Intriguing and Engaging: Vampire Academy by Richelle MeadTuesday, August 20, 2013
by Richelle Mead
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Expected publication: August 16, 2007
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
Vampire Academy was something that had always been on the outskirts of my want-to-read list. Its ‘legacy’ started years ago, yet until now—especially with its spin-off Bloodlines series still unfinished—it still has a massive amount of readers & supporters. Although for me, it’s something that had been pushed farther back because of the rapid surfacing of lots of new young adult books in the market. But thankfully, with the first movie coming out in a couple of months, I decided to give it a shot. And boy did it not disappoint.
Richelle Mead’s craftsmanship is outstanding. I liked very much her take on the vampire society. I truly found it unique amongst others (for me, at least—not being really an avid fan of vampire novels). The whole ‘Dhampir (half human, half vampire) protects the Moroi (good, mortal vampires) from the Strigoi (evil, immortal vampires)’ thing was accomplished fairly. I was absorbed in the world Mead created without difficulty through her easy and realistic writing.
We’re introduced to the story as Rose (a Dhampir) and Lissa (a Moroi princess) are caught and brought back to the Academy after 2 years since their escape. As they once again go inside the wrought iron gates of the school, and as they meet old and new colleagues alike, threat & deception might be as terrible as living outside—if not worse.
I have a love-hate relationship with Rose. She’s kick-ass and definitely strong, but sometimes (or most of the times) too reckless, too full of herself, and immature. These things were justified in the story, but I was searching for a little more character development. There was a change, but only minimal. Good news for Rose and Richelle Mead: You have a couple of books more (Haha). Same thing for Lissa. I admire their bond and protectiveness for each other, but their individual attitudes.. meh.. not so much.
I liked Dimitri’s character. But only that. ‘Like’ as in ‘okay like’. This, folks, once again, is probably one of the stereotyped ‘We-can’t-be-together-I-am-dark-and-mysterious-and-a-tragic-past-has-destroyed-me-and-it-will-destroy-you-as well’ cases. I said ‘probably’. I’m not judging with resolve yet. However, in the first book, he didn’t really stand out as a guy lead. Positive side: the romance did not overwhelm the main storyline.
I also want to point out the other supporting characters in the story. The way Richelle wrote stuff, I know there’s so much more to these people. I liked the complexity of each one and I can’t wait to know more about their in-depth stories.
The school setting and drama worked out as well. Clashing peer groups, hateful & weird teachers and all that drama. The direction of the plot was a bit cliché, but I’m sure it’s building up to something big—and yes, I am eager to know more of what that will be.
Overall, Vampire Academy was a fun and intriguing read. Not too remarkable but certainly engaging. I’m definitely giving the series a go. Have you read this yet? No? Tell me your opinion in the comments.
THE NUB AND GIST: 4 STARS
VAMPIRE ACADEMY: BLOOD SISTERS - Official Teaser Trailer