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Heather Brewer doesn't believe in happy endingsunless they involve blood. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
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A SLAYER’S RESOLVE
The vampire spun around, a wild, unhinged look in his eye. He lunged forward but the slayer skillfully dodged his blow, delivering a hard roundhouse kick to the creature’s throat. The vampire fell to the ground, coughing, choking on its own blood. The slayer could have killed the beast a half hour ago. But this wasn’t just about ridding the world of another abomination (though that was definitely the end goal). It was about a slayer needing to release some pent-up hostility and cleanse himself of all of his clouded thoughts.
Thoughts that were now perfectly clear.
These bloodsucking things could not be trusted. Not even when they donned the mask of a relatively normal teenager. Not even when they claimed to be your friend. Especially when they used their insidious powers to gain your trust and get you to reveal secrets that even those closest to you didn’t know. Especially when their name was Vladimir Tod.
Joss was done playing games. With Vlad’s face planted firmly in the forefront of his imagination, he slipped the silver-tipped wooden stake from his backpack and approached the vampire on the ground with an eager step. He whispered, “For you, Cecile,” and thrust the stake forward, before the beast could draw a single breath. Blood—hot, slick, so deep red that it seemed black in the light of the moon—poured out over his hands. The nameless vampire fell still.
Joss straightened his shoulders, triumphant.
From his backpack, he withdrew a cell phone and hit number two on speed dial. When the voice at the other end answered, he said, “This is Joss. I need a cleanup on the ocean side of Russian Gulch State Park. The target is secure. Am I cleared to move on to my next objective?”
When the voice on the other end answered in the affirmative, Joss hung up the phone. There was no need to continue the conversation. Small talk didn’t matter.
All that mattered was that he was going back to Bathory.
And this time, he would walk away with no regrets.
Vlad twisted his wrist, pinching his fingers together, spinning the bronze coin on the table. When it fell, he picked it up and did it again, counting. Thirty-six times it had fallen Slayer Society up. Twenty-two times it was down. He spun the coin again, but before it had a chance to fall a hand came down on it from across the table. Henry looked at his best friend, his eyebrows drawn together in concern. Vlad sat back, a dark cloud hanging over him. “When?”
Henry plucked the coin up in his hand and turned it over, frowning. “Next week.”
Vlad watched the coin, rereading the inscription on one side: FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND “How long have you known?”
“As soon as my mom told me I came straight over to tell you.” Henry dropped the coin and ran a hand through his hair, groaning. “What are we going to do?”
The coin rolled across the table and off the edge. Vlad’s hand moved so quickly that Henry couldn’t even see it. He returned the coin to the table and once again spun it on the table’s surface, returning to his former silence.
“We have to do something, Vlad. You can’t just sit here spinning that stupid coin and waiting for Joss to come finish the job. Now that your invincibility is gone . . .”
Vlad spun the coin again, harder this time. Henry was right. They had to do something. Henry’s cousin Joss was moving back to Bathory, this time with his family, and Vlad bet that it wasn’t due to coincidence or the fact that Henry’s family lived here. Joss was coming to kill him. And ever since D’Ablo’s stupid ritual last year, he was very much in danger of dying.
But Vlad couldn’t think about a solution. All he’d been able to think about since the Freedom Fest was Meredith, and how much he wished they could be together. But they couldn’t. He was too much of a danger to her. So he’d broken her heart and, in turn, shattered his own to pieces. He was empty. He was alone.
And now he was in danger of dying at the hand of a slayer, his former friend.
He spun the coin again. Henry picked it up and threw it across the room. It clattered on the floor behind Vlad. “Do something!”
Vlad looked at him somberly. “Like what?”
“Anything. You act like Joss coming back to town is no big deal. I know you’re still all torn up about Meredith . . .” Vlad shot him a warning glance, but Henry wasn’t about to back down. “What? You’ve been like this all summer, but you did what you had to do. Now you act like you don’t care if Joss comes back here and sticks another stake through your heart.” Henry’s eyes shined in frustration. “But I do.”
His words hung in the air between them, weakening Vlad’s resolve.
Henry turned and walked to the other side of the kitchen, reaching up to wipe his eyes on his sleeve, trying to keep it hidden from his friend. “Look, man, I don’t want to get all chick-flick on you or anything, but you’re my best friend and I almost lost you last time. I can’t go through that again. I won’t.”
Vlad sighed, saying everything with his eyes that he couldn’t bear to with his voice. He couldn’t do anything. Short of killing Joss—Henry’s cousin, Vlad’s former friend—he couldn’t do anything at all. “You’re right. I just don’t see how I can stop him without . . .” He didn’t have to say it, and neither of them wanted him to. He couldn’t kill Joss. That just wasn’t an option.
“What about mind control?”
Vlad frowned. “I can’t control him for the rest of his life, Henry. Besides, sooner or later, my concentration would break.”
“There has to be something . . .” Henry returned to his seat, a look of desperation washing over his features. “What about Otis? He’s like a million years old.”
“Three hundred and two.”
“Whatever, he’s old. He’s dealt with slayers his whole life, I bet. You should ask him what to do.”
After a moment, Vlad nodded thoughtfully. If anyone would know what to do, his uncle would.
Henry nodded too, looking somewhat relieved that Vlad was actually going to take action. “Anyway, I’d better get back. My mom is on a cleaning rampage because of our extended family moving to town. If I’m not there, who knows what she’ll throw out! The woman has no respect for the treasures of an adolescent male.”
Henry stood and glanced at Vlad, a worrisome expression on his face. “You sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah. I’m fine.” Vlad forced a smile, and Henry walked out the front door, closing it behind him.
As soon as the latch clicked, Vlad reached down and retrieved the coin. A deep line creased his forehead as he read the inscription over again. He focused on Otis and spoke with his thoughts. “Otis? I need to talk to you. I could use some advice.”
“Just let me finish up my meeting with Principal Snelgrove and I’ll be home shortly, Vladimir.”
A pause, then Otis’s voice once again in his mind. “Is everything all right?”
Vlad turned the coin over in his hand. An image flashed in his mind. A small point of silver at the center of his chest. And blood. Lots of blood. Vlad shook his head, willing the memory away. “No. But it can wait until you get home. Just . . . hurry, okay?”
Otis grew quiet for a moment, then said, “I’ll be there shortly.”
Vlad gripped the coin in his hand and leaned forward, pressing his forehead to the tabletop. He fought, but the memories burst through his dam of resistance. Joss’s eyes narrowing at the sight of Vlad’s glowing mark. The bitter accusations of betrayal. A whisper: “For you, Cecile.” The feeling of being punched in the back. Looking down and seeing the silver tip of the wooden stake. He’d coughed, and the pain had dragged him under.
Afterward, when Joss had visited him in the hospital, Vlad had been almost certain he’d apologize. But he didn’t. Instead, he told Vlad that he was leaving. Their friendship, it seemed, was over. No longer friends, they were more than enemies. They were natural foes—vampire and slayer.
And Vlad still wasn’t sure how he felt about it.
The staking incident had been horrific to endure. And recovering from it had been no picnic. But the worst part of it was that he missed Joss, missed his company, his insight, his impossibly dorky way of looking at the world. When Joss had slammed that hunk of wood through Vlad’s chest, Vlad had survived . . . but their friendship had not. And he was still mourning it, still grieving over the loss of a very good friend.
Not to mention the reason Joss was returning.
He didn’t need to hear it from Joss’s lips. The note he’d left on Vlad’s locker before he skipped town freshman year had said it all: Friendship over.
And if it really was over, then Vlad was going to have to formulate a plan pretty quickly on how to face Joss the slayer, rather than Joss the friend.
He sat up, gripping the coin tightly, and watched the door for Otis’s return. After many minutes, the door swung open, and his uncle entered.
Otis immediately met his eyes. “What’s wrong?”
Vlad sat the coin on the table in plain view. “How’d the interview go?”
Otis furrowed his brow with a questioning in his eyes. “It went well. I’ll be teaching mythology full time at the high school.” He paused for a moment and wet his lips. “Is everything all right?”
“Congrats on the job. A lot of students have missed you since eighth grade—they’ll be happy to have you back. Me too.” Vlad dropped his attention to the slayer coin and released a tense sigh. “I have a problem, Otis. Joss is moving back to Bathory.”
Otis closed his eyes for a moment and sighed, visibly relaxing. He took a seat opposite Vlad with a small smile affixed to his lips. “You had me worried for a second.”
Vlad’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. Clearly Otis had lost his mind. “You’re not worried anymore?”
Otis shook his head. The bemused expression on his face irritated Vlad, though he wasn’t sure why. “Vladimir, there are far worse things than a slayer who’s out for blood. Besides, if he steps out of line and threatens you at all, he’ll be easily dispatched. Especially with two, soon to be three, vampires living here in Bathory.”
“Dispatched?” Vlad blinked, dropping his gaze momentarily to the coin on the table between them. “I don’t want to kill him.”
Otis seemed perplexed by this. He grew quiet, obviously mulling over something in his mind. Finally, he nodded and said, “If you’re more comfortable with it, I’d be happy to—”
“You’re missing the point.” Vlad’s jaw tightened defensively. “I don’t want anything to happen to Joss. I don’t want you to touch him or hurt him in any way. He’s . . . my friend.”
For a long time Otis didn’t speak. Neither did Vlad. He was too busy trying to figure out how the conversation had gone so quickly from asking for advice to killing his friend.
After a while, Otis leaned forward, tension and disbelief ebbing from him. “We are speaking of the same boy who drove a stake through your chest from behind, in the most cowardly way possible, yes? And you want to, what, give him an opportunity to finish the job?”
“Then the matter must be dealt with.”
“But he’s my friend, or at least he was. I don’t think he’ll try anything like that again.” It surprised Vlad how easily the lie slipped from his lips. Maybe it shouldn’t have. He’d been doing a lot of it lately. Pushing the image of Snow from his mind, he met Otis’s gaze.
Otis furrowed his brow. “Fine. If Joss keeps his distance, I’ll leave him be. But so help him if he threatens or harms you again.”
Vlad shook his head. “Then I’ll deal with him. I don’t want him hurt.”
The corner of Otis’s mouth twitched slightly. “You’ve made that abundantly clear. So what do you want?”
The thing was that he had no real idea of what he wanted. The only thing he could think of was for time to spin backward, for Joss to have never become a slayer in the first place. And that wasn’t exactly an option.
Vlad sighed. “Your advice. I want to know how to make a slayer back off without killing him.”
Otis sat back, shaking his head. “To tell you the truth, I don’t know if anyone’s ever tried. As far as I’ve seen, you can’t. Once a slayer has his mark, he will stop at nothing until the task has been completed. It’s always just been easier to take them out of the picture altogether.”
His voice took on a disgusted tone and rose as he continued. “They call it that—a task. Did your friend mention that? I suppose it must make taking the life of a person easier to refer to the act as a task instead of murder.”
He threw his arms up, disgusted and angry and acting very much like Vlad wasn’t on his side. “Just as referring to vampires as things and monsters must make it easier to stomach the idea of killing people who happen to have fangs.”Vlad watched him, wide-eyed, slumping back in his seat. “Why do you sound so angry?”
Otis stood suddenly, and slapped his palms on the table, his eyes fierce. “Because I am! How can you defend him, Vladimir? How can you spare his life when he nearly took yours? He’s nothing, just a slayer, a foolish assassin armed with a wooden stake. They are the ones who declared war on us, and we have every right to defend ourselves when we know an attack is about to happen. That’s all Joss is, Vlad, another casualty of war. He just doesn’t know it yet.”
Otis sat down in the chair opposite Vlad, his eyes seething. “If you ask me, the world would be a better place without him and his kind walking around, free to do as they please.”
Vlad shook his head wordlessly. When he spoke, it was in near-whispers. “Listen to yourself, Otis. You’re grouping them all together and plotting their extinction. You sound just like they do. Maybe you’re not all that different.”
Otis clenched his jaw and pointed a stern finger at his nephew. He stood abruptly, pushing the chair sharply back from the table. Vlad instantly knew that he had gone too far, but he didn’t care. He braced himself for the words that were soon to come flying out of his uncle’s mouth. Hateful words. Words filled with venom and justification.
But the words didn’t come. Otis turned and walked out of the kitchen. When the front door slammed, Vlad winced, but only slightly.
The coin lay on the tabletop where he’d left it. Plucking it up in his hand, he spun it once more, and wondered if Joss had noticed its absence, or if he had any idea where it might be now. It had to be his, after all. There were no other slayers in Bathory. It had to be Joss’s coin. Maybe that’s why Vlad had kept it. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t stop looking at it.
Excerpted from "Eleventh Grade Burns #4"
Copyright © 2010 Heather Brewer.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I wish they would make another one, I am serioisly addicted to these books. There really needs to be a Twelfth Grade book. :) Hit "Yes" if you agree!!
Things have taken a darker turn for the half-human teenager with an appetite for blood. Joss, a vampire slayer and Vlad's former friend, has moved back to Bathory. A mysterious and powerful new vampire, Dorian, appears with a shocking secret and an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad's blood. And Vlad's arch enemy, D'Ablo, has a sinister plan to eliminate Vlad once and for all. With death threatening from every angle, Vlad will have to use every ounce of his skill and training to survive, but nothing can prepare him for what awaits him in the end.
Why can't I find the 5th book in the nook store?
The chronicles of Vladimir Tod Eleventh Grade Burns Eleventh grade burns is a fiction, mythical, page turning book. It ties together the last three books like a tricky puzzle that unravels into a marvelous portrait. Vlad is having troubles with his teenager life and his vampire life as well. Otis is being charged with all of his crimes. Who knows what's going to happen to him with D'Ablo as the president of the council. And a new character gets reveled; he is determined to have Vlad's blood that's because this vampire loves rare blood from all around the world. And the not so friendly slayer is back and is ready with his stake. I give this novel 5 out of 5(*****). The author makes this book seem like a movie playing in your mind with all the details in her writing. This book was NOT a waist of my time I loved it.
Eleventh Grade Burns has conflict and thrill. the ending chapters of the book would never suspected. the final book in the series should be even more thrilling.
I just barely finished it and I am going to knaw off my fingers until the next one is published. But if i knawed off my fingers, how am I going to read the book... Anywho!!! This book is a complete cliff hanger and I can garantee that I will read again. Brewer totally out did herself.
This book and all of the books before it are great!!!!!! I would give this book to anyone!! Its good for all ages and makes you want more!!!bravo Auntie Heather Brewer!
To be honest when I first read these series I thought that some were good and others were okay. Then I read the third book the one before this, and after I finished it I wasn't really interested in reading the fourth book. The only thing that made me read this book was that I didn't really want to just end it even though I didn't feel a huge pull to finish it. I haven't finished only one series which says that these books still caught my interest even if not much. When I finished this book I was so glad that I had decided to read it! These series were a different style which is probably why I thought I didn't enjoy it. It had real life situations that everyday people go through based on one fake fact...being a vampire. Warning: This will be a spoiler if you have not read the first three books before this one. Vladimir Todd had been through so much the past couple of years. His friend attempts to kill him and he has to release the girl of his dreams. His uncle keeps his secrets. A mysterious powerful frightening person arrives. Friends? Henry goes through his own troubles but keeps Vlad close by his side meaning much more than a drudge to Vlad. His "friend" returns not only to take his life but ruin it before it's gone. Can he change? His eating has become more frequent and sometimes you can only do so much to try to stop being who you are. Love is blossoming between Otis and Nelly but will one end up heartbroken and will the other be no more than a mere memory? Vlad goes through his own heartbreak but...has he found another girl? Heartbreak Bretrayel Death A wonderful book with amazing characters. We are all hoping for the 5th book to release. We are sitting here not knowing what to do with ourselves. The end of this book will have you swept off your feet with too mamy emotions to name.
the fifth book is twelfth grade kills, you can find it on amazon... i have a copy if i knew you personally id let ya' barrow it but i dont so sorry
Best book 1 11 2 9 3 12 4 8 5 10 My list of book from best to suck
I love the cover is the guy emo .??? I havent read the book p.s. michie wrote this
Definatly read it!!!! Best book EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am almost done with this series. All i have is the end of this book an dthen the last book to read. The whole thing is amazing, a little slow at times.... but thats just so you can get an idea/caught up on whats going on. Great read, i recomend these books!
I was enticed by these books since the beginning! I love the imagry so carefully used and how Vlad is so likable. However, I was disappointed when I started noticing many spacing and spelling errors. This is a fantastic read as are all of the books in the series and I wish it didn't have to end!!
the books really caught my attention. they were great impacted with high school drama,fighting,blood sucking and all that good stuff it was awsome.
this isnt really a review but i want to know if he and meredith get back together. i think the attraction between him and snow are cute, but meredith really loved him and i was very dissapointed when vlad just broke up with her. why couldnt he just tell her he was a vampire and that she would get hurt? its that simple. plz answer me in another review or my firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, i don't know where to start with book, so....... I've been a minion since the beginning and have never been disappointed with one of the books in this series and this one was... amazing!!!! They just keep getting better. if you are thinking of reading these books and have not yet made up your mind, take it from the biggest reader ever: This series is by far the best i have read in a while, reminiscent of Harry Potter (but better!) so i think that gives you an idea of how good these books are! Hope my review was helpful!!!!
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is a series of books that you can sink your teeth into. Vlad starts off his eighth grade year in Bathory, his home town, in the first installment Eighth Grade Bites, he, his best friend, and his aunt Nelly, are the only ones to know he is a vampire, well half vampire, and they plan on keeping it that way. His dad was a vampire but his mom was not. Due to his dad breaking the 'don't marry a human' law, Vlad has to suffer the consequences. In the second book, Ninth Grade Bleeds, stakes are raised higher, friendships are pushed to the edge, and problems get worse. The next two books, personally I enjoyed most so far, they are filled with more action, and heart melting romance. The third is Tenth Grade Slays, Vlad is pushed to an extreme with raging hunger, and self control, making new friends and losing old ones, I felt he grew stronger. The last one that I read is Eleventh Grade Burns, Vlad, his friends, and family are stuck with a lot of pressure with love, heart break, trustworthiness, and death. In my eyes I really liked these books. If you are into romance, action, mystery, and vampire things, I would seriously recommend these books. I give them five stars.
The Vladimir Tod series is the best vampire series ( well second compared to TWILIGHT...well, for me.). Vlad's parents died when he was little, his best friend Henry is his druge ( a human how bids your commands. when Vlad and Hereny were eight Vlad bite him by Henery telling him to.), Nelly ( Vlad's garudiane.) takes care of him, His uncle Otis is NOW staying with Vlad and Nelly. Oh get this, Vlad is HALF-HUMAN/HALF-VAMPIRE! Four years and the only ons who know your sercet. WOW that must be tough. Vlad's dad was a vampire while his mother was a human. Nelly took Vlad in when his parents died in a mymtieres fire which no one knows how it started, Otis i Vlad's unlce who is Vald's dad brother well half brother so yes Otis is a vampire, and Henery is Vlad's best friend for nine years now, who when was egith Vlad told henery his sercet and Henery wanted Vald to bite him so Vlad did, and later Vald learned Henery became his druge a human biten by a vampire and becomes a severnt to the vampire. And Meeredith Vald's ex-girlfriend ( he dumped her) he had to dump because he almost BITE her! And then Snow comes along. Snow is a goth girl that knows Vlad's sercet and wants Vlad to fed off her when he becomes thristy. If you thought your life was hecked then try living in Vlad's sheos for a week! Bet you could only last a mintue-in-a-half. Ladies and gentlemen THE ONE AND NLY...
Awesome book!! Vladimir Tod: Eleventh Grade Burns, is an exciting book! You could read it over, and over again, and never get tired of hearing the ending...Someone should make a Hall Of Fame Of Awesome Books, and put Heather Brewer in it!!!
Eleventh grade burns, is the forth book of the rest of the books. Vlad had to dump Meredeth because his hunger for blood was getting over powering. Also Joss is coming bake (his best friend that turned out to be a slayer, and tried to kill Vlad) . Joss is coming back to kill his best friend for revenge on the lies that Vlad told him. Henry has been trying to beat up Joss to help Vlad be it just makes him more determine. It broke Vlad's heart when Meredeth started to date Joss. And now Edie was prepared to expose Vlad and him vampire secret to the world. Otis also had to go to court to see if he must die, but this got mixed and Otis ended up going free as Vlad ended up having to go to court for his death! His world has been changed around, he was going to die and he new it. until he met Darwin. Darwin is a vampire that has special powers because of his thirst for vampire blood. At first he wanted to drink Vlad's blood and kill him, but he knew Vlad was special. So he did not. After many days of dealing with everything, and saying bye to everyone he loves, he set off to run away. But When Darwin gets killed by Joss, and was asked to drink his blood, Vlad tried to kill Joss because of anger. Anger that took control over him. But he heard a voice, he hadn't heard in a long time. His dad. His dad that died in the with his mother. His dad stood there in front of him, alive and safe. I liked this book because for the twists the author puts into the story that makes it exiting to read. I think the author did a great job with to detales and pretty much everything. There were some parts that got confusing but i was able to find it out by reading more. Over all, it was a very good book, and hope people will take there time and read it also. I would be worth the time.
Much better than the fourth it really gives more depth to what the Pravus is and what it can do a must read series for any teen
309, I liked the book, and it was my avorite oe out of the series so far.
What can get harder for a vampire than being a teenager and having to hide what you are? Just ask Vladmir Tod. He's a teenage vampire with a load of problems. He's given up the girl he's been infatuated with for years, to keep her safe from his thirst, but now she's dating the friend who wants to kill him. His uncle is going on trial for murder, and breaking other vampire laws, and isnt expected to survive. One of his drudges, the one he feeds from, is falling for him, and he's confused about her. His fathers journal is stolen, and there is a new, yet very old vampire who says he must have Vlad's mixed blood to taste. A lot for a teenage boy to handle, much less one who is a vampire. Ms. Brewer does a wonderful job of ramping up the excitement, stress, and suspense here, without overdoing it, or making this into a horror series. Lots of twists and surprises keep the pages turning, and the end of this one is a cliffhanger!
Vladimir Tod is still fighting enemies and making new ones in this book. He now has his uncle to help him though. I liked this book a lot and couldn't put it down.