Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Publication Date: August 16th 2007
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (3.75/5 stars)
Synopsis: 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.
Review: After hearing many great things about this series, I was afraid to be disappointed. I have been refraining from reading anything to do with vampires. Reason being, it’s getting boring. It’s over-rated. Everywhere I go it’s vampires, vampires and more vampires. But I decided to give this book a try and I enjoyed it. Vampire Academy was filled with danger, excitement, and lots of sexual tension. Lissa’s internal struggles were easy to relate to and so were Rose’s. I am fond of all the characters, from the dark and aloof Dimitri, to the mysterious Christian. I am not sure how I feel about Rose’s feelings for Dimitri though, he is, after all seven years older which is too old in my opinion.
The background of the Moroi was easy to understand. I liked how the story did not drag along and was well-paced, even though the actual action only happened at the last 40 pages or so. But who cares? I was satisfied; the characters were well-developed, relatable and had distinct voices. I shall quote what someone said in a review on Goodreads, “Mead has a knack for adding just the right touch of realism to a story steeped in fantasy, allowing the reader to sympathize with the characters.”
However, I felt that Lissa’s character could have been further developed. I want to know more about her past and hope to learn more about her family in the other books. Rose’s character experienced some growth in the end and I found it believable. However, I need more scenes between Dimitri and Rose, so far, I feel that her crush is merely a crush and more of ‘I like him because he is hot‘ kind of crush. To simply put it, superficial. Maybe as Rose and Dimitri bond over the next few books I will start rooting for them to be together. For now, Rose’s crush seems silly, like a young child crushing on the teacher.
With all that being said, Vampire Academy is a thrilling must read for all vampire fans, especially Evernight fans. This is the first book in a series but it was pretty solid and the ending wasn’t much of a cliffhanger except we all want to know what happens between Rose and Dimitri. I know I will probably be rushing out to buy the boxed set now!