REVIEW: Vampire Academy

What did I think? Here’s my review for Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. As always, unless otherwise stated, book reviews at Novellique are spoiler free. Check out other reviews at Novellique here.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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“Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest 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 Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .”

TITLE [5/5] Vampire Academy – does what it says on the tin! Vampires! An Academy! Check, and check. Alright, what’s next?

COVER [4/5] The original covers I don’t like (attractive female looks distressed, held up by stunningly attractive male which I’ve seen too often it isn’t even funny anymore) but the newer covers are a slight improvement. Emphasis on slight. With these academy/high-school drama style novels, minimalism is they key to an effective cover: as much as Twilight is disliked for various reasons, its covers were near perfect in terms of adding refreshing design into the young adult genre.

PLOT [4/5] Now I’ve read both Vampire Academy and Half-Blood I can see the comparisons between them. Yes, I agree there are similarities between plots but both went in wildly different directions: had I been reading a similar novel with a similar plot going in the same directions, I would have called ‘copying’ or even plagiarism. Considering Vampire Academy was written in 2007 and very much focuses on the Academy aspect, whereas Half Blood was written in 2011 and focuses on the blood movement (as well as addressing issues of identity in a way which I thought was very well done, check my review here) – I don’t think there are enough similarities. Vampire Academy does have “teen drama” (oh, how I hate that phrase as a description) but if anyone is at all surprised by this… reread the title. Personally I found there was a good balance between drama and serious overall plot.

CHARACTERS [4/5] I couldn’t help be a little creeped out by Dimitri being seven years older. Yes, this is raised as an issue but it’s a strange number to pick for a very definitely teen series – realistically he could have been five years older and I would have accepted this a little better.

OVERALL [4/5] I really enjoyed Vampire Academy – it lifted me out of my reading slump and remembered need me that yes,  and can still finish a book in a week or so if I really set my mind to it.

Have you read Vampire Academy? Thinking about it? Let me know in the comments!


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