Book Review: Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy

Richelle Mead
Paperback, 336 pages
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
August 16, 2007

 

Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir are no ordinary runaway teens.  Lissa is a Moroi, a living vampire with incredible powers of healing and compulsion as well as the ability to use elemental magic.  Rose is a Dhampir, half human and half vampire, who’s fiercely protective of her best friend and will do anything to keep her from harm.  The pair have fled St. Vladimir’s Academy and have been on the run for two years when the story unfolds.

They’re quickly captured and taken back to the academy in rural Montana (where young Moroi are schooled  in magic and other academic subjects and Dhampir are trained to become their guardians, protecting them from the evil Strigoi, vampires who are no longer living and thrive off killing humans and Moroi), where Rose narrowly escapes expulsion.  Instead she’s forbidden to leave her dorm room except for classes and training sessions with Dimitri, one of the school guardians who becomes her mentor.  Distracted by her intense attraction to him, Rose struggles to keep her head and protect Lissa from jealous peers and vicious rumors circulating about them both. 

Harmless rumors and idle threats soon turn to violent pranks, and Rose must tap into her newfound ability to sense Lissa’s emotions and see through her eyes in order to protect her, not only from her enemies but from herself.  The girls face a host of dangers from psi-hounds, the dreaded Strigoi, and worst of all, high school drama as Rose searches for the key to understanding the strange link that binds her to Lissa and what it means for her best friend that she shares similarities with the famed (and less than stable) St. Vladimir.

YA is a really hot genre with adults right now and since I enjoyed Harry Potter and Twilight so much I thought I’d venture out and try a few more and see if they’re too my liking.  I’m a little torn on this one though.  As entertaining as it was, Rose and her nonstop tough girl act drove me absolutely crazy.  And her obsession with Lissa was borderline creepy at times.  I know they’re best friends and she’s training to be Lissa’s guardian, but after a while I was thinking, “Yeah, I get it, you’re fiercely protective of her and you don’t care whose face you have to smash to make your point!” 

But I really liked the overall premise  and some of the other characters (particularly Dimitri and Christian, the brooding, scandalized Moroi whose Strigoi parents were murdered by guardians).    Also, all the vampire cultural taboos were fascinating (e.g. a Dhampire letting a Moroi drink blood during sex is considered the dirtiest act of all, and the term “blood whores” was thrown around quite a bit).  I got a little tired of all the high school social debacles, but I have to admit that I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and how it ended.

Hopefully Rose will grow on me because I plan on continuing the series.  I’ll also be interested in seeing how it compares to the first books in the Morganville Vampire and House of Night series, which I got for Christmas.

Have you read this or the other aforementioned series?  What’s your opinion of YA?

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7 Comments »

  1. Dionne Said:

    Bah, I hate it when you feel like a character trait is being drilled into you by the author! Sounds like an interesting premise though, and since I do like young adult, I am intrigued. What exactly does being a living (as opposed to dead) vampire entail?

  2. Jody Said:

    Great review! There are so many hot YA series out there right now, and I agree it’s hard to know which ones are worth reading. It’s helpful to have other bloggers to offer opinions!

    I haven’t read the 2 series you mentioned, but I have tried out The Vampire Diaries which is awful, and Evermore (the 1st book of the Immortals series) which is good, but VERY similar to Twilight. Also, the Darkening series (The Awakening & The Summoning) by Kelley Armstrong are great!

    • Jamye Said:

      Thanks! I was planning on trying the Kelley Armstrong books eventually. Also I’ve heard good things about Hush. Have you read that one?

      • Jody Said:

        FYI – Get The Awakening & The Summoning together because the 1st one ends on a big cliff-hanger and you’ll want the 2nd one on hand.

        I haven’t read Hush, Hush yet, but I got it for Christmas, so I will be reading it soon!

      • Jamye Said:

        Cool, thanks for the heads up! Great, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Hush, Hush.

  3. Angie Said:

    I’m with you completely on your reaction to this one. I am a big YA reader. And I love urban fantasy and paranormals. But I seem to be getting pickier and pickier as of late and this series is not quite working for me. I’m still reading it, mind you, because I want to see if she’ll have the guts to end it the way it should end. 😉

    • Jamye Said:

      Oh good, I’m glad it’s not just me! Yeah, I think I’ll give the next one a try and see if it keeps me interested. What are your favorite YA and/or urban fantasy books?

      Thanks for stopping by!


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