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Book Reviews
December 11, 2008 posted by Nikki

Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

The teen vampire genre is enjoying a good run at the moment. It seems every time I walk into a bookstore, a new author has released a vampire novel of some kind. So when I picked up Vampire Academy, I did so with hesitation. And as it turns out, my hesitation wasn’t exactly unwarranted.

Vampire Academy is the first novel in an ongoing series and is narrated through the eyes of Rose Hathaway. She’s a Guardian-in-training and it is her job to protect Lissa Dragomir – who is not only a Moroi Princess, but also Rose’s best friend. But Rose is not your average student Guardian. She can see inside Lissa’s mind and can feel all of her best friend’s emotions. And Lissa is pretty special too; she has  very rare healing abilities that have only been seen a couple of times in all of vampire history. Oh yes, and they’re both heartbreakingly stunning. The boys love them, and the girls love to hate them.

Rose is a likeable enough character. She’s sassy, feisty and fiercely loyal. She’s quick to fly off the handle, so Vampire Academy is never without at least a little action. And it’s certainly not without its romance. Rose has a bit of a reputation as a player, but that’s the thing about reputations – you can never really tell if their genuine or made from gossip. Will her reputation deter Dimitri – her Guardian mentor – or will he allow himself to make up his own mind?

Rose’s mental connection with Lissa is an interesting narrative tool which allows readers to follow Lissa’s story quite closely, too. Because Rose feels all that Lissa does, readers are also invited to identify with her, as well as Rose. For me, however, Lissa proved to be nothing more than a shallow narrative agent which provides conflict and drama for Rose to deal with.

Unfortunately, Rose’s voice did not draw me in to the point where I was utterly hooked. It would be unfair to say that I was bored, because I wasn’t, but I certainly had to concentrate on the reading process. I had to force myself to become invested in the story and develop a connection with the characters.

If someone gave me the sequels, I’d read them. However, I’m in no rush to go out and buy them for myself. Vampire Academy is not a bad read, but it’s certainly nothing to brag to your friends about.

Rating: : ★★½☆☆

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34 Comments

  • Hmm… I though differently. I loved this book and it’s sequel. But hey, everyone has their own opinions and I respect that. The second book does get better though. Great review BTW. :)

  • Hey Carol,

    Thanks for commenting. I know what you mean – a lot of my friends really loved this book, and then a whole bunch didn’t. And I hear that each book gets better as they go along, which is why I’d read them if someone gave them to me :)

    You should come and join the forum – we’re a pretty mixed bunch and everyone is really open for discussion.

  • NICE Nik Love the book, and your review puts it in away where its hard not to love it and at the same time its a far waring. The second and third books are SO much better,

  • I didn’t read this one but did read the next in the series, Frostbite and really liked it. Sometimes I think second books are better than firsts. Frostbite did do a lot of recapping so I didn’t feel I needed to go back and read the first book. The repetition might be kind of annoying if I had already read the first book though.

  • hmm. i didnt really like ur review. i thought the books were awesome and it was a bit harsh on Liss. ur comment there. but everyone has there own opinion. 2 & 3 were so much better. but one had me hooked too. so im not sure what ur getting at. but like i said before. everyone has there own opinion.

  • I respect that everyone has there own opinions but i personally absoulutly loved this book

    i was so hooked i couldnt stop reading them. i found the characters amazing and hooking. I liked it because it had enough action, romance and suspense in it to keep me engrossed. I kinda agree with you on Lissa though. I found her to kinda holdback Rose. i dont think she is the best character and she leaves it up to Rose to do everything.

  • Hey Sim,

    Yeah, everyone keeps telling me that I would totally take my words back if I just kept on reading. So I’ve made it my mission this year to actually read the sequels. Every time I go into the bookstore, I fully intend to buy them, honest! Something else just jumps out first. Ok, thats it. I’m going to do it. Watch this space…..

  • i am completely n utterly in love with this series, but i must say the first one wasn’t as gripping as i wouldv’e liked. I don’t completely agree with this person about it being an okay read, but it wasn’t anything like the rest of the series. but plz DO NOT STOP READING HERE. U MUSTTT read the 3rd book… its amazing……

  • Hahaha I’ve made my new years resolution to read the rest! Sometime…

  • i thought it was a great book. the characters were always in on someting and i found it exsiting to read it. the only thing i found wrong with it is that lissa was shadowed out a lot and theywere a little too close. i loved the book and exspecialy the characters. Dimitiri, rose, christian, lissa all of them were great even mia.

  • But you haven’t even met Adrian Ivashkov yet!!!! He’s a great character addition to the books in Frostbite. Keep reading…. with an open mind… they do get better :) great review though on the first book, I wasn’t totally hooked on the series until later….. now I’m eager to find out what happens next in book 4, Blood Promises!

  • I read a lot of vampire books and vampire academy is one of my favorites, it gives detail and lets you really see what’s going on but the 1st book was a little slow and they other two do go by faster but i have suggested it to many people and all who have read the series that i know of love the book very much and are very anxious for the next one………..

  • The book is a litle comfusing in the begining, I didnt know what the heck enyone was talking about. Later, it improved, the plot got more complicated and things we didnt know where reviled. Everybody liked ti read the book – me, my friends in class and even my mom!

  • “So when I picked up Vampire Academy, I did so with hesitation. And as it turns out, my hesitation wasn’t exactly unwarranted.”
    I saw VA in the bookshop but I didn’t purchase it. I didn’t like the book cover and the synopsis at the back wasn’t very enticing but I guess that’s just the marketing side of things. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy the idea of a student/mentor relationship. I go to school myself and the idea is rather disturbing and I don’t consider myself prudish. I actually put the book on hold at my library and found it better than I had originally expected. BTW, Dimitri Belikov is sooooooo hottttt!(LOL)

    “For me, however, Lissa proved to be nothing more than a shallow narrative agent which provides conflict and drama for Rose to deal with.”
    I don’t know if I agree with you completely on this. Personally, I think that Lissa is attempting to find her own bearing on life. It’s pretty obvious that Rose has metaphorically spoon fed her for the last few years but I feel that Lissa’s reactions are due to her finally stepping out and doing things for herself rather than being dictated by her best friend.

    “Unfortunately, Rose’s voice did not draw me in to the point where I was utterly hooked…I certainly had to concentrate on the reading process. I had to force myself to become invested in the story and develop a connection with the characters.”
    I experienced the same ‘difficulty’? Their world is fairly complex and it took a while to get my head around the reasons certain characters would react in such a way. I guess after you’ve read the second book and mull over it a bit you would begin to understand the reasons between certain reactions and judgements made by certain characters.

    I hope my review of your review made sense.
    :)

  • LOL.
    I’ve just realised that I mentioned checking for grammar and spelling…

    Well, I haven’t seen anything that I could yell and scream over.Yet.

  • this book kicked ass! i was reading constantly! i absolutely loved rose’s character, in fact, she’s my favorite fictional character. she is so devoted to what she does. i’m so stoked for the fourth to come out!

  • I just finished listening to this on audio book during a long drive, and I was not that impressed with it, and I love Vampire books. the Dmitri/Rose scene was kind of hot. but Rose is a tiresome character and I wish she would slap Lissa. as for Lissa, if I hadnt had to listen to the narrators horrible rendition of Lissa then I may have liked her more. but she bounces between pathetic and scary, which does not make for a likeable character.

    I had high hopes for the beginning of the story, however from reading the summery of the book i imagined a better story, Richelle’s other books were much better, love the author

  • Also something I forgot to include is that many of the ideas, elemental powers, cursed necklace (Harry potter anyone?), and pathetic attempts at being mean girls, are just tired. but the story idea was excellent.

  • I LOVE THE SERIES…I read all of them and I cannot wait for the next one after blood promess…I am so happy that Dimitri is not dead and Rose gonna try to find out how to make him turn to a d’amphir again but I don’t like the idea of Victor being free…..hurry I can’t wait no longer.

  • When I first read this book, I really liked it. When I reread it after reading 2-4, I loved it! I guess I just understand the moroi world and the characters better… The beginning bugs me a little just because Rose seems so shallow, but it’s not a huge thing. I like Frostbite a little better, but this book is definitely one of my favorites.

  • Just read this one today and I enjoyed it. I guess because the main character was a bit feisty and ‘real’ and even though it is a fantasy setting, the school and the bitchiness etc was realistic.

  • I completely agree Lissa is a minor character she deosn’t hold her back and sense you haven’t read the other books i guess u cant form ur opinion but btw the next to last one comes out on may 18th love this series and the traction between dimitri and rose ♥

  • Vampire Academy was a great read! I’m completely entranced by the world where these three different forms of vampires and their human vampire mixed counterparts interact. It was the best vampire series I’ve read this year and that’s partly because of how well the characters are built out and how mature they are as well. Definitely a recommended novel

  • Although this book is meant for young adults, it is mature enough for adults as well. While having a mature plot it still is able to maintain a level that is appropriate for those who are 14 and older which was awesome. Great series! Can’t wait for Spirit Bound

  • i disagree with your bok review

  • r u crazy??? this book is just amazinnng i think somoyone should give a 4 S2….. but is not the best book ever the next one is mych better and the 5th is amazinggggg like to die of good.

  • No offence but I don’t like any of your reviews. You keep putting down all the books I love. I found this book so addictive I read for two days straight until the book slipped out of my hand and I fell asleep from exhaustion. This book had me gasping for breath and made me feel as if I really was Rose. This is likely as she and I are very alike. I too am bold and fierce and I loved it when Rose broke Mia’s nose. I thought: that’ll teach her. I haven’t read the rest yet but I can already tell I’m going to love it. Sorry, but I completely disagree with you.

  • Though I do agree with your opinion on Lissa. I found myself really not liking her. I was so mad when she started ignoring Rose because she spilled Lissa’s cutting secret to Dimitri. Rose dedicates her life to Lissa (who acts like a little weakling all the time) and Lissa sooo doesn’t appreciate it. That whole guardian thing is ridiculous, the moroi could protects themselves if they used their magic for attack and defence. It feels like the dhampir are slaves to the moroi.

  • I do not agree with you but you’re entitled to your opinion. I loved the first book and read it in a day. Though at some points the book sickened me, like with the dead animals (I am an extreme animal lover) and what’s up with Lissa cutting herself? I mean I know in real life it can be a serious problem but what did she have to worry about? I grew up in a rough environment and I’m fine. I loved Rose. I see myself in her like Zoey’sBFF, and yes I did enjoy that fighting scene. Plus I also feel that the dhampirs are slaves to the moroi. Whatever. I can’t wait to read Frostbite. We’ll see if I agree with your review on that.

    -Macy xoxo

  • I totally agree with you on the Lissa’s shallow thing, she only cares about herself and didnt get that when Rose told the doctor about her cutting that she was trying to help her. Just cuz shes that last moroi doesnt mean she gets everything. But I on the other hand LOVE the books!!

    -Gillyana Rose Hathaway (yeah thats my real name) xoxo

  • I dont know bout the first book cuz i read the second book only but that book waz so gud….I especially loved the scenes with Dimitri+Rose+adrian….Adrian is my favvvvvv;)I loved the parts with him in it

  • oh n can nyone tell me why this series is sooo great? i have to do it for my book review ♥
    peace ppl♥

    ☺ lou lou is out

  • Great review! I completely agree with you about Lissa’s character… in fact, saying that she was shallow is probably being too kind. I found her insanely annoying!! :)
    – Alyssa of Redhead Heroines

  • Heyy i read some of you guys reviwe but some say good some say not so good..I love books with alot of romance and love and action too…Anyone thinks they can help me out?

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