Review: Vampire Academy (Book 1)

Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher:  Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Summary: 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. 

Vampire Academy is a mixture of vicious gossip, the supernatural, and adolescent sexuality thus creating something compulsively readable and fun. The comparision to Twilight is unavoidable, and I have to say that not only is it very unlike Twilight, it is far better. Much better characters, better storyline and a more developed world.

The writing style is free of awkward construction and mistakes. It was easy to read and was definately strong.

I can't begin to tell you how much I love reading about a female lead who is willing - and more than able - to fight for herself and those she loves. Rose, is especially strong; she is tough, quick-tempered, but very clever with a great sense of humor. She is also aggressive and a little reckless. Sometimes I wanted more scenes that highlighted her softer, more emotional sid. Overall, I liked Rose's relationship with Lissa.The link between them is interesting, mainly because the associated mythology opens up the playing field to magical calamities, political movements, and fierce warfareAs for Dimitri... I am conflicted about him. Yes, he was H-O-T, but he was also flat as a love interest. He had some moments of development but not enough to make him a good leading man.

Though it was entertaining enough to hold my attention and the pages flipped quickly, I found this book diminished by the same genre conventions that make me shun teen flicks: self-conscious cliques and power dynamics. The Mean Girls tactics, and self-destructive behaviors was very off putting because it assumes that there are no mature teenagers in existence, of any species. Also, too much of the plot depended on a thread about girls getting back at each other through rumors

There are some interesting moments: vampire politics, emotional problems, and a bite-size dollop of action. The pacing is agonizingly slow, especially at the beginning. The Vampire mythology was quite interesting however I couldn't help seeing the flaw in the dynamics between the vampires. If I were a stronger, tougher breed of vampire and the weak vampires came and said, "Okay, we'll keep you as our Guardians and have drunken, disrespectful sex with you on occasion as long as you protect us from the Strogoi." I'd probably respond with, "How about I protect you by keeping you in my dank, dark cellar as my slave and use you to further our race?" Or am I just evil? Lol. Overall, on the world building front, VAMPIRE ACADEMY comes through.

 Vampire Academy holds its own by having an assured, kick-butt type of heroine and a story grounded in folklore


YA reader said...

I've just got a copy of this and think I'm going to read it soon. Thanks for the review!

Melissa said...

I wish I wasn't so over vampires because this sounds quite good :) great review!

Brad Jaeger said...

I keep seeing this everywhere I go...should I finally break down and read it? What do you think?

Anywhoo, I'm a new follower. Hiya!

Brad Jaeger