find it so hard just to say no to Dimitri - who also should have known better, he's 24 years old, damn it! And while I don't agree with Adrian's "You ruined my life" I certainly do agree she should have waited until she broke up with him first. He could see they were in love. Someone should have been dumped first. It's a terrible tale to tell - like it's OK to cheat on your boyfriend if it's with a boy you 'really' love. She doesn't even really deal with any guilt over this.

I don't blame Adrian for being weak in this novel and going back to his cigarettes and liquor, but I don't like it. He used Rose as a crutch to his problems and only tried to better himself for her. I know it's Rose's story, but there's so much left unsaid in the novel: what happens to Sydney, Eddie, Jill, Adrian, Lissa and Christian after all this? of course, that's why we've got Bloodlines coming out, which I am looking forward to. But Rose is right: she gathers a lot of collateral damage. At least Mead acknowledges this. Rose feels bad about it. But with so many other characters not getting a happy ending, I wonder why is Rose the only one to get everyhting she ever wanted? I don't mind wrapping the series up on a happy note, but most of the series has all been about how They Come First, and even when Rose throws herself in front of Lissa and loses her spirit bond, she's still going to spend the rest of her life as Lissa's guardian. I don't care that they're BFF: according to my reading of the previous novels, this isn't the life Rose wanted. Always being in the shadows and the sidelines, never getting to wear make-up or have her nails done, being a guardian in the shadows while Lissa lives it up as queen? Rose has told us herself that's not what she wants. She wants a normal life, like she had before she was dragged back to St Vlad's. She doesn't want the guardian life, but if she must do it, she'll do it for Lissa.

Rose isn't going to be able to cope without the bond, and she's certainly not going to be able to cope being in a long-distance relationship with another guardian. After all, They Come First. Not Dimitri, but Lissa. Oh sure, she's queen now. Does that make a difference? No. Despite all of Mead's insistence that Rose is a strong, capable woman, she's really just weak. She needs Lissa and Dimitri more than they need her.
It just annoys me that after all that we've been through, the readers through Rose's eyes and voice, that Rose's life is all wrapped up so neatly while the people around her that she uses fall apart.

There's probably more I want to say, but it's 5.30am and I've been awake for a few hours. but there are a few inconsistencies in here as well.
-If Joshua is a dhampir, why does he think he can marry Rose and have children? Or was the whole point of that scene with the weird bush people so that Angeline could appear in the spin off, seeing as how she was so desperate to leave? Dhampir couples cannot produce children. It is drilled into us over and over that dhampir women must sleep with Moroi men for the good of their race.
-If Sonya is so great at spirit charms that heal, especially ones that heal the effect of spirit's darkness, why didn't she use that on herself instead of turn Strigoi? Now that Lissa's lost her bondmate, I mean, there's no one to take away her darkness. Oh dear, I'm rambling. What I mean is, it's a bit convenient that the ex-Strigoi knows how to heal Lissa's spirit madness but didn't do it to herself.
-Speaking of which, if Sonya willingly turned Strigoi 3 years ago, that means she killed someone, whether it be a human, a dhampir, or another Moroi. The only way you can turn willingly is if you kill someone while feeding. So: who did she kill and is she going to be punished for it?
-Is Dimitri going to be punished for all the murders he committed while he was Strigoi, or is the whole act of being restored atonement enough? If you ask me, he's getting off lightly.
-Who in their RIGHT GODDAMNED MIND would put an ex-Strigoi as Christian's guardian? not only does the poor kid now have to deal with his parents and his guardian both at some point being Strigoi, but his aunt and only family that talked to him is a murderer who tried to frame his guardian's girlfriend. Which sick, twisted individual made Dimtri Christian's guardian? Was it Lissa, because she's queen? Or was it simply done that way so Rose and Dimitri could get time together without both being Lissa's guardian?
-WHEN ARE LISSA AND CHRISTIAN GETTING ENGAGED??? They are so getting married, those two. Get them engaged in Bloodlines, PLEASE!
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Reading Progress

06/07/2011 page 158
27.0% "This is my least favourite book of the series, but the opening is still as great as ever. There's a lot at stake here very early on, although I do find myself yelling at Rose a few times so far. She's less likeable because she's doing the wrong goddamn thing."
06/08/2011 page 200
34.0% "For the last five books, it's been drilled into our heads that dhampir couples can't reproduce. That dhampir couples are a waste of resources, and that dhampir women in particular should mate with Moroi. That's why Rose and Dimitri didn't use protection when they made love, and Rose and Adrian didn't make love at all because they had no protection. SO WHY DOES JOSHUA THINK HE CAN MARRY ROSE AND HAVE BABIES???"
06/14/2011 page 283
48.0% "I really enjoy reading about Lissa's trials through Rose's eyes. Rose is so clearly not as smart as Lissa."
06/17/2011 page 308
53.0% "Definitely more interested in what Lissa's doing than what Rose is doing. Rose is doing some pretty epic stuff, but as I'm re-reading this and not reading it for the first time, my socks are not being knocked off like it happened the first time round. Lissa's scenes are cooler because she has Christian and Adrian. Rose only has Dimitri, who's kinda boring, and Sydney, who's interesting but human."
06/17/2011 page 476
82.0% "It's just like... no, Rose. I admired you for the entire series. Up. Until. This. Point. I don't understand why you were such a bitch to poor Adrian. He's nice, decent, and he likes you. He may not love you, and you may not love him, but it doesn't give you the right to do that before you've broken up with him, or even expressed that you're not 100% happy with your relationship. BAD CHOICE."
06/19/2011 page 554
95.0% "I stopped here because I knew Rose's showdown with Adrian was coming up and last time I read it, I cried. But so far, I have to applaud Mead: although I totally don't agree with how this book is ending (too many loose ends all neatly tied up in a bow - Rose gets everything she ever wanted which annoys the crap out of me) At least Mead recognises that some of it sounds contrived and addresses that in the narrative."

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