Saturday, 14 August 2010

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Title: Vampire Academy 1
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Books)
Got it from: School Library

Blurb (from back of the book):

"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 thier guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana.  But inside these iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger...and the Strigoi are always close by.

 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... "


So, Vampire Academy was released quite a time ago, and it's quickly gotten extremely popular. My personal story with Vampire Academy is this: I borrowed it from my school library before the holidays began, and I never really got into it. (The last paragraph of the blurb is a bit misleading: they're not romancing each other. I'll go into that later.)

But then my friend very excitedly recommended it to me, and I decided to give it another go.
And the verdict? I loved it!

It's a pretty easy read, yet the story grabs the reader's attention. It's deeply addictive, and the protagonist, Rose Hallaway, is a strong, witty, outspoken character that defends her friends.

There's three types of vampires in the Vampire Academy world. The Moroi are the good vampires: tall, blonde, slender. They are mortal, and they don't kill people for blood. But, to survive, they must take blood from donors.
Then there's the Strigoi, who are the evil undead vampires. These people are Moroi who have turned willingly, or they're humans or other vampires who have been turned against their will.

So what happens when the Moroi and humans breed? They produce half-humans, called the Dhampir. The Dhampir are brought up to always put the Moroi first, because their own existence depends on the survival of the Moroi. See, the thing is, Dhampir cannot breed with each other; only with humans or Moroi.

So Rose, a Dhampir, and Lissa, a Moroi princess, are best friends. The book opens with them having been on the run for two years (for reasons initially unknown), but they are caught and dragged back to St Vladimir's to resume their education.

Lissa isn't reprimanded; she's the last of her line of royal vampires, and is given therefore special priviledges.  But for Rose there's Dimitri; a gorgeous, senior Dhampir who volunteers his time and expertise into helping Rose catch up with her education.

(Spoiler alert!)
And that's where the forbidden romance comes into play. Rose grows to love Dimitri, and he can't resist her, despite his responsible attempts. Dimitri and Rose are both meant to be Lissa's future guardians, but if they love each other, would they be willing to sacrifice their lives for her, or each other? There's also the problem of their age differences, and the fact that Dhampirs cannot interbreed.
(End spoiler)

This book is extremely addictive. I loved it to bits, and can't wait until the last book comes out. So if you haven't yet, beg/borrow/buy a copy and read it!

Loved it to bits!!


Christina T said...

The first time I tried to read this book I didn't get very far but since I owned it I later picked it up again and loved it. I wonder if a lot of people have that problem with it. I loved the other books in the series too and now I can't wait till Last Sacrifice is published this Christmas.

I am glad that you ended up loving the book. Rose is one of my favorite YA characters and I definitely have a book crush on Dimitri :)

Tina (Book Couture) said...

Christina, I agree with you completely. I had it at home, sitting on my shelf for AGES, and I never tried to even pick it up. But then I did, and I fell in love too.
I've recommended it to so many of my friends, and they agree. They say the beginning is a bit too long, or a bit "weird", but they all love it by the end.

I know, I love Dimitri! How heartbreaking is it when he says (Spirit Bound SPOILER) "Love fades. Mine has."

It totally broke my heart, even though I'm not Rose. And that's what I really love about books - I felt like I WAS her.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE these books! Bad thing is... i don't think I can wait till the next one in the series comes out :(
I agree, I was so sad when Dimitri said that. A bit harsh... but nawwww i still love him so much haha ! :D

Tina (Book Couture) said...

XD Thank you, Anonymous IM.
Last Sacrifice is going to be awesome...but you're going to be abroad then. :(

Don't read the spoilers when you come back, though...I'm going to miss you heaps!

Anonymous said...

Oh, your welcome TINA :D (who says it's me anyway hmmm? :P)
I knoooow i can't wait! like literally haha :P
oooooh spoilers... thanks for reminding me, hopefully i can access them from france ;) nooo i'm going to miss all you guys :(
love you tina <3

Buried in Books said...

Thank you for saying you haven't read this series yet. I thought I was the only one. I want to read it, I just haven't had the chance. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog today. I would never have found out about what this series is actually about. I'll start it soon. My book budget is seriously low so to the library I go! Heather

AngelicNytmare said...

Oh my god it always gets me when I read first how people didn't like the book and then a little farther down they ended up liking it. it makes me happy though because I love this series to death. 8 more days I can't wait!

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