Tuesday, October 11, 2011

REVIEW: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Paranormal Month)

So I finally got around to reading Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead! Everyone I know has raved about the series so far and I've said it a few times now that I felt incredibly left out as everyone ended up being hugely excited earlier in the year when the last book in the series was published. I really wanted to feel wrapped up into that excitement.

But for me, reading the graphic novel last month was my real motivator for beginning the series. I felt like I got a great overview of the characters and the main plot, but there was still lots of questions that had been raised by reading the graphic novel and I knew that reading the novel would go a bit deeper into character development and backstory as well as give me the much needed details that I was craving. And just as I found the graphic novel to be interesting and engrossing, I found Vampire Academy to be just as exciting and addictive reading.

We have our main characters, Lissa (a full and mortal vampire) and her best friend Rose (half-vampire whose role in life appears to be protecting full vampires). Lissa and Rose were both students and St.Vladimir's Academy until two years ago when they ran away under mysterious circumstances. Now they've been caught and sent back to face the consequences of their escape. Both Lissa and Rose end up with quite tarnished reputations for different reasons and they need to work hard in order to find the right place for both of them in the vampire world filled with hard social rules.

What really strikes me about this first book in the series is how much it felt like I was being thrown into a new world with all these characters and vampire heirarchy and while the story is explained to me, it was done really subtly and over time. I love that there isn't a big info-dump right at the beginning to confuse me. I think part of the reason I was always put off with reading the Vampire Academy books is the vampire royalty aspect of it as well as the different types of vampire (Moroi, dhampir and Strigoi) but everything is fairly well-explained and thankfully there isn't a huge deal of Vampire Queen etc talk, which is something I usually roll my eyes at.

No, what I liked about Vampire Academy are the characters and their relationships to each other. I liked the strong bond between Rose and Lissa. I liked the building tension between Rose and Dimitri. It was interesting to see how other secondary characters are percieved throughout the book, most noteably Christian. There also seemed to be a great deal about class differences and prejudices as well as the harsh treatment of women, especially the double standards involving sex.

There's also quite a bit of mysteries to be solved. The real reason behind Rose and Lissa's departure from the Academy two years earlier, Lissa's unusual gifts, and also who is behind some of the more ghastly events that occur throughout the novel. I had a lot of fun being introduced to these characters and to this world. I am definitely sorry that it's taken me so long to pick up this book and I'm hugely excited to read more in the series!


  1. Mmmm, I have had this one on my shelves for EVER! Perhaps it is time to read it too.

  2. Im so glad you are reading this series! it's absolutely the best vampire ya books out there! haha... just see my last name ;)... yes! it is because of HIM!! that Diimtri Belikov. I love him soo much!

    btw, I have a great giveaway too in my blog.

    take care ^_^ thanks for the reivew


  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, I only discovered the series last year and it's one of my favourite YA series. The books just get better & better so I can't wait to see what you think of the rest!

    Oh and Viv - you must start these books! They are fantastic :o)

  4. I love the Vampire Academy series and Shadow Kiss was my favourite. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and you should definitly read the rest because they only get better :)

  5. I REALLY need to starts this! I've had it for so long! I just haven't got the TIME at the moment... :(

  6. I read this quite recently, I wanted to read it before I decided whether to buy the GN or not (I love Emma Vieceli's art). I have to admit to being a bit underwhelmed by it, I enjoyed it but I didn't love it and I don't feel any great motivation to read the other books. I'm really sad about this, I'd seen so much excited buzz about it that I thought this was going to be a series I would adore.

  7. Vivienne - Oh do! Definitely.

    Natalia - I'm really glad that I started this one as well, and it is definitely my favourite vampire series at the moment :)

    Sarah - Well I'm on the fourth book so far. I'm going to wait to read it until I've acquire Spirit Bound, but I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series :)

    The Library Owl - I'm glad to hear you say that. I do have reviews coming up this week for Frostbite and Shadow Kiss (I think? I always get confused by the names in this series) I still have 4-6 to read though.

    Cliona - Oh Cliona, definitely FIND the time, brilliant series :)

    Jenni - Did you not love it completely? I admit that I found it slightly hard to get into at first and I don't think a lot of things explained right from the beginning, but once a certain point came I was hooked until the series finishes I think :)

  8. No, I got to the last page, thought "well that's that then" and haven't given it another thought. I think I may have been a bit grumpy about reading at the time so that may have had a bit of an influence. I don't know really.

  9. Jenni - Ha, well what a shame! But then there are still thousands of other books you'd like to read. Not every book will be for everybody :)


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