Author: Richelle Mead
Published: August 16, 2007
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Rating: 2 stars
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“Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies.”My Thoughts
― Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy
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. (Goodreads)
It finally happened. After looking at that cover, my instinct was to run. But I finally read Vampire Academy because everyone raved about it. After so many positive reviews, I figured I'd give it a try. Worst mistake ever. If only I had a TARDIS so I could go back in time and never buy this book.
I hate to be harsh, but I have to be honest with everyone. At first, I was intrigued and loving that the vampire myth had been enriched with different bloodlines and a Moroi royal family. In Vampire Academy, there are different vampiric races: the Moroi, the Strigoi, and the dhampirs. The Moroi are mortal from what I can understand. They will actually die someday, and they are susceptible to different diseases than humankind suffers from. They need blood to survive, and they drink from willing feeders. The ruling family is Moroi. They possess certain elemental powers they receive from the earth, and each Moroi specializes in one element later in life. If they kill someone or are changed by a Strigoi, they become one of the Strigoi and lose their powers. So they still have morals. The Strigoi are the merciless, immortal enemies of the Moroi. They are the villain of this series. They have no scruples with killing, and they crave Moroi blood above all because it makes them more powerful. They are incredibly strong and fast. Basically, the usual vampires except they have red eyes. The dhampirs are half vampire and half human. They are faster and stronger than the Moroi but weaker than the Strigoi. They do not need blood to survive, and they are trained as guardians for the Moroi to protect them from the Strigoi. At the Academy, the Moroi are taught magic while the dhampirs are trained to be guardians. Protective wards around the Academy keep out the hungry Strigoi.
Yeah, I know it's a lot of information to digest. I didn't like how the background information was given in Vampire Academy. Out of nowhere, there would just be a flood of information. It felt like a lecture to me, and it wasn't smooth at all. Instead of learning about vampire history through dialogue, we learned everything inside Rose's head. Which got old fast.
At her best, Rose was annoying. I tried to feel some sympathy for her, but I couldn't bring myself to care for her at all. Her reckless and promiscuous behavior was explained, but I still couldn't stand her way of thinking. I'm all for living it up. You only have one life. But Rose went from one guy to the next. She just wanted to party or make out with a random guy. She started to lead on a guy who was crazy about her just so he would do her a favor. Not to mention that she claims to care deeply for Lissa, but she doesn't even consider how it will hurt Lissa when she butts into her romantic life. When Lissa and Rose are caught in the beginning and taken back to the Academy, Rose is concerned about Lissa's life, but not enough to stop Rose from checking out one of the guardians who is capturing them. Who would be lusting after a guy when your best friend is in danger? Especially when he planned your capture.
As for the romance between Rose and Dimitri, it was almost nonexistent. I don't mind if the romance is put on the back burner in favor of the plot, but these two lovebirds went from trainer and trainee to absolutely smitten without any progression. There were a couple of scenes where they exchanged a deep stare or her head fell on his shoulder, and then they were in love. I need deeper conversation, extended scenes of them training, or anything before they're head over heels. Come on, throw a girl a bone. I just didn't buy their romance at all.
As for the other characters in Vampire Academy, I felt nothing for them. Why? They just fell flat for some reason. Christian was probably the most fascinating one because he had a screw loose. Lissa was just bland. Even the villain wasn't convincing enough. The plot was predictable, and it was loosely held together by Rose's lack of self-control, Lissa's breakdowns, and a bunch of vampire gossip. The only difference between regular high school students and the students at the Academy were that some of the latter had fangs.
I have no problem with anyone loving this series. I guess it's just not my type of series. So I will not be reading the others.