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. . . .Anyone who knows me or who’s read this blog for any length of time knows that YA paranormal isn’t exactly my favorite genre. But for some reason, I’ve been having really good luck with it lately. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been consciously trying to get into the genre more lately or if it’s because I just wasn’t reading good paranormals before--probably a combination of the two. Anyway, moral of the story, I ended up liking “Vampire Academy” way more than I ever thought I would.
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.
I went into the book with the attitude of “I probably won’t like it, but everyone else seems to love the series, so I’ll give it a shot.” And at first, I wasn’t really into it. Vampires have never really been my thing, and I didn’t get Rose at all. She’s so opposite of me--she’s bold, outgoing, impulsive, and passionate--and I couldn’t really connect with her. Half the time I didn’t understand why she was doing the stuff she was doing. But at about the point where I was ready to give up on the book, it finally clicked with me.
I liked that the vampire world Mead created wasn’t the stereotypical one. In this version of vampires, there are Moroi (the good, living vampires), the Strigoi (the evil, dead vampires), and the Dhampir (the half-human, half-Moroi guardians of the Moroi). I thought it was awesome how Mead created a whole new culture, complete with social conflicts, issues, and divisions. And I liked the whole academy/training grounds for Moroi and Dhampir thing. Someone told me “Vampire Academy” was like Hogwarts with vampires, and it’s kinda true.
Although it took me a long time to start liking Rose, I did appreciate how protective and supportive she is of her friend Lissa. I will admit that at first she seemed a little freakily overprotective, but as the story progressed and I found out more about why Rose watches out for Lissa so much, it became totally understandable. I do wish Lissa wasn’t quite so fragile, but I guess her being that way provides a good foil for Rose.
Oh, and I have to mention Dimitri, Rose’s mentor/love interest. Man, there is something about the tall, strong, silent type that gets me every time. Dimitri’s just so . . . sexy. I don’t really know how else to describe him. The age difference between him and Rose (she’s 17, he’s 24) did give me a minor case of the creepy-crawlies, but since he realizes the age difference is a problem, it didn’t bug me as much as it could have.
Overall, I ended up liking this book way more than I ever expected to. It created an interesting vampire culture, and even though it took me a looooooong time to like Rose, by the end I thought she was totally awesome. I was glancing at the GoodReads’ ratings for this series, and each book is rated progressively higher. To anyone who’s read the series, is that true? I was planning on reading the second one, but I’m not much of one for series. But if they really do keep getting better throughout the series, maybe I’ll have to commit to all six.