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Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

16 Sep

Series: Vampire Academy, book #1

Published: August 16th 2007 by Razorbill

Details: Paperback, 332 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

My Summary:

Vampire series with 6th book out soon. About Rose and her best friend Lissa. The plot centers around their high school life at Vampire Academy, with intrigues, revenge, gossip & face rank politics. Quick easy read, but not great- too much gossip girl a la vampire for me, but may develop into an intriguing plot in future books. Sequel called Frostbite.

A few chapters in:

There are many vampire series currently out there on the market, partly or mostly due to the enormous success of the Twilight Series. Hence, I’ve been a bit sceptical towards most of them, wondering if they are pure rip-offs or if they actually have something to offer. After reading quite a few reviews however, I realized that Vampire Academy seems to stand on its own, and have gathered its own little following (not so little by the way, only if compared to Twilight). So I decided to give it a go. There are currently 5 books out in the series, with a sixth book to be released later this year.

So I’m half-way through. It starts with Rose and her best friend Lissa getting caught on the run, and brought back to the Vampire Academy where Lissa, who is a royal vampire Moroi princess is to attend her education. Rose is a Dhampir, essentially the body-guard of Lissa, sworn to protect the race of the Moroi vampires her entire life. The Moroi vampires need constant protection since the Strigoi vampires – the undead immortal evil vampires,  are constantly on the hunt for Moroi blood.

Are you lost? Well, that is all there is in terms of world-bulding (so far that is), and as soon as these two, Rose and Lissa, arrive to the Vampire Academy, the somewhat ordinary life begins dealing with high school issues such as socializing with the right crowd, face ranks politics, avoiding that one school bitch, dealing with humiliating gossip, having crushes on guys, breaking all sorts of schools rules etc. Essentially a Gossip Girl with vampires.

Rose is a sexy, sassy girl, with a witty mouth and a temperament. Lisa is the opposite, kind, cautious and quiet. At the moment I’m feeling that Rose is bit too much into herself and Lissa, oblivious to the feelings of people of the outer world, and I wish she could be a bit more tolerant and humble. Let’s hope for development there.

There is Dimitri as well, who is Lissa’s guardian, and also the personal trainer of Rose. He seems like a fascinating character, all though so quiet that it’s hard to get an impression of him. Hoping for more there as well.

Let’s see how it plays out..

After finishing the book:

I’ve already finished it, in just two days. Very easy and quick read. Not the greatest book, and not something I’d lose sleep over.  It has a good premise for a series though, and I can see myself getting more attached to the characters the more I read.

However, it was a bit too teen for me to really love. The plot centered around too much highschool drama and gossip, to make me glued to the pages.  I also found it hard sometimes to relate to the heroine Rose with her over-confident and flirtatious nature.

Christian and Dmitri both intrigued me though, and I look forward to see where the story will take them. Dmitri is this silent hero, who always seems to emerge whenever anyone needs help, Rose in particulary. I’d still like him to talk more and reveal things about himself. There may be time for that though, in future books. Christian is a complex character given his troubled past, which made him that much more interesting. I rooted for him pretty much immediately.

A pleasant surprise was the ending and how most loose ends were actually tied together. We get explanations for almost everything we’ve been wondering about, and there’s no cliff-hanger, like in so many other YA series. Kudos to Mead for that!

The Bottom Line:

I can very much see a continuation, what with Rose and Lissa’s bond, the villain who is still alive, and all the other complications involving Lissa’s abilities. I just hope that the next book will incorporate more of the outer vampire world Mead has created rather than highschool gossip within the walls of the Vampire Academy.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, even though it is not nearly as addictive as Twilight, it’s still a good, fun and light read!