Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #1


Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest 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. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger… and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

3.5 Drink Me Potions

Okay, I will admit that I broke my golden rule for this book….I watched the movie version before reading the book. I know. That’s awful, isn’t it? But the plot of the movie (which I had hoped stayed true to the book) intrigued me deeply. After the whole bang that Twilight created, vampire novels just seemed to pop up everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE.

So this is why it took me so long to finally read this series. It’s not like I haven’t seen it around before. I just was never interested in starting. How many more ways can these vampire books be different from each other? It’s hard not to compare them to “rip-offs” of Twilight-esque themes.

I was wrong. This book proved it to me. There are still so many creative things to add onto the vampire mythology that’s already out there. Richelle Mead did not disappoint.

Our protagonist, Rose, is a fireball. Man, I love her. She has a voice that’s so strong and clear, it’s almost like I can see her standing there in front of me. She has no restrictions when it comes to those she cares about. She’s not one of those weak and shy heroines at all. Her strength (and recklessness) is balanced throughout the novel with the frailty of her best friend, Lissa. I liked her too, as she had her own character that was special. She wasn’t as unique or original as Rose was, reminiscent of Disney princesses at first with their love of animals and always-kind attitude, but there were different sides of her that showed as the story progressed.

As for romance, the chemistry between Rose and her mentor were there. Obviously I’m glad it’s not just a hormonal-fueled relationship going on, as the two of them really connect on an emotional level as well. Let’s just say I can’t wait to see how things go with those two.

Overall, this story had turns I did not expect, especially nearer to the ending. I must say that watching the movie spoiled it for me, but I was surprised when I found out there, so I’m pretty sure I would’ve been doubly surprised with the book since I would have spent more time with the characters by reading about them instead. It still lowered my rating a bit (I did know what was going to happen after all), otherwise it may have landed 4 stars. It’s still a great start to a brand new series. I will look forward to reading the rest.

Overall Recommendation:
Vampire fans (and vampire haters)! Don’t overlook this book like I had for so long. Just because there are so many out there, I do understand vampires can get tiring, but this one is an exception. Richelle Mead created a brand new world of vampire lore, set in a school of teenage vampires that do the craziest things sometimes. How much more fun can it get? Danger, romance, backstabbing(!), it has it all. A great start to a series, I suggest you give this one at least a try before deciding if the series is worth it or not to read.

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