Monday, March 09, 2009

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Published: 2007
Pages: 332
My Rating: 3.5 stars 

Synopsis: 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.

My Thoughts:
Vasilisa (Lissa) Dragomir is a Moroi princess, a member of the vampire royalty and her best friend Rose is Dhampir, Lissa's guardian and narrator of this story. 

Rose is fiesty, fiercely loyal, a bit of a flirt & 'shadow kissed.' This proves to be an interesting narrative tool, the rare gift allows Rose to experience Lissa's emotions and also allows the reader to follow Lissa's story. 

 Richelle Mead likes to write about things based in folklore & Moroi and Strigoi are vampires from Romanian mythology. The vamps in Vampire Academy are of three types; Moroi, mortal, well-versed in elemental magic, Dhampirs are half human/half vampire trained to protect Moroi from Strigoi, and Strigoi are the immortal, 'evil undead'. 

This novel blends paranormal fantasy with the contemporary setting of St. Vladimir’s Academy, a boarding school that teaches Moroi to develop their magic and trains Dhampirs in guardian skills. Lissa & Rose ran away from school two years ago for reasons which are revealed later in the book & upon capture by school guardians the two resume life at St. Vladimir's Academy. For me, learning about magic appeared to be a poor second to the trials and tribulations of teen-relevant issues; gossip, bitchy cliques, rumours, parties, drinking and teenage angst. Having teenagers myself, it seemed an accurate portrayal of many older teenagers. There are references to sex (non-explicit) underage drinking, cutting, drugs and the bad language seems fairly typical. 

 This is a YA novel & I can see why many would enjoy the edgy elements to this story but I guess I was hoping for more. I enjoyed Mead's take on vampire society and there was certainly enough action to keep the pages turning but the book was riddled with spelling errors which I found irritating. I really wanted to love this one but ultimately I was a little disappointed. With room for improvement I'm hopeful that Frostbite will sway me to the dark side & continuing on with this series.


  1. I have got to get this book! I've read mixed reviews, but I still want to read it.

  2. This sounds like a must read! The only dhampir books I've read have the dhamphir being mortal enemies of the vampire.

  3. Nice review. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did, so I was surprised! I must have been tired yesterday because I didn't really catch much in the way of spelling errors, and normally I'm all over those... Unless they were fixed in subsequent printings, or something...

  4. Melissa, I can be rather 'anal' when it comes to spelling errors/typos, they effect my enjoyment of the story. I guess I just think 'get a better proof reader' LOL


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