Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

"Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous 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 the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking Academy hearts.

Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's - inside the Academy's iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals, and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever..."

Confession time: I am a Twilight fan. But not like anything you imagine when you read that. I've read the series once and have no plans to again. I enjoy the movies. I have a t-shirt. I attended a con. That's about as far as it goes nowadays. I'm a little over it all. Vampire books are the thing at the moment, and I do like them. But I freely admit that it's taken me forever to get to Vampire Academy for that reason. Which I realise is somewhat hypocritical of me, considering I don't like "it reminds me of Twilight" comparisons, as if Twilight was the first of it's kind and any sort of paranormal slightly forbidden desperately in love romances now stem from it alone (For me, only the sparkle seems truly new! ;-) But anyway, I digress. So, I've put off reading Vampire Academy but some teen girls from my library have kept telling me that I'd like it, so finally I gave it a go. And I am glad I did.

I enjoyed this book. It's not a favourite, but I found it an easy read, and I like Mead's characters. Rose is kick ass and loyal, walking a dangerous path with such dedication, but still very much a seventeen year old, that I can't help but like her. Sometimes she was a little too seventeen year old for me - I found it frustrating here and there, but then I think I'm just getting on in age, as it were! Lissa wasn't everything I was expecting, but I truly like her - and Christian! I hope I see more of him in the rest of the books! I like Lissa's vulnerabilities, they contrast well with Rose, especially in terms of their roles in their world. I adore their friendship and bond. It is an element I very much look forward to reading more of. And Dimitri. Yes, Dimitri. Those "God" descriptions are very fitting, and I'm so cut that I can't be a Dhampir training with him as my mentor. Oh, life. Rose and Dimitri sizzle and it is so much fun to read! I may like a couple, but I don't always really feel it - I am so feeling Rose and Dimitri. Sadly, I vaguely remember one of the same girls from work telling me a little too much, so I think I'm spoiled, which I just know is going to annoy me.

I am a little disappointed with the overall plot of the book. Unfortunately, I predicted early on who the 'bad guy' was. I also feel let down in regards to the back cover description, as above. I find it misleading. I wonder if it's saying more about the series as a whole, rather than just this installment? I don't want to spoil the story, so I can't go into much detail to explain it. But if you've read the book, maybe you understand? I think it certainly gives you the expectation of a much darker world than Vampire Academy provides.

I am fascinated by the Strigoi, and I have a feeling there is so much more to the story there. This book didn't really get into them as much as I would've liked. Me thinks all is not what it seems. I'm desperate for more, so I have just begun reading Frostbite, the second book in the series. I'm eager to delve into it but every time I pick it up I've been interrupted, so I'm obviously going to have to lock myself away with it!


As for the cover, I'm not really feeling it. I see Angelina Jolie! I know there are new covers now though, but I haven't had a good look.


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