Saturday, 29 May 2010

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

My Rating: E, B, H, X

Published: 2007
Publisher: Razorbill

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Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess; a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires - the ones who never die.

The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking Academy hearts.

Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's - inside the Academy's iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals, and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever...

Vampire Academy is the first novel in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. The first book introduces us into the world of the vampires in Montana. Rose, a Dhampir (a mortal half vampire, half human), is the best friend and unofficial guardian of the, Moroi (mortal upper class vampire), Princess Lissa Dragomir. They are connected by a bond that was forged after a horrible accident that happened a few years prior to the present time set in the book.

The story starts with Rose and Lissa on the run from the academy and trying to keep out of Strigoi’s way. The Strigoi are vampires are evil and have killed which makes them immortal but it takes away their ability to go out in the sun and it takes away their magic. The pair ran away because there was danger near at the academy and Rose decided it was best to get Lissa away from there as she fears for their lives. They manage to remain hidden for two years. But eventually they were caught.

Once they return to the academy, a string of unusual sacrifices start happening and they are directed at our leading ladies. They don’t know who is behind it but they do know that they can’t let their secret get out or else their lives will never be the same.

Rose carries on her Dhampir education but also takes on extra training sessions with Lissa’s other guardian, Dimitiri, in order to make her the best guardian she can be. She wants to be able to protect Lissa the best she can and to do this she must know how to take down and defeat the Strigroi even if it’s someone she knows. She can’t allow herself to hesitate or to be distracted, which proves difficult when she becomes attracted to someone she really shouldn’t.

I loved all the action in this book. There were a few action scenes but there also lots of nice warm moments between Lissa and Rose. You can see that their friendship goes beyond their bond and that they care deeply for one another. Rose always has Lissa’s back and won’t let anything hurt her. Lissa is the exact same, she doesn’t like it when people try to hurt Rose.

Rose is an excellent, kick ass, tough character. She doesn’t take anything lying down, she gets back up and fights it head on. I envy her quick wittedness and her loyalty to Lissa. Nothing can break her loyalty to Lissa, even when she pushes Rose away. Lissa comes across as a delicate flower, beautiful and gentle but easily crushed if in the wrong hands. But what people don’t realise is that she is the hidden bee within that flower, ready to sting if Rose or she is threatened.

Overall, I loved this book and can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next book in the series, Frostbite. I think this book has an excellent plot and it’s well balance between the plot, romance and friendship. There are lots of funny parts in this book, which is because of Rose although Christian’s dark humour is rather amusing. There are scenes of a sexual nature but nothing too erotic or explicit and there are a few gruesome scenes. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys vampire fiction. This book is a mix between PC & Kristin Cast’s House of Night Series and MaryJanice Davidson’s Queen Betsy series and I love both of these series.

Disclaimer: I have not purchased this book, I borrowed it from the library. I have not been paid to review this book and everything I have said is of my own honest opinion.

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