Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Book Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

Product details:
Publisher: Puffin.
Paperback, 336 pages.
Release date: May 26th 2009. (First published 2007).
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

I’m glad to announce that I’ve finally jumped on the Vampire Academy bandwagon.  This one has been on my to-read list for absolute ages, and why it took me so long to get to it, I do not know.   I’ve heard such good things about this series, and while I had a few small gripes with this book, overall I’m sold! Vampire Academy is a great start to Richelle Mead’s much loved series.  The boarding school setting combined with sassy characters, forbidden love and some seriously hot guys makes this one a must-read for vampire fans!

Vampire Academy is narrated by Rose Hathaway, who is one of the most kick-ass female protagonists I’ve encountered yet. She’s on the run from St. Vladimir’s Academy with Lissa, a Moroi/Mortal vampire princess who must be protected at all costs from the Strigoi - dangerous vampires who will never die, and who are a constant threat to the Moroi.  While I liked the vampire mythology in this book, as it was something new and different to me,  it did take me a while to get everything straight in my head.  There’s a lot to learn here, and Rose narrates in a way that presumes you already know what she‘s talking about. Thankfully, through the use of flashbacks, things become clearer over time. If I have one criticism of the book, it’s this, and the fact that things become quite muddled at times, but thankfully everything comes good in the end.

My favourite thing about this book was the characters, okay, especially the guys(!), but first, I’ll discuss Rose and Lissa. I loved their friendship, and I thought they complemented each other perfectly.  At first feisty Rose seems like the strong one in this friendship. She’s certainly pretty sassy, and she takes no prisoners.   Lissa is somewhat overshadowed by Rose at times, but she definitely has a few surprises up her sleeve and comes into her own as the book progresses! Rose is  in demand amongst the guys at the school. She’s hot, and boy, does she know it! I’m all for confident females in literature, but Rose has a tendency to go on and on about how totally gorgeous she is.  Then again, if that’s her on the cover, she is an Angelina Jolie clone, so I guess it’s all justified.

 Before reading this book, almost everybody told me I was going to fall in love with Dimitri, but, it took me a while to warm to him. Granted, I did in the end. Physically perfect, and just my type, I have to say, he’s quite the dreamboat.   The scenes with him and Rose are totally smokin’ hot too, which is always good!  I also liked the fact that Dimitri is a little older than the guys usually encountered in young adult fiction.  It’s a clever touch by Mead, and definitely increases the crossover appeal of the book. I also liked Christian. A lot. He‘s dark, mysterious and just a little bit dangerous. I  believe I have a guy called Adrian to look forward to in the next book? I have a feeling my book crush list is about to expand!

Overall, Vampire Academy is a great fun, read.  It has a lot of the plot elements I love. I have always loved vampire fiction, and since this one is set at a boarding school, well, if you know my reading tastes, you’ll know I couldn’t really go wrong here. The plot of this one takes a while to pick up, but when it does, it’s a wild ride. Mead includes some great surprises and plot twists throughout the book, many of which I didn’t predict.   I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of this series. I have book #2 Frostbite ready and waiting for me to read. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

To celebrate the release of Last Sacrifice, the sixth and final book in the Vampire Academy series - it's out today, if you didn't already know - Puffin have repackaged the series. I think the complete set would make a great Christmas gift for any vampire fans out there!


  1. Oh! I like the repackaged covers! I've had Last Sacrifice on hold at the library since August and I'm number 53 out of 140 requests! I'll get it eventually!

  2. Oh, I also have this one at home. I've been dying to get around to this for ages now. After reading your review, I'm shifting this one high up on my priority reading list. I can't wait to meet Dimitri :) *grins* Another fantastic review as always :)

  3. I am in literary love with everything Richelle Mead writes. It's a good thing all of the books are out now, because a few of them she leaves on the most incredible cliffhangers. It's torture to wait for the next book to release! If you like this series, you might also want to check out her Georgina Kincaid series for adults. It's fab!

  4. The series just gets better. I love Rose in this book and Lissa. Dmitri is really fab in the 2nd book. And I didn't love Adrian till maybe the 3rd book. I love Christian too.

  5. I still haven't read this series yet--I feel so behind! But it's good to know that I have something to look forward to :)

  6. I can’t believe I haven’t read this series. I think everyone but me has. Now I’m lusting after the new covers. My shelves want!

  7. I still have this series to read, thank you for the review!

  8. Gosh I need to read this book! I've heard so many good reviews about it. I hope I get the repackaged series for Christmas. I'll be dropping hints ;)

    Nice review :)

  9. Yay Leanna! So glad you're on the VA bandwagon now, it's a good one to be on:) I love that Dimitri is a bit older as well, given that I'm pushing 30, I didn't feel quite as creepy crushing on him:) This series really does just get better and better, things get more complex and difficult and I can't wait to see what you think!

  10. I have read the first book and found it quite enjoyable. Now that the last book has released, I need to read the rest of the series.

  11. Glad to hear you liked this book. I still haven't read this series yet.

  12. Yes, you've got Adrian to look forward to. You're not allowed to fall in love with him though since he's mine ;) I'm rooting for Rose and Dimitri in Last Sacrifice but I absolutely love Adrian! Sadly, he's a literary character so I won't be able to console him when he's heartbroken.

    P.S. My favourite book of the series is Shadow Kiss.

  13. ^ Wow! I can't wait to meet this Adrian. It's OK - he may become a book crush, but Jay from The Body Finder will always be my #1! ;-)


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