Monday, February 3, 2014

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

"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." (from Goodreads)

Flo's Review
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It had a lot of rave reviews attached to it, and of course it's going to be a movie, so I figured it had to be good. I've been meaning to pick it up before the movie comes out, but it just kept getting knocked down the TBR list. Finally, with the movie coming out in a few weeks, I made myself -- and the other Book Nerds! -- read it now.

Probably because I was expecting such greatness from it, the book actually seemed to start pretty slowly. But as I was reading it and lamenting its slow pace, I was understanding that it is the first book in a series -- so the world had to be built and canon had to be explained. And yes at times I felt it was just a lot of Rose explaining Moroi and Dhampir life, but I gritted my teeth and read on. 

I'm glad I did! A little more than halfway though, the book started really picking up for me. I really started to get invested in the characters and romance. It's great because it is so high school with all the drama and social status. It could be 90210. (Oh boy, I think I just dated myself with that comment.) But then there comes the feeders of the fact that nighttime on campus is really daytime for them and you remember that we're talking about vampires. 

I didn't really like Rose at first -- I thought she was too brash and too headstrong. But the explanation that is given at the end of the book for why she is the way she is is just so perfect. And I couldn't help admiring her for always putting Lissa first. I am honestly not sure how I feel about the chronology -- or lack thereof -- in the story. It didn't bother as much as it did with some other books, but that is still not my favorite way to tell a story. I finished this book in the lovely accidental way -- meaning, I didn't plan to finish it tonight, but I really couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the movie and somehow I want to find a way to read the rest of the series! 

Final thoughts: Sexy. Russian. Vampire.

Jacque's Review: 

I've had this series on my TBR list for a VERY long time.  I can only think of one reason why I am just now getting to it.  The original covers were AWFUL.  I don't think these books ever would have jumped out at me with those cover.  I know...don't judge a book by its cover, but in this case I did.

It took the upcoming movie release AND Flo selecting this as our read along to finally get my attention.

This book was AWESOME.  I feel like I did when I stumbled upon the Twilight and Hunger Games series after all of the books had been released.  On the plus side...I will be able to read another amazing series without having to wait between books, but how could I have lived with my head in the sand all this time?

Lissa is a Moroi royal and her best friend and guardian, Rose, is a dhampir.  Moroi are born as vampires and dhampirs are half vampire/half human.  Moroi drink blood and prefer to stay out of the sunlight, but dhampirs are just like humans only stronger, faster, etc. 

Lissa and Rose fled the Academy a couple of years ago and have been living on their own in Portland.  They have been attending school and maintaining a fairly normal existence until some guardians finally catch up with them and take them back to the Academy. 

Rose's punishment for taking Lissa from the Academy includes a TON of additional training sessions with Dimitri.  She quickly learns that she has a lot to catch up on if she wants to graduate with the rest of her class.  There are far worse things than spending time with a hot Russian guy only 7 years older than you. There is definitely an attraction between the two from the start and it only intensifies throughout the book.

The story is told from Rose's POV, but Richelle has a unique way of sharing Lissa's story as well.  They have a bond that allows Rose to feel and see what Lissa is experiencing whenever Lissa has very strong emotions. It eventually becomes something Rose can control regardless of Lissa's emotion.

Lissa has the ability to manipulate people with "compulsions" in addition to some other powers.  There is a lot of high school drama and politics that plays out in this story.  Mia is a wannabe royal that is out to get Lissa and Rose.  This comes back to bite her big time, but not without Lissa and Rose receiving their own share of drama.

My favorite character has to be Christian.  He is a royal, but he comes from a disgraced family.  He is very attractive, but has a dark personality and stays to himself.  He is always observing things and seems to know about everything that is going on.  Lissa and Christian start to form a relationship, but it is very slow to develop due to some....interference...shall I say.  I definitely hope there will be A LOT more of Christian in the next book.

Mary's Review:

Okay, like my fellow Book Nerds, this has been on my TBR list ... well ... forever! I have recently fell away from paranormal books, because its all the same over and over and...well you get the point. 

Anyway, I like this book. Rose, by far, my favorite character! Lissa is so sweet and I can see the true bond between her and Rose. Their powers are somewhat unique, but perfect for the storyline. 
The other characters; Mia, Christian, Dimitri , all of them are great! 

Yes, this is a drama filled book, lots of high school drama, but COME ON ... it's high school!! 

Overall, I will read book two!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks so much for this wonderful review. I can't wait to read this Underrated Books