Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: "Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead

Title: Vampire Academy
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Year: 2007

"Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires--the ones who never die.

The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir; she is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.

Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's--but their world is fraught with danger both inside and out of the Academy's iron gates. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever..."


With the “Vampire Academy” movie only a month away, I suddenly understood that this is my last chance to read this book without it being affected by the movie. And that was something I couldn’t pass up.

When I was a teenager with very limited allowance it took me ages to save up money for books. Therefore I was very picky and the books were very dear to me. And the ones that were good… I read them over and over until I had money for something new. I must have read “Vampire Academy“ 7-8 times, maybe more. And boy did I love it. 

Okay, time to stop the trip down Memory Lane and find out how did the book hold up now that I am not a teenager anymore.

And the answer is that it holds up very well. The things that I loved about it at first are still true. This is one of the most original version of vampires that I have ever come across. And I like vampires so I have read my fair share of vamp stories. The idea of the two kinds of vampires is great. This way the darker side of the night-dwellers is not ignored and you can still have “good” vampires. And while I am usually not a fan of hybrids of any sort, then crossing vampires with Buffy is brilliant. Dhampirs are officially awesome. 

I really did not want to bring the movie into this review but I need it to make one point. A lot of the time the fans of the series say that the movie is too teeny or too much of a comedy. But I think a thing that is ignored is that the series actually becomes darker a little later. The first book is very much what it is pictured as. And that is Mean Girls with fangs. And that is fine. Good even. I don’t think the later books would have that strong of an affect if the first one would have been gloomy. But a word of an advice for new readers interested in this book and the series. It is good at first but it becomes great. If you like a fun vampire flick then you are all set with this book. If this seems too childish then I can promise that the later books are so worth the clique wars in the first book.

People who have read my reviews before know how much I like a kick-ass heroin. And Rose Hathaway is probably to blame for that. I always loved Rose. While she might be vulnerable within the four walls of her own room, then you will never know it from the outside. She keeps kicking no matter what. But above that she is not fighting for only herself. She does it for Lissa. It might not seem much at first but the more you read, the more important that is.
Lissa in this book was a little confusing. She could go from vulnerable to a regal socialite princess in a matter of moments. But as the pieces of her weird powers fall into place then I became to appreciate that. Plus she will grow into her role in later books.
Same goes for Dimitri. He gets some backstory in this book but he becomes more important in later books. Which is another reason to like this story. It has romance but it does not concentrate purely on that. In the first book it is actually quite secondary.

Oh and one fun thing that is a little off topic. The Russian names. Oh god… *laughs hysterically*. For someone who knows Russian at least a little bit this was so weird to read the first few times. Who the hell is named Water… or Lake.. or…*more hysterical giggles*

I hope it comes across how much I like this book. And not for sentimental reasons. It will always be a brilliant story by an author from whom I have never read a mediocre book. Five glowing stars for “Vampire Academy”. Whatever anyone has to say against it, I will defend and love it forever.

  This review has been brought to you by your Book Mistress for the day.


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