Title: Vampire Academy (#1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy
Release Date: December 31, 2013
(1st published August 16, 2007)
Website: Richelle Mead’s Website
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires–the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be prepare for a life fraught with danger. Rose and Lissa must navigate their treacherous world and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever. But soon Rose finds herself gripped by temptation of forbidden love, leaving Lissa exposed to Strigoi attack…. Now she must choose between the best friend she lives for, and the man she can’t live without.
I loved this book. It was a great start to what will be my new series addiction. This is a mesh up of Mean Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer – two things I loved! There are more villains in here than you’ll know what to do with, but it’s worth it in the end.
The two main characters, Rose and Lissa, are best friends. Rose is tough and Lissa is sweet and sensitive. Rose is a vampire guardian (half vampire) and Lissa is a vampire princess. They are both willing to do anything for one another.
Like Mean Girls, this book does involve some cliques and the high school hierarchy (although in this book it focuses more on the vampire blood status – princes/princesses – than cheerleaders and football players). I found this the more boring part of the book; however, it does introduce one of the villains. There are some interesting plot points that does not directly involve the status of the students. There is some investigation into their societal history – saints, powers, and government – and Rose spends a lot of time training to defend Lissa. I found these to be more interesting and I’m hoping they are explored more in the book. Speaking of power, these vampires have magical powers that relate directly to the elements – wind, earth, fire, water. Every vampire specializes in one. I’ve only come across this element in a vampire once before and I thought this one was interestingly done – although not used to its full extent (I’m hoping that comes up more in the rest of the series). There are twist and turns in this book and with the multiple villains and “threats” placed against Lissa I couldn’t wait to get to the end – I had a very hard time putting this book down! Overall, I was entertained and I didn’t see the ending coming – as I have in other books recently.
This book would be best for those who liked Mean Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer – as they share similar themes (violence and bullying).
Rating: 5 stars
Content: strong language (including the F word, and other vulgar sex-related insults), some alcohol use by minors, some violence (combat and killing – not described in detail – and some dead animals with some description or blood), and there is no sex although it is talked about and there is one instance of an almost (there are also make-out sessions with clothes being removed).
Source: Personal Copy