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!

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11 Responses to “Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead”

  1. jenika November 22, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Hi Tess! your reviews about the Vampire Academy series got me very curious and so here I am reading the first book, Vampire Academy. Any for now I am enjoying it a lot! I like Rose, I love Dimitri, I like Lissa and Christian is starting to be an interesting character too! I am on the point when Dimitri has just found Rose on the coach without her shirt together with another student… I really really like Dimitri and I want to read more about him!!!
    I’ll keep you updated on more but for now the book and the whole series looks really promising!!!
    🙂

  2. jenika November 22, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    hi Tess I am reading Vampire Academy and I am enjoying it a lot! I like Rose and Lissa and I LOVE Dimitri!!! I want to read more about him! I am only a few pages in but the story look very very promising!!! I’ll keep you updated!
    p.s. Christin seems like a very interesting character too!

  3. jenika November 22, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    oooops, I thought the first message didn’t get through so I wrote it again… sorry, I wrote twice!
    ^^;

  4. jenika November 24, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    Hi Tess
    I just finished reading Vampire Academy and Frost Bite and I really really really liked them. I would give them a 4/5.
    Thank you so much for recommending me this series!!!
    About the first book:
    I like Rose and Lissa but what I totally enjoyed was the romance between Dimitri and Rose.
    And I really liked the moment in the first book when Dimitri is carrying Rose to the infirmary and tells her the reason he can’t let himself love her and they can’t be together is that if a pack of Strigoi strikes he wouldn’t throw himself between them and Lissa but between them and Rose!!!
    That was soooo romantic!!!!
    I know already from a review that in future Dimitri will become Strigoi, I don’t know why yet, but whatever the reason this makes the story even more interesting!!!! I think Dimitri is one of the main reason why I liked this book and I am very curious to see how the series continues.
    Anyway all the character were very well defined, even the secondary ones. I liked Ms Karp, even if they say she was crazy and turned strigoi and so on… I thought she might have been an interesting character who might help Lissa as she was the same as her…
    The only thing I didn’t really liked was the behavior of the students within the academy: the rumors and silly wars between student… The fight with Mia was quite shallow… that was a bit boring but was just a small part which didn’t weight much in the story.
    There are many elements that I hope will be developed in the story…
    I already like the shadow kissed crow Rose found at the end of the book… I wonder if we will see him in the next books?
    Also through all the book I was wondering what did it mean “shadow kissed”… and I liked the explanation! I wonder what will happen in the book called “shadow kiss” that I am reading now!

    About Frost Bite: I literally read it in one go without stopping.
    And I really liked it!
    I liked how slowly the relationship between Rose and her mother was building up and how Rose was slowly growing up as well.
    And of course her romance with Dimitri. Is slowly building up, I want to read more!!!! I was laughing many times with Rose jokes and retorts and a few times I was sad or wondering what’s happening next…
    An interesting character was Adrian, I wonder if he will be more important in the following books…
    And I am very curious about the identity of Rose father and what was his story with her mother… it looks like they actually were in love…
    I am reading now the third book.
    More comments to come!!!
    🙂

    • tess November 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

      Oh wow!! Seems like you’ll be going through this whole series in record time!!!! I’m glad you decided to read it, and I’m glad to hear you liked it right from the start! I was a bit hesitant at first, but all the characters grew on me and before I knew it I was completely hooked. I think it’s the characters that make this series so good. Like you said, even the secondary ones are well-rounded, like Ms Karp and Rose’s mom who both will make more appearances. And oh I loved Dimitri as well!! They’re just such a great couple, the two of them, very compatible. What happens in Shadow Kiss is terrible but like you said, it’s also an interesting twist. Won’t reveal anything more. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series as much as I did. And please do keep commenting as you read the series, it’s really fun to hear your thoughts 🙂

  5. Cedric Bruin April 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    So nice to find somebody with some original views on this topic. realy thank you for bringing this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little creativity. Goodl job for bringing some thing new to the internet!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Review: Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead « After Twilight… - October 6, 2010

    […] of a series, by same author as Vampire Academy. About a succubus who seduces and pleasures mortal men (while sapping their life energy), but also […]

  2. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine « After Twilight… - December 19, 2010

    […] worth getting into (for a 30-year-old), both having earned a huge fan-base and great reviews: The Vampire Academy and Morganville Vampires. Problem with the latter was that at the time I was craving a vampire […]

  3. Frostbite by Richelle Mead « After Twilight… - February 5, 2011

    […] the whole blogging community by storm – and I feel weirdly left out. I read the first book (Vampire Academy) expecting to feel the same excitement, yet just felt like it was.. okay. Definitely an […]

  4. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead « After Twilight… - April 6, 2011

    […] Vampire Academy started off on an enjoyable but not great 3.5 grade. Frostbite hit a higher mark (4/5) as it was a great entertaining read. Shadow Kiss with its devastating ending reached an almost perfect 4.5. […]

  5. Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead « After Twilight… - November 11, 2011

    […] And believe me when I say that I was wary at the start.  For one, I loved everything about the Vampire Academy and was wondering if Sydney the alchemist could be as good of a protagonist as […]

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