Sunday, 5 June 2011

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

One of my best friends has been trying to get me to read this series for a long time now. Her persistence has finally paid off. I gave in and got the first book.

Author: Mead has known a lot of success in a relatively short period. She’s currently got three series on the go. Vampire Academy, certainly her most famous work to date, is riding the vampire wave created by Twilight. It also has to be said that her hair is an amazing shade of red, very pretty!

Presentation: Quite a large paperback. The font is a relatively large size with wide spacing. There are 332 pages broken down into 24 chapters.

Story: Rose is a dhampir, a half vampire, a guardian sworn to protect the living vampires (Moroi) from the undead vampires (Strigoi). She and her best friend, a vampire named Lissa, escaped from their school two years ago and having been living in the human world since. They evaded capture for two whole years but the vampires have finally caught up with them. They are forced to return to their school where they return to something similar to their old routines. Rose, blamed for the escape, is forced to do extra training with her very good looking, very intriguing mentor: a Russian guardian called Dimitri. Despite this and many other rules set for her specifically, she manages to return to some of her party girl ways. Lissa, meanwhile, is struggling to return to her role as the sole surviving member of one of the twelve Moroi royal families. She is prone to get bursts of depression and it doesn’t help that someone is leaving her gruesome gifts. Rose, determined to help her best friend in any way she can, sets out to solve the mystery of Lissa’s unwanted admirer.

Thoughts and impressions: The premises for this series are interesting. The vampires each master one of the four elements and are able to craft spells, but they are sworn to help others. The academy is a good setting, I could picture something similar to the descriptions in my mind. I really liked that Lissa and Rose’s friendship came before their budding romances – there are far too many YA novels today where it’s all about the romance and friendship is almost completely forgotten.
Unfortunately, the plot got a little lost in itself. There was far too much meandering about and not enough actual tension to it all. I did, however, like how she worked the bits about Lissa alone into the plot while not breaking the first person narrative. It was a bit of a cheap way of doing it, but I suspect that this bond will have a more important role in the future.
Rose got on my nerves at times. I suppose that you should never like any character all of the time, but she just went too far from time to time. That said, she’s not really a very likeable character. She’s one of those self-important bitches who know they look good and use it to try to get their way in everything.
My biggest qualm, though: I did not like how Dimitri was immediately introduced as being "hot". She's trying to run away from him. Most of the time people don't stop to check out those who want to capture them to consider their hotness. I would have preferred to get a description of him a bit later in the book when she's stuck with him as her mentor.

Style: Very colloquial. Everything is told in Rose’s voice, so this is understandable as she’s a 17 year old. There are some problems with syntax at times, and some passages are very clunky. I didn’t feel that it was edited as well as it could have been.

Final verdict: It was on okay opening to the series, not great, but it has piqued my attention enough for me to purchase the second book. 3 stars

Extra notes: Bad language abound. There is no sex (though it does come close a couple of times) but there are some “naughtier” scenes.


  1. I love the outline out your review.It is very organized and easy flowing.I have been debating for a while if I wanted to read this series or not.Your review helped with my decision.

    I only have one review so far bc I just started doing them and it is short,but here is the link:

  2. I agree with you. It's not the great opening for a series. It's okay. But I really felt that it's lacking something. I don't know what! I guess I find the pacing kind of slow. But yeah, I still have the next books in the series! ;)

  3. This series again... I guess I should read this series. I feel like one of those random people that have not read anything by Richelle Mead. Or Julie Kagawa (though that's about to change, but not with the Iron Fey series - the Blood of Eden series!). I'm not sure I want to read this series. Most everyone agrees that this first book wasn't the best of the series, and that the series slowly got better as it went along. As did Mead's writing. I hope this is the case. The last thing we need is another awful vampire series with a crappy writing style. Anyway. Thanks for the review! It helps :)

    Alyssa Susanna

  4. I couldn't ever finish this book. I LOVE the Bloodlines series, but I just could not read from Rose's perspective. I didn't like her very much. I keep wanting to retry the books since I love the Bloodlines series so much, but I just can't make myself.

    Great review. It kind of just goes to reiterate why I should stick with Bloodlines and ignore this series. :D


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