Series: Vampire Academy #1
Published by Razorbill on August 16th 2007
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
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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.
Welcome to Vampire Academy week at Forever 17 Books! This week I’ll be reviewing each book in the series as well as holding a giveaway!
I wasn’t initially sure how I wanted to review this series – individually or as a whole. I think I am going to attempt individually, though there may be some overlapping flails and spoilers as I get further. And they might be on the short side, but we’ll see!
I honestly never intended to read these books back when I first heard about them. I’m not even sure why, really. Maybe I just didn’t want more vampires. But I started to see a lot of bloggers and authors I love flail about the series and the spinoff series, Bloodlines, so I became a little curious. A movie in the works was a bonus as well. So I traded with someone for the first two books, and then they sat on my shelf… When the movie trailer came out I fully admit I was not running to my shelf to pick them up either, like I had hoped and expected. If I had just that to go on and not the word of mouth going around, I honestly think I would have passed. My initial thoughts were that the movie seemed… cheesy? Like they were playing up the high school drama and character snarkiness quite a bit and well over the seriousness of the rest of what I hoped from the story. Since finishing the book I can see the trailer in a new light, though I am still unsure on the direction they might have taken the movie. A few tv spots and such have eased my mind a teeny bit since then but I’m nervous. Perhaps it is just how they are marketing it but I guess I’ll be undecided about all that until I see the final product.
ANYWAYS, on to the book. What a very pleasant surprise! I immediately clicked with our main character Rose. And yes, she is very sarcastic and snarky. She is also extremely kick-ass and unbelievably loyal. Part of what makes this such a success is how connected she is to her best friend because that is one of the main themes running its course throughout the series, friendship. Rose is a dhampir – half Moroi and half human. Just what is a Moroi you may ask? A vampire, but the good kind. They do not kill for blood, have magic in the form of an element, are mortal, and have a whole class system and society with royals and a queen. Rose’s life is dedicated to training and protecting the Moroi, especially her best friend Princess Lissa, the last member of her royal line. The two share a unique bond in their world. Rose can feel what Lissa feels and even step into her mind. What exactly does Lissa and the other Moroi need protecting from? Well primarily the evil vampires, Strigoi. They are immortal, unruly and highly dangerous, attempting to kill off the royal families the best they can.
Being caught while on the run, the girls return back to their school, St. Vladamir’s Academy. Of course since they missed quite a bit of school, Rose requires extra lessons on defense from a certain dhampir teacher, Dimitri. ASDFGHJKL! Since I am just reviewing the first book here I will try to refrain from the amount of flailing Dimitri requires for the series. In Vampire Academy Dimitri is quite the enigma. I mean obviously he is a little older than Rose, he is 24 I believe and she is 17. Not sure in normal settings this would fly with me, but for some reason the forbidden aspect of a romance between the two seemed exciting. He has a job to do that he takes seriously and he is committed to that. As is Rose. She wants to finish her training and become Lissa’s guard. Both don’t want to mess any of that up, but the chemistry between them was undeniable and I kept waiting and waiting for it to boil over! I think what I love about how things progressed between them is the pacing. If you expect a full blown romance to be established in this first book, think again. SLOW BURNNNNNN. That’s the best way to describe what you find between them. I honestly think that is what kept me so enamoured with this book.
There are numerous secondary characters that start off strong. Christian was probably my favorite of the bunch as he’s a seemingly bad boy who was ostracized by his people for the behavior of his family. He liked to push buttons and I enjoyed his chemistry with Lissa. Some of the others surprised me quite a bit… and that’s all I have to say about that without spoiling! lol
I admit that Vampire Academy is not my favorite book of the series, though I enjoyed it immensely. It does start out a bit on the slow side. And yes, it has quite a bit of the high school drama you might expect from a book that takes place at a boarding school. But it was so worth reading and sticking with. It’s a great start to a fantastic series! The plot is super interesting with a great and unique spin on the vampire folklore.
If you were like me and not impressed with the movie trailer, I implore you to still think about giving the books a chance. Yes, like I said above, some of teen drama is present, but I feel like they amped it up a bit for the movie as a way to distance itself from another popular vampire series, Twilight. This series is completely different. Twilight‘s major theme was romance and though Vampire Academy has it’s fair share of romance as well, it is spread throughout the series in a slow and even pace. Vampire Academy is so much more about friendship. And the action is amazing!
One winner will get my paperback copy of Vampire Academy! I hope if you have yet to read the book you will give the series a chance!
1. Giveaway is US/CAN only.
2. Must be at least 13 years old to enter.
3. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.
4. I am not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged items.
5. Please follow the entry directions in the rafflecopter. (I do check and will delete entries that do not follow the directions. If you have any questions on how to enter, please ask!)