Ahhhh one of my all-time favorite series, cliche as it might be 😉 I read this series a few years ago, and then another time like a year ago, and I didn’t remember anything that happened in the last two or three books. Then, I started Bloodlines, the spin-off series, and found out that they didn’t get translated after book three (I read them all in Dutch, from the library here), tried to read them as an ebook on my phone, discovered that reading on my phone is horrible, and didn’t read anything of the series till last.. November, I think? Anyhow, long story short, I decided to reread them again, and since I bought both of the series, I should be able to finally read the whole Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series without stopping 😛 Which was a good thing too, because I got this huge book slump and didn’t read anything for months, but I found my love for reading again in both Vampire Academy and, of course, Discworld, which I did keep reading but at such a sloooowwww pace.
Enough with the rambling though, let’s get on with the review!
Title: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Summary: Just like any other story, there are vampires and there are humans. Except here. There are three different kinds of vampires. There are the Moroi, they have the gift of harvesting the Earth’s power. Then, there are the Strigoi, the “evil” vampires. Where the Moroi take a tiny dose of human blood to feed, the Strigoi kill their “prey”. They can also turn Moroi into Strigoi. To protect the Moroi, there are Dhampirs. They’re half human, half vampire. The power from the vampire side helps them to protect the Moroi, and the human side makes them stronger, because they can easily walk in daylight and don’t need blood to survive. Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess, and she and her best friend (who she is also mentally bonded with) Rose Hathaway, a Dhampir, have run away from school, but after 2 years, they’re found and brought back. In order to catch up soon enough, Rose is being mentored with extra practice by Dimitri, a Dhampir. Between Lissa, lessons, extra practice, rose is busy enough. But the Strigoi are always close…
In this book, we meet Rose, who’s.. well, let’s just say she always has an answer ready before you even finish your sentence. I personally am a huge fan of Rose, although I do agree with the people saying she is too childish. She may be, a bit, but that’s part of her personality too. I love her sassyness and snarkiness so much, so her inner (and sometimes outer too) monologue is always a joy to read.
Rose and Lissa have run away from the academy two years ago, and this book starts with them being found and brought back. I remember reading it for the first time and thinking “huh, ironic, this is the first book that doesn’t start with two teenagers running away but being brought back.” They’re caught by Dimitri, who later helps Rose when she is being scoffed at for being so ridiculous and careless. Lissa is afterall the last Dragomir, and she should be protected at all times. Rose will get back to her classes at the academy, and although she did live out in the “real world”, she needs extra field practice, which Dimitri will give her.
Dimitri Belikov is mentioned as being “godly” quite a few times, leaving me with a nice imagination of him. He is strong, smart, and above all, the one who has to take care of Rose being able to keep up with her classmates. Soon enough, they have feelings for each other, but since he is her mentor, it cannot happen. They stay strong and deny any attraction between them, no matter how difficult it may be.
Lissa Dragomir is Rose’s best friend, and they’re bonded as well. Rose can feel Lissa’s feelings, hear her thoughts, and even “visit” her, which turns out to be very useful at times. Too bad, the bond is only one way, and Lissa can do none of those things. I thought Lissa was more childish than Rose in the first book, because were Rose has her training for guardian-being, Lissa is pretty helpless. She, of course, needs to be protected against Strigoi, but besides that, she can make some pretty stupid choices too.
Christian Ozera is another character we’ll see quite much of later. He is found spending time in the church’s attic, where Lissa used to be too, before they ran away. They become friends, even though Christian is hated a lot because of his parent’s choice to turn into Strigoi. His sassyness matches Rose’s, which makes them quite funny.
I can’t say a lot about the other characters, because I’ll spoil too much, but I’ll tell you that there are quite some plot twists I didn’t see coming. In the first book, there is also a bit of slut-shaming, seemingly as Rose looks good and knows how to get stuff done when guys are around. She is still a virgin though, so I just wrote it off as regular high school drama.
I’ve also seen quite some comments about the lengthy descriptions that Richelle Mead has in her book, and the disappointing amount of actual badass fighting, which I will assure you, that will come. As for the descriptions.. I personally don’t mind that. I read quite fast so I tend to miss one or two words sometimes, and this makes it really easy to still know what’s going on 😉 And, as I also said in my review of The Night Circus, if I like the book, I really like long descriptions.
As for the disapproval on Rose and Dimitri.. well, Rose is almost 18 in this book, if I remember it correctly and Dimitri is 24. Which is not that much of a difference, if you ask me. But hey, I’m 20 and my boyfriend is 34 so I guess I’m not one to judge here 😉 For real though, I don’t mind age difference (duh) and I saw how they were more on the same level than student-teacher most of the times. They are, however, right on one thing. If they both will be guarding Lissa, they can’t be in a relationship, since they will have to be willing to sacrifice themselves for her, not for each other.
Overall, this book is a great start of the series, it introduces the most important characters and the setting of the story.
Despite the idea of this being the “new Twilight”, I personally don’t see any resemblance with Twilight, besides from Vampires being in the story. There’s also a lot more action, and while that may not be all in the first book, the next ones will get more than enough, trust me on this 😉
Did you read Vampire Academy? What did you think?
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