Book Review: Vampire Academy (VA #1) by Richelle Mead


Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
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. . . . 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 was very excited when I finally got my hands on this book. I've been hearing a lot of positive reviews about the series, and I wanted badly to start reading them. The one downside to that has been the fact that I apparently had very high expectations-- I was pretty much waiting to be blown away. Well, that didn't happen. I liked the book, and it's a quick, fun read, but it didn't live up to the hype.

Richelle Mead's vampire world is easy to get into and relate to. We have the Moroi, who are the good, "living" vampires, and then we have the Strigoi, who are the evil, "dead" vampires. Then, there are the dharmirs, who are the children of Moroi fathers and human mothers, and they become guardians to the Moroi. Our narrator, Rose, is a dharmir. And she's the guardian-to-be and best friend of Lissa, who's a Moroi princess.

For me, what kept me reading was the relationship between these two girls. Theirs is a very strong one, made even stronger by the bond that they share. Rose will risk her life to save Lissa's, and Lissa cares as much about her as well. Protecting Lissa is the reason why Rose ran away from The Academy and took her with her. But, of course, they find themselves back there and deal with the rumors and everything together, as well as other, rather intense, situations. Lissa is calmer and somewhat nicer. Rose tends to lash out on people when she's pissed, and she's a well-known trouble maker.

Both their back stories and current stories seemed to drag for me. And they seemed a bit too repetitive. There were many examples of Lissa using compulsion (which is considered "magic" in Mead's world) as if saying, "you got it?" And you pretty much get it the first time. The mysteries about her magical powers are quiet easily guessed, and the only "whoa!" moments came within the last 50-or-so pages. The fact that the Moroi deal with magic and specialize on elements was a rather interesting event, but I didn't get to find out about it as much as I'd like to. We find out Christian specializes in fire, and toward the end we find out Victor and his daughter Natalie specialize in earth, but I think that's pretty much it.

For me, the most interesting characters were Christian and Dimitri. Christian is a Moroi invisible to others because his parents turned Strigoi by choice. And Dimitri is a guardian at The Academy who's in charge of training Rose. I'm not going to talk about what happens with them because I don't want to give any big spoilers, but I would definitely like to read more about them.

There were also some things that flat out bugged me about Mead's vampire world. The school environment felt a bit Gossip-Girl-goes-vampire, but then there were times when I nearly forgot I was reading a vampire story. I also never thought there would be a church at a vampire school, let alone most of the students' being Eastern Orthodox Christians. Church-going, god-fearing vampires just feels wrong. And I didn't like that fact that when someone lets a vampire bite them during sex, it's considered "dirty," and they're accused of being blood whores. Oh, and, there were way too many typos in the book.

I think my Vampire Academy adventure pretty much ends here. I'll probably check out the rest of the books if I can, but I'm in no rush. I do want to check out her adult series though. I feel like they'd be more up my alley.


  1. Oh no! I love the sound of these books - it's a pity you didn't enjoy it. I've seen so many positive reviews, too. God-fearing vampires does sound a bit strange, though!

  2. Me too! I'm still hoping you'll like it, though. I'm starting to think maybe YA isn't really for me, lol.

  3. You keep saying that, yet, you keep reading it! ;-P

  4. Hahah, that's true. I can't resist, and then I get all upset when they're disappointing.

  5. This is a very helpful review as my Dental hygienist really wanted me to read it and I was not sure about it. Thanks.


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