Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “Vlad is now a senior, and in this final, action-packed book in the series, he must confront the secrets of the past, unravel the mystery of who he really is, make decisions about his future, and face his greatest enemy.”
Thoughts: Twelfth Grade Kills is what I have come to expect from the Vlad Tod series – an enjoyable and easy read. While the darkest of the five novels, it isn’t without its fun moments. As Vlad must face his future as the Pravus and what it means for humankind as well as vampirekind, he remains at heart a teenage boy who struggles to find the balance between asking for help and striking out on one’s own. It is this conflict which continues to be a joy to read and what makes it immensely easy to relate to Vlad. He knows right from wrong and is just trying to stay on the right path, as set forth for him by his parents, Nelly and Otis and his best friend, Henry.
While somewhat predictable, there are enough interesting twists and misplaced clues to throw off detection of the final resolution. Simply put, it would be difficult to determine an alternative ending to Vlad’s story, nor do I want to do so. He found a way to make everything work in his favor. Is there collateral damage? Yes, but it had to be that way to be even remotely true to form. This results in a satisfactory conclusion to Vlad’s story, while hinting at possible future offshoots.
I’ve enjoyed my time with Vlad and Henry, Otis and Nelly and the entire cast of characters from Bathory. This is a series I will continue to recommend to others, especially fans of YA and vampires. Now, I am interested to see if anything comes of the mysterious final sentence of the novel!