(Vampire Academy, #1)
Released August 16th, 2007
by Penguin Group
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.
This was actually better than I expected. When I read vampire or other paranormal books, I feel like a lot of them lack originality and I just end up being frustrated with it. Vampire Academy was not so.
The vampire lore is different than any other. There are undead and living vampires, half vampires, guardians, etc. It's certainly unusual, but really interesting and very creative. The lore is not all explained right away, though, so at first I was a bit confused with the titles and politics. Basically, Lissa is a Vampire and Rose (narrator) is her guardian. I did like the way it was presented; you aren't told everything right away so you want to keep reading to find out what the deal is. The plot itself was not really unpredictable, but it was never boring and some of the minor twists were not expected.
The characters were easily likeable. Rose is a very strong protagonist. She's feisty and she doesn't hold back. It makes it fun to see her reactions and you're not left wishing she had taken a stand or retorted. It's also a good change from the often too whiny "damsel in distress" heroines you see in a lot of YA novels. As for Lissa, I didn't really click with her much. I found she was more of a secondary character and I didn't get her at first, nor Rose's over-protectiveness of her. She did grow on me towards the end where I realized she's not just a wuss. She does have a bit of steel in her after all. The side characters were enjoyable and I sure loved to hate Mia!
So overall, it's not an "out of this world" awesome book, but in my opinion it deserves the 4 Espressos that I rated it. I will definitely read the rest of the series and would recommend it to anyone who likes YA paranormal.
*note: review originally written in February, 2011*
|4 Hot Espressos|