Heather Brewer

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Penguin (2008)

ISBN: 978-0-14-320515-9

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Now in high school, Vladimir Tod is still struggling with bullies, girl trouble, and that pesky learning to be a good vampire thing. With the (often absent) help of his uncle Otis, Vlad is starting to come into his power, aided by “drudge” and best friend Henry. Then Henry’s cousin comes to stay, and suddenly Vlad finds himself with a new friend, who becomes a rival for the affections of Meredith, and perhaps more of a threat that Vlad could even imagine. With a trip to Siberia to learn more about his vampire heritage, a vampire slayer out for blood, and the evil D’Ablo and his flunky Jasik after him, ninth grade isn’t boring!

A reasonable second book to the series, Ninth Grade Slays perhaps takes a bit long to tell the story, especially considering the age this story will appeal to. The character of Vlad is by turns engaging and unlikeable – his behaviour towards his friends is conflicted and not always pleasant, and I’ve discovered that I’m not actually a fan of disagreeable protagonists, which has an impact on my reading enjoyment. It’s also interesting that the author takes us to various locations throughout the story – Siberia is an unusual choice.

Ninth Grade Slays has its place among the plethora of vampire fare loading the shelves, particularly for the male readers, but I’m not as excited about where the series is going as I was at the end of the first book.