Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Book Series:

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…

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REVIEW

date read: Nov 15th, 2011

If I had to describe this book really shortly I would probably say: vampire teen drama.. a lot of vampire teen drama.
Not that this is bad, because I enjoyed enormously the way these teens interacted with each other, the jokes, the fights, the paybacks, and so on. Still, I felt like this was just another usual teen book with a more commercial settling. The only thing that made me think that this was a vampire book (except for the title and the fact that the main character told me so many times that this was indeed a vampire story) was the blood feeding (and that’s not really something I enjoy reading about).

Most of the story is about Rose and her best friend Lissa coming back to the Academy and trying to fit in (or make the others ‘fit around‘), and also about their growing bond, their secrets, their powers and (mostly) their love life.

I liked Rose a lot, she was one of the best female characters I’ve read about – not because she was strong or smart, but because she was sharply honest, and sarcastic, and she made me laugh a lot. She knew how to stand for herself and her best friend, she knew when to crack a joke and when to keep it for herself, she knew the difference between punching someone and making a point. Even though the story had a serious touch to it, Rose made me feel relaxed about her discoveries, she made me enjoy this ride and like her more and more with every page.

Ignoring the fact that I didn’t really get the attraction between Rose and Dimitri (not because of their age difference, but because they seemed like total opposites: she was open and funny, he was mysterious and a bit grumpy), I liked their story and I can’t wait to find out more about them.
Also I want to know more about Lissa and Christian – as they were cute together and they seemed to be perfect for each other.
Well, I didn’t really like Lissa that much, as she seemed too weak and depressed for a vampire, but Christian was a really interesting character and around him even she was a better person (or a better ‘moroi’ if you wish). Christian was mysterious in a totally different way, and he even made me more interested in him than the main male character, which is a bit strange, but I’m not complaining.

Now, truth being told, I don’t know what my expectations were. From my limited knowledge about vampires I thought they were supposed to be strong, deadly, fast, immortal, and so on… And this is so not the case.she was open and funny, he was mysterious and a bit grumpy), I liked their story and I can’t wait to find out more about them.
Also I want to know more about Lissa and Christian – as they were cute together and they seemed to be perfect for each other.
Well, I didn’t really like Lissa that much, as she seemed too weak and depressed for a vampire, but Christian was a really interesting character and around him even she was a better person (or a better ‘moroi’ if you wish). Christian was mysterious in a totally different way, and he even made me more interested in him than the main male character, which is a bit strange, but I’m not complaining.

Vampires are flooding bookshops and libraries and every story has to be unique so I don’t know in how many ways a vampire can be different and still interesting. I’ve seen shiny vampires, why would I be surprised to find about some vampires that use magic and that are protected by half human guardians, right?
It didn’t surprise me and I wasn’t impressed either, but I’m sure that in the next books this will change, so I’ll keep reading this series hoping for some more interesting adventures and discoveries about this world.

Also, I have some mentions to make:
Maybe I’m wrong (as I’ve never paid too much attention to the horror mythical creatures in my culture) but as far as I can remember I’ve thought that ‘moroi’ were similar to what you call ‘zombies’ (dead people coming back from the grave – without a virus making them living-dead, but nevertheless similar in the appearance and the need to kill human beings), and ‘strigoi’ were some sort of ghosts, the harming kind (the ones that come back to hunt the loved ones or the people that hurt them when they were alive.. and if you’ve read ‘Anna dressed in Blood’ you’ll have a pretty good idea of what kind of ghosts I’m talking about)..
Off course, someone could give me a hand here and tell me if I’m misleading you, or maybe I should ask my sister as she is studying (among other things) this kind of traditional believes.
This being said, in the beginning I had a bit of a hard time picturing the ‘moroi’ and ‘strigoi’ as vampires in this particular book.

Note: I am by no means against the author using these concepts and changing them to match her own imagination, I was just amused and it took me a bit of time to adjust and be able to picture them as vampires. That’s all!. As it’s an invented world, they can be whatever the author wants them to be.

Happy midnight reading!

But, don't let me do all the talking. I want to know what you think of this as well.

  • http://twitter.com/Giselleco Giselle (Xpresso)

    I agree the vampire lore in this one is really different. The books get increasingly great as the series advances though I suggest you keep reading! :)

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      Yes, I will keep reading. I’ve heard good things about the next books and it’s great to see you confirming this as well. If they are even better than this one, there is no doubt that I will enjoy them as well :)