Eleventh Grade Burns: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (Book IV)

A bit about foreign policies before my regular post. I read The Economist magazine (along with Time, Newsweek, Aviation Week, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly among others) because I like to read and to be informed about various topics. This one just intrigued me. In India a local non-governmental organisation has invented a new sort of zero sum which, it hopes, will leave everyone better off: the zero-rupee note. What on earth is the point of that? The note is not legal tender. It is simply a piece of paper the colour of a 50-rupee note with a picture of Gandhi on it and a value of nothing. Its aim is to shame corrupt officials into not demanding bribes. A great premise to be sure, but will it work? Read it and see.

Before Thursday’s hockey game, I bought and read the latest entry in this excellent series and am hoping it doesn’t end with the next tome, Vlad’s final year of high school. Each book has been better than the one before it and this one is no exception. Author Heather Brewer is batting 1000 here.  I’m not quite sure where neon orange figures into the cover art, but I feel like I need to comment on every cover. I think it was meant to be orange flame, but instead it’s just odd.

We have the same cast of characters as before. Nelly stays in the background and we focus primarily on Vlad and Otis. This is their story, though Joss makes a return with cameos by Eddie Poe and Meredith. I find Meredith just to be irritating. Vlad continues to experience more teenaged vampire angst especially when it comes to new drudge and/or squeeze Snow. But the book is plot driven and is more tightly focused than the others as Vlad becomes more self-confident as he deals with his missed relationship with Meredith, his longing to rekindle his friendship with Joss despite the fact Joss still wants to kill him. Otis is on trial with the penalty being death, but there’s a bit of a twist with that I don’t wish to spoil.

And Auntie Heather is an evil bitch queen for her cliffhanger of an ending that comprises all of one word. I saw everything in the book coming. Everything. Except that. Evil, I say. Evil.

In my review of the previous books I complained that Vlad still cries more than any other male character I’ve ever met. I doubt it was my advice that caused her to fix it, but he’s not so weepy and I’m glad. I really like Vlad — if he were real, he’s the sort of person I’d get along with and be friends with. Not enough Vlads in the world. Vlad appears to be modelled on her own son though I’ve got no proof of that.

I said before Joss is a fascinating character and I wanted a whole novel about him. In Ms Brewer’s blog she sort of said this might happen and I look forward to that with great anticipation. She also endeared herself to me by being a hater of those sparkly-vampire things. 

This story, as I said, is more tightly wound and while it’s fast paced, she doesn’t seem to be in a huge hurry to where it’s going. I’m glad, though I still wish she wrote about 100 pages more per novel. Maybe she’ll re-do the series in a director’s cut. I’d read it again if she did.

 Last time I said: Good book. Buy it. Read it. That advice stands.

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