Written by Richelle Mead
Published August, 2007 by Razorbill
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires
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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.
I first read Vampire Academy back in 2007 and absolutely adored it. I decided to pick up the book once again this year, in order to read the entire series, and still found it an enjoyable read. Though the plot isn’t as gripping as I first remembered, the characters are still definitely the main driving force behind this series, at least for me anyway!
In 2007 I guess the YA market wasn’t like it is today. There were some great titles out, but the shelves weren’t as clogged with hard-to-find gems as they are now. I remember purchasing Vampire Academy on Amazon right after finishing the first two Twilight books, craving more vampires (as I’m sure most were at the time) Back then I was impressed with the story, the humour and the plot of the first book in this series!
Now, however, my taste in YA has ‘matured’ and I’ve found other things and genres I like more than the typical ‘vampire boarding school’ novel. That being said, Vampire Academy certainly does have it’s place among YA titles as one of the best vampire series. The characters are quite brilliant, the humour witty and the lore pertaining to vampires one of the most original I’ve seen so far.
Though I’m not really attached to the supporting characters of the series, I really like both Dimitri and Christian, as well as both our leading ladies. The relationship between Dimitri/Rose and Christian/Lissa, and how they progress, are my favourite parts of the book. The standout scene for me, however, was when Rose stumbled upon Dimitri listening to Prince’s “When Doves Cry” before their training session. I think it’s safe to say I won’t ever listen to the song the same way again.
I also must add, I have one of the very first (if not the first) 2007 edition of Vampire Academy and it’s the US edition. The typos all throughout this book and the lack of a TITLE in one of the chapters (the VA chapter monogram is there, but the text starts over the top of it!) are horrendous. The spelling mistakes and wrong placements of grammar symbols distracted me from the story at a few points (I would have spotted at LEAST 5 mistakes while reading) Anyone else find this a problem with the early edition?
Vampire Academy is a good enough start to a vampire series, but those tiring of the genre or on the lookout for mind-boggling plot twists might want to give it a skip. I think I will be continuing the series, but a little later, and with hopes the next installments ‘wow’ me a little more. New readers to the YA genre will most definitely enjoy it, as I did when I was first starting out!
Recommended to: Fans of the vampire genre will be pleased.