Thursday, April 22, 2010

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

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) - Richelle Mead

It’s been two years since best friends Lissa Dragomir and Rose Hathaway ran away from St Vladimir’s Academy- a school for Moroi (mortal vampire) students learning how to control their magical abilities, and for Dhampir (half human, half vampire) novices intent on training to be guardians for the Moroi against the evil Strigoi (a band of immortal vampires who have lost their souls and kill for pleasure).
The two originally fled from the school because they feared that dark forces resided there, and Rose, worried about Lissa’s safety, thought that it would be safer in the outside world. But after a group of Guardians locate them in Portland and drag them back to the Academy in Montana, Rose and Lissa have no choice but to once again conform to Moroi and Dhampir standards.
Lissa, a Moroi princess, once again becomes the darling of the social elite, despite harbouring feelings for the mysterious outcast, Christian Ozera.
Rose, meanwhile, embarks on a seemingly never-ending training schedule with handsome guardian Dimitri, hoping to improve her Dhampir fighting abilities, and win Dimitri’s approval- and maybe his heart.
But then the strange occurrences that made the girls leave two years earlier begin again, putting Lissa in danger. The girls have to work out why it’s happening before evil invades the campus, and the Strigoi try to turn Lissa into one of their own.

What I gained from reading this book:
Lissa and Rose are best friends who share a unique bond that is unprecedented in their lifetime- Rose is able to connect with Lissa on a psychological level and not only experience her emotions, but jump into her mind on occasions. This bond is a vital part of their friendship, and allows Rose to protect Lissa in a way that other Dhampirs without the ability cannot even comprehend.
Although the girls come from different ‘races’ of vampires- Lissa is a Moroi, while Rose is a Dhampir- they are still closely connected. This is despite the fact that most Moroi vampires, while they respect the Dhampirs for putting their lives on the line for them, do not readily associate with them socially. However, these social barriers do not deter Lissa and Rose from staying the best of friends and close confidants.
This association enforces the notion that everyone has similarities, despite their different backgrounds, and shows that social barriers should not form the basis of how people interact with one another.

The introduction of different ‘races’ of vampires, and their special abilities is an interesting concept that helps this book to differ from other vampire series’.
The characters are also easy to relate to, with their schoolyard experiences very similar to those that people would normally face (despite the whole supernatural aspect, of course).

Rose can seem like a bit of a hothead, and Lissa can sometimes appear to be a bit of a pushover, but the girls are ultimately likable characters. Their flaws make them seem more normal and identifiable to readers.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Genre: Teenage Fiction

Recommended for: People who enjoyed the Twilight saga and need another vampire fix.

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy)

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