Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Book 1)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date:2009 (this edition) originally published 2007
Bought Online.

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.

Having read 'Bloodlines' and loving it I was extremely keen to read this series. I really wanted to revisit those characters again and learn more about this interesting system of vampires so unlike any other. The first book in the vampire academy series isn't really what I expected, but I enjoyed nonetheless.

The one thing I really appreciated about this book was all the stuff about the vampire classes and politics. I thought it was cool to read something that reflected on human society and the conflicts between different classes or races. Just because the characters are supernatural why would they live in peace? So, yeah I thought Mead's version was much more realistic.

It was a little unsettling changing perspectives in this book. I was very used to Sydney's naive and literal sense of being. Rose Hathaway's perspective was fairly different from that. Also it was a bit strange reading something from Rose's perspective since Sydney had an almost admiration for Rose. I had really high expectations for Rose's character.

Despite the fact that this is a fantasy book about vampires and magic I found it to be very believable. The whole setting was very easy to get lost in and felt very complete. I really liked the idea of there being an actual vampire academy where vampires could learn special vampire stuff. Sometimes it gets a bit boring reading fantasy books where every one goes to normal high school and falls in love with their biology partner. I think the approach that Richelle Mead took to the vampire world was an ambitious one that could have been very juvenile sounding if not accomplished correctly. Thankfully though, she did a great job and it seemed even more believable than a Biology partner romance.

I thought the storyline was very smart. Just when I thought it was all over something else happened. And I never suspected any thing before it happened which is sometimes rare in teenage fantasy books. Yes the element of surprise. It can make or break a story.

One of my favourite things about Mead's vampire world was the vampire's ability to learn magic. In other books we have the standard compulsion and mind reading etc, but these vampires are exceptionally magical. They can create flames or do other cool stuff depending on their speciality.

Overall I thought this book was pretty cool and I am going to cave and give it 5 stars and mark it as a favourite. Again another well written book by Richelle Mead. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. I recommend this novel to people who are convinced that these teenage vampire novels are all about romance. No pathetic damsels here. Of course there was romance, but not the pathetic kind most people think of when they think of romance.

Vampire Academy Series:
1. Vampire Academy (This Review)

Bloodlines- Spin off series:
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Amber Elise said...

Great review! I actually just picked this one up and I'm excited to read it. I love vampire politics, always soo messy!

YA Book Queen said...

Definitely agree, this book was surprisingly believable! Love this series, it only gets better :)