Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead

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 …”

What a great start to a series! I was expecting something totally different than what Richelle Mead delivered! First off may I say that this world of vampire royals, half bread guardians, and the “evil” vampire is just fabulous! I am absolutely intrigued by the whole world she has created; very different from our average vampire romance young adult novels. I find that this series in particular has a much more mature tone to it. Although I’m sure that having older characters than 20 in the storyline does make that more acceptable. And I also love the view point of Rose Hathaway throughout the entire book; she is a saucy, sarcastic, sexy heroine and I love her page after page.

We are thrown right into the thick of things at the beginning of the novel with Rose Hathaway as our narrator. Her and Lissa her best Moroi vampire friend is on the run from the Guardians of their school St. Vladimir’s due to an incident that happened two years prior. At the beginning Lissa is portrayed as quiet, shy and a little mysterious I guess to the curious mind (such as mine). But Rose on the other hand as I have said before is very in your face, bold, fierce and very very sarcastic which just makes me like her even more. Rose like most of the other guardians back at St. Vladimir’s is half vampire, Dhampir, and is special compared to the other’s … She has a type of bond with Lissa, that they can’t explain but makes it very easy for her to protect Lissa from all sorts of danger like the undead vampire’s called Strigoi (that thrive for the Moroi blood, that is why St. Vlad’s is a school bent on educating and training Dhampirs as bodyguards).

Within the first chapter the reader gets a first hand look at how special and strong Lissa and Rose’s bond is. They are attacked by a group of guardians from St. Vladimir’s issued to bring Lissa and Rose back. Among these guardian’s is Dimitri Belikov; if his name isn’t sexy enough for you, he is a god among the younger guardians, and soon to be Rose’s new private tutor at St. Vladimir’s as her punishment for running away (not that is a bad thing for any woman in her circumstances).  At first Rose is not impressed that the guardians had found her and Lissa, and to make her situation even worse, she now has to live and obey the schools rules, or else she’ll get kicked out and will never be Lissa’s guardian when they graduate.

There are so many relationships, romances, school angsts, and of course school cliques! It wouldn’t be high school without the school cliques. But the best part about this series is that no matter what, Mead is able to include Roses, and Lissa’s friendship into everything that occurs with the two girls. Lissa falls for the bad boy, which of course Rose does not approve at all. Rose isn’t sure how she feels about any of the boys in her life but Lissa tries and persuades her to date a cute boy name Mason who practically worships the ground Rose walks on. And of course Lissa becomes more and more tangled in her own mysterious life and “powers” that Rose is driven to help her no matter what. And it wouldn’t be a private high school for vampires without a kidnapping or two. This book will definitely keep you up into the wee hours of the morning.

The character dynamics of this book grow with every twist and turn they all go through. Rose is by far my favourite character in the book because I think she has the most to learn out of all the characters. She develops her skills, her emotions, and her bond with Lissa throughout the entire book which in the long run sets up for an amazing second book and currently third book as well (I’ve only gotten that far in the series so far).

And if Roses feisty attitude and outlook on life doesn’t draw you in, or the soft, gentle nature of Lissa either … than Dimitri definitely will. I won’t spoil too much in my food for thought review, but he is Russian, tall, dark and all sort of deliciousness! Definitely easy to sink your teeth into this saucy Y.A. romance. 

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