Saturday, July 11, 2009

BR: Vampire Academy


by Richelle Mead

Wow, two book reviews in a day! I'm spoiling my non-existent readers, aren't I? And I would like to apologize in advance for the horrific summary, since (for those who read it, you know) it is so different. This is the first novel of the Vampire Academy series, and there are three books out right now, with more on the way.

Okay, first there's the Moroi (Lissa), who are royal, like a prince, and are vampires and drink blood. They can do magic, control elements, etc. Second, there's the Dhampir (Rose, main character). They are half-human, half-vamp, and usually become a Guardian. Guardians guard the Moroi from Strigoi, and are usually really skilled at their job...protecting. These are the good guys. The bad guys are the Strigoi, who are evil vampires that go around killing Moroi.

Well, Rose and Lissa return to St. Vladimir's Academy (where other vampire children live) after being caught (they ran away for two years), and have to deal with all the "high school/boarding school" politics. They deal with hostile students, love-struck ex-boyfriends, new crushes, and the social ladder in which they are unsure if they want to climb or not. Meanwhile, Rose is crushing on her mentor who helps her train (Rose is training to become Lissa's Guardian), and dealing with rumors and nasty gossip about her. Oh, and I should also mention, Lissa and Rose have a bond, which allows Rose to feel emotions Lissa is feeling, and occasionally get into her head. However, it seems something or someone is out to get Lissa, and Rose will do anything she can do to prevent it.

I hope that summary was okay, and I'll try and dig up some other summaries from other blogs, since mine kind of sucks.

Well, I would like to say how pleasantly surprised I was with how much I enjoyed this book. I was going more for a light read, something fluffy and stupid before reading the last of my recently-purchased books. I'm so glad I did though, since I enjoyed this immensely.

What did I like about it? Well, most of all, I liked Rose, the narrator and protagonist. She is hell-bent on protecting her best friend Lissa, a Moroi, and does her best to keep Lissa out of trouble. She also has to deal with confusing feelings regarding her mentor who is seven years her senior. She's a smart-ass, with sarcastic and witty comments at her disposal, but also backs that up by being tough, building a reputation. She's good-looking, and attracts the attention of a lot of boys. There's a part of me that kind of dislikes her, because of her obvious Mary-Sue qualities, like seriously-- no flaws. I really wished Mead could have included something that was negative about her, rather than just "oh no, boys like me!" or "students hate me and/or are jealous of me and my sexiness!". Thank god she doesn't have the perfect boy, or I might start confusing her with Bella, that is, minus the whiney stuff. Bella isn't as kick-ass as Rose. Yay.

Also, I really really liked the world that Mead created. The different "creatures" (there not really creatures, just like special humans/vampirish things), like Moroi, Strigoi, and Dhampir, are all unique, but I may have gotten a bit confused at the beginning. The back (where they have the blurbs) is just as confusing, trust me. Anyways, once I got around to understanding all this, I thought it was really different and well crafted. It isn't like these royal Moroi are sent into high school, instead, they are surrounded by other Morois/dhampirs, all struggling with the usually social politics. I also liked the bond between Rose and Lissa, and how Rose will give anything to protect her. Very cool. The writing is really engaging, read this all in one sitting. Very hard to put down, which is always a plus.

I would like to mention, that I picked up (just barely, like a sliver) of the foreshadowing, so I kind of knew what would happen maybe 5 pages before the final event.

9.1/10- because like I said, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. The plot was great, and wasn't too predictable, and I liked the characters involved, despite how "great (as in perfect)" they are. The vampires created by Mead is great as well. I'm really excited to read the sequel, and I hope it doesn't dissapoint. Many reviews say its great though, so I have high hopes. Recommend this to people who like vamp books, I guess. Twilight-lovers will probably enjoy it.

Okay, this part is unrelated to the review...
I feel stupid and don't like myself right now because right after I read this, I checked up on Mead's website, wondering about the sequels (Frostbite, Shadow Kiss) and accidentally read the summary of the fourth book coming out late summer. Grr, if you don't wanna get spoilers, don't read it! I did, and am very upset that I did. Wish I didn't. Gosh, I just spoil things for myself... I wish I could obliviate myself. Note the Harry Potter reference... hee hee. Anyways, rant over. Please comment!

--AyC

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