Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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Vampire Academy
(Vampire Academy, #1)
Richelle Mead
Released August 16th, 2007
by Penguin Group

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.

This was actually better than I expected. When I read vampire or other paranormal books, I feel like a lot of them lack originality and I just end up being frustrated with it. Vampire Academy was not so.

The vampire lore is different than any other. There are undead and living vampires, half vampires, guardians, etc. It’s certainly unusual, but really interesting and very creative. The lore is not all explained right away, though, so at first I was a bit confused with the titles and politics. Basically, Lissa is a Vampire and Rose (narrator) is her guardian. I did like the way it was presented; you aren’t told everything right away so you want to keep reading to find out what the deal is. The plot itself was not really unpredictable, but it was never boring and some of the minor twists were not expected.

The characters were easily likeable. Rose is a very strong protagonist. She’s feisty and she doesn’t hold back. It makes it fun to see her reactions and you’re not left wishing she had taken a stand or retorted. It’s also a good change from the often too whiny “damsel in distress” heroines you see in a lot of YA novels. As for Lissa, I didn’t really click with her much. I found she was more of a secondary character and I didn’t get her at first, nor Rose’s over-protectiveness of her. She did grow on me towards the end where I realized she’s not just a wuss. She does have a bit of steel in her after all. The side characters were enjoyable and I sure loved to hate Mia!

So overall, it’s not an “out of this world” awesome book, but in my opinion it deserves the 4 Espressos that I rated it. I will definitely read the rest of the series and would recommend it to anyone who likes YA paranormal.

*note: review originally written in February, 2011*
4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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

  1. Kristan

    Glad you liked this book! Vampire Academy is one of my favorite series specifically because it is so original and nothing like the other vampire books out there. I love it when a book can stand out in such a popular genre. I see that you read this is February, so I’m assuming you finished the other books too (?) If so, you definitely saw that the story just gets better and better!

    Kristan @ Lost Amongst the Shelves

  2. Heather

    This one really surprised me too. When I first read it I was kind of sick to death of vampire books and was only reading it on a friend’s insistence. I’m glad I did, it really surprised me in a good way! I just finished the last book in the series and it didn’t disappoint.

  3. Tara

    The rest of the series is really good, and Lissa becomes a stronger character throughout the middle of the books. This is one of my favorite series.

  4. Kelly

    After reading your review, I am really glad I bought this book now! I was a little worried when I bought it that it might be like all the others but now I’m really excited to read it.

  5. Melliane

    I agree with you, I’ve read this book not long time ago and it was very pleasant. I was a little afraid after hearing so great things to be the only one who doesn’t really like it, but finally It wansn’t the case. Now I must read the sequel too. Great review

  6. Mimi Valentine

    Aww, I’m SO glad you like this one, Giselle! I’ll admit that this first book wasn’t SUPER amazing for me either, but I promise that the next books just get so much better! And LOL I have some old reviews still waiting to get published too! x)

    Awesome review, Giselle! I hope you enjoy book 2 as much as I did! 🙂

  7. Book Crook Liza

    I wasn’t in love with the first book as much as I was with the rest of the series. I also didn’t feel very close to Lissa in this series and the beginning totally threw me off. I actually thought I picked up the wrong book instead of the first book. The series just gets better as it goes along! Can’t wait to see what you think of the rest!

    Liza @ Book Crook Liza

  8. TG

    I concur with everyone else that this series gets better and better as it goes along. It was actually the second book that made me a huge fan. And Rose is a great character; she’s flawed, but she’s feisty and fun.

  9. Racquel (A Book Barbie)

    I really loved this series so I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m sure everyone loves Rose and her personality, there is only so much damsel-shy-in-distress-yet-completely-witty-if-needed-and-are-still-able-to-fiend-for-themselves distresses I can take before wanting to blow my brains out.

    I can’t wait to hear what you felt about the other books:D

    -thank you&come again.

  10. Kayla

    I completely agree. I kept putting this series off thinking it wasn’t going to be that great, but when I finally read it I loved it!