I’m not usually someone who buys more than one book in a series before I start it – just in case I end up not liking it. But when I saw a boxed set of the first four Vampire Academy books on sale I just couldn’t help myself. I liked Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid adult paranormal series and well… I’m a sucker for books set in boarding schools. I ended up buying the entire six books in the series without even thinking twice and I’m glad that I finally got around to reading this series.
Title: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Magic,
Publisher: Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: August 2007
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
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.
Rose “Rosemarie” Hathaway would stop at nothing to protect her best friend Lissa “Vaslissa” Dragomir from harm – even if that includes running way from St. Vladamir’s Academy, the boarding school where they both are training for their future roles in the vampire society. Lissa is a princess destined to help rule the vampire world and Rose is set to become Lissa’s Guardian, personal body guard who will put her own life on the line to save Lissa no matter what.
After being captured and brought back to the school after two years on the run, Rose is under intense lock down. In addition to having to catch up on all the training she’s missed, she now needs to undergo extra training with the mysterious but handsome Dimitri Bellikov.
When dead animals start turning up around Lissa, Rose needs to try and solve the mystery of who is responsible for them as well as trying to protect Lissa from the Strigoi (the evil Dead Vampires), the dangerous bad boy of the academy (Christian Ozera) and from succumbing to the dark depression that keeps getting stronger…
This book is interesting in the way that the information about the characters and the world they inhabit is slowly divulged bit by bit. There’s no big introduction to the way of the vampires but rather you have to read on to work out exactly who feeds from who and the social hierarchy in the vampire society. But despite this I quite liked how the information was dispersed. I didn’t feel like everything was being thrown at me at once but rather let me discover how the world worked on my own time. But I can understand why other people have thought that this feels more like a second book in a series.
I loved the characters. Rose, the action taking, feisty dhampire, is a heroine that I found myself loving for a few reasons. She’s not the typical main character – she’s the body guard and best friend as opposed to the princess herself. She’s got a lot of attitude and I can see this getting her into a lot of trouble… especially the way she likes to punch first ask questions later. Her relationship with Dimitri was fun to read and I can’t wait to see how things develop between the two of them in the other novels of the series.
I thought it was brilliant the way that because of Rose’s connection with Lissa, the reader could see what Lissa was experiencing without Rose’s being around and keeping the book as a first person narration from Rose’s point of view.
The plot was interesting and not completely predictable – I was kept guessing about a few things as I got into the story and I liked the differences between the different kinds of vampires – the Moroi, dhampires and Strigoi.
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