Okay I said I read them all once and just couldn’t remember the last three books but maybe I just have never read the last three books because it’s been a while since a book has left me in such shock…
Note: this review contains spoilers!!
Series: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Goodreads links: Vampire academy | Frostbite | Shadow Kiss | Blood Promise | Spirit Bound | Last Sacrifice
I also reviewed the Vampire Academy movie here 🙂
Book 1: Vampire Academy
There are three kind of vampires, the Moroi (full vampire, but mortal), the Strigoi (also full vampire, but the bad kind, immortal, they kill others while feeding) and Dhampirs (half Moroi half human, the protectors of Moroi). Rose Hathaway is a dhampir and her best friend Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi. A Moroi princess, actually. After two years of living outside the school’s walls, they are found and being brought back to St. Vladimir’s Academy. While it should be safe in the school, Strigoi are dangerously close. Because Rose has missed two years of classes when she was away, she gets a personal trainer/tutor: Dimitri Belikov, a super hot Russian guy. When Lissa gets kidnapped by Victor Dashkov, she uses their “spirit bound” to find her and put Victor in prison.
Where other books usually start with teenagers escaping and an adventure begins, this book started with two teenagers being brought back to school and that’s where their adventure began (kind of). I think that’s what really encouraged me to start reading these books in the first place. Besides, how cliché it actually is, vampire stories are awesome. Usually.
Book 2: Frostbite
Because of a Strigoi attack nearby, a ski-trip has been planned and Rose and Lissa find themselves in the snow, far away from the Academy. Sounds fun, but not when Dimitri has his eye on someone else, Mason has a serious crush on Rose, and Rose constantly finds herself in Lissa’s mind (through their spirit bound) while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian. She choses for Mason, but her feelings for Dimitri don’t go away that easily, and Adrian Ivashkov also seems to have a particular interest in her. Things go worse when she finds out Mason and two others have ran away to fight Strigoi (who are apparently nearby), and Rose has to pair up with Christian to find them. Once found, she loses Mason in the worst way, and gets her first tattoo’s for killing Strigoi.
This was actually some kind of cliché love-triangle but not really. In some way, it was different from other love triangles and that made it awesome. Also, Rose and Christian pairing up is the best thing ever. What happened to Mason actually made me really sad because I did like him.
Book 3: Shadow Kiss
Realizing why Rose and Lissa have their special bond is both interesting and really devastating. While Lissa can heal others (to an incredible length -she brought Rose back from the dead, meaning Rose is “shadowkissed”), that ability comes with a certain darkness. And through the bond, all the darkness goes to Rose. She starts seeing ghosts and feels angrier, a lot more and faster than usually. She searches all the books she can find about their unique bond, and finds out that one other couple has had this bond, and the shadowkissed one eventually committed suicide because she couldn’t handle the darkness any more. On the better hand, Dimitri finally seems to give in to what he feels for Rose. When Rose gets warned by Mason’s ghost that a huge amount of Strigoi is coming to the gates of the Academy, she and all the others fight against them. They release some of the students the Strigoi had taken with them during the day, but then the unfortunate happens: Dimitri gets kidnapped -and they can’t rescue him. In one day, Rose got everything she wanted, and yet she lost it all again.
THAT ENDING GOT ME SCREAMING. Okay, now that that’s out, I read this book in one sitting, and only noticed how late it had gotten when I finished it. I did know something big was about to happen, but Dimitri being kidnapped was not it. I felt a lot of things throughout reading this book, sad when Rose discovered what the bond between her and Lissa would come to, happy when she and Dimitri finally got together, and then everything was destroyed. I swear, I almost ran to the library (almost -I remembered libraries usually aren’t open at 3am) to get the 4th book.
Book 4: Blood Promise
With the recent Strigoi attack and Dimitri gone, Rose’s life can go two ways: either stay with Lissa (as she had sworn she’d do so many years ago) and forget about Dimitri, or leave Lissa and hunt Dimitri down. They once made each other promise that “if they’d ever turn into a Strigoi they’d kill the other because I’d rather die than become one of those”. The day Rose turns 18, she leaves St. Vladimir’s Academy (and Lissa), and goes on a trip to kill the love of her life. Her instinct brings her to Russia, Dimitri’s home country. There, she meets Sydney Sage, an alchemist, Dimitri’s family, and two other people with Spiritus-Lissa’s ability of magic. She also finds Dimitri, and it’s even scarier than she ever had imagined. It takes her a good while to remember her promise, and before she stakes him, she spends a few weeks remembering the old Dimitri while living with Stigoi-Dimitri.
Okay, I will admit: just like everyone else, I think this wasn’t the best book in the series. On the other hand, Rose traveling through Russia on her own, making some pretty adult decisions and meeting all those new people was pretty exciting. Besides, as it turns out, her meeting all those new people is really important for the last book. Sydney Sage has her own series, Bloodlines (a spin-off) and I’m definitely going to read it. Rose meeting Dimitri’s family was seriously emotional and well-written. When Rose saw Dimitri for the first time as a Strigoi (and for the first time since the attack at the Academy), I gasped in real life. I must say she could’ve handled her time spending with Dimitri better, but it has done a lot for the story instead of just killing Dimitri off.
Book 5: Spirit Bound
As it turns out, Dimitri is still alive -if you can call it that. And he’s coming for her. In the meantime, Lissa and Rose have passed their final exams and are now living at queen Tatiana’s palace. Rose has finally given up on Dimitri and is now in a relationship with Adrian. But then a rumor makes Rose convince Lissa and Eddie (one of the other students that ran away woth Mason during the ski trip) to come with her and free Victor Dashkov from prison, so he can bring them to their brother Robert Duru. Robert seems to know how to cure a strigoi. After a lot of trouble, they get the information they want in a hotel in Las Vegas, but then suddenly Dimitri turns up and while they fight him off, Victor and Robert manage to escape. Back at the palace, Rose gets punished heavily, meaning doing archiving work and not being able to see Lissa. Meanwhile, now that she knows how, Lissa is determinded to cure Dimitri -by stabbing him in the heart with a stake infused with spirit. Except, she never had to fight anyone, let alone stabbing a strigoi in the heart. When she finally manages how to, and she cures Dimitri, everything seems to go well again. And then back-to-dhampir-Dimitri doesn’t want to see Rose, and she’s arrested for a crime she didn’t even know was possible… The murder on queen Tatiana.
Just when I thought things were going alright THE ENDING AGAIN. I didn’t even think it was possible to cure Dimitri, and then it happened and I didn’t know how to feel because I RELLY wanted Rose to be with him but also Adrian has become so amazing, and I couldn’t make a choice. And then it was made for me by having Dimitri say those things and my heart got broken. This book was a wild ride, I must say and left me once again both wanting and not wanting to read the last book!
Book 6: Last Sacrifice
With Dimitri cured and Rose in prison, everything is happening at once. When Rose escapes prison with the help of Dimitri and Eddie (and Christian and Lissa, who invented the escape plan) during the funeral of Queen Tatiana, they drive up to meet Sydney, who will help her and her friends to get far, far away from the palace. While Rose is away, Lissa is determinded to prove Rose hasn’t murdered the queen, but is also nominated to become the new queen. Except, to become queen, one must have family to vote on her. And that´s one thing Lissa doesn’t have… Or does she? As it turns out, Lissa has a long-lost secret sister, and Rose, Dimitri, Sydney get on searching for her while still hiding from everyone who’s searching for Rose. Dimitri is back to being the tutor she remembers, and it brings all her feelings (that were never really gone anyways) back. However, she still is in a relationship with Adrian, and she doesn’t want to hurt him either. .
Just when you thought you had read everything…. This book came out. So many new plot twists and evrything I had never thought of. While Rose and Lissa were apart in this book too, it’s a lot better than Blood Promise. The storylines go around each other perfectly well and so much is happening al of the time. I’m sort of sad the series has ended with this book, but on the other hand, it’s a pretty perfect ending too. However, I’d love to read more about Lissa and Jill.
Overall: I simply cannot put this simpler: I LOVE this series. The writing is really well, and even with the love triangles (yes, multiple), it’s still full of action and everything you could expect. This is one of the series I wish I could forget and just read for the first time again. The characterization is done really well, and you can really notice Rose become more and more adult-y throughout the books. I love her character, and her relationship (even in the non-love form) with Dimitri.
As for the covers, they could’ve done better but they also cou;d’ve done a lot worse.. The new covers don’t have any images on it and are pretty simple, but I don’t really like those either to be honest. However, they are slightly better than the old covers, because the cover images aren’t how I imagined Rose at all.
On one hand, I’m kinda sad there aren’t made any more movies, but now that I have read the entire series, I don’t think the movies would do the books anything good. The first was pretty okay, but I just have really high standards now haha.
There is an unofficial Vampire Academy series ongoing, the Facebook page is here!
Have you read this series? Please tell me what you thought!
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