Vampire Academy #1
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: August 16th 2007
Number of Pages: 320
Purchase: TBD, Amazon, B&N
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
Vampire Academy was a great new discovery for me, and certainly a series I would like to read more about. Having already read The House of Night series I was sincerely a little bit scared, because I found out I am not a huge fan of vampires anymore. Fortunately, I was happily surprised to find out that Vampire Academy was not just the usual story about a vampire with special powers that will save the world, but Richelle Mead gave to the book a totally original setting!
First I immediately felt a connection with the main characters, Lisa and Rose, and I really loved how deep their friendship was and how totally opposite their personalities were. Second, I thought that making a division among Moroi, dhampir and Strigoi was absolutely brilliant and original, something I would have never dreamed about and that I have never read about! I also liked the presence of royal families among the academy because in my opinion, it made the vampires way more similar to us. Something very strange is that, thinking about Vampire Academy, I can't recall a plot full of surprises, but what made the book special was above all Richelle's way of writing and her ability to not reveal things immediately but through flashbacks and memories of the protagonists.
It is pointless to say that I shipped Dimitri and Rose from the first moment, and I really really hope the author will give them more space in book two. Infact, I was pretty disappointed that she dedicated so little space to the two of them, but maybe this also increased my curiosity in reading the sequels; what I appreciated most is how Dimitri was the only one capable of stopping Rose and make her reflect about what she was doing, since she seemed to me like the kind of girl who doesn't stop herself in front of anything. But please, tell me there won't be any love triangle among Dimitri, Rose and Mason?!
Last, I enjoyed how the author chose as the antagonist, one of the character I would have never thought about, this really increased the surprise factor! In general, I think all the mystery around Lisa's powers and the consequences of their use was brilliant, something I can't wait to read more about!
Rose was absolutely a character you can easily grow fond of, she is smart, strong and charming. If there is something I didn't quite appreciated about her personality is how little respect of herself she seems to have sometimes, even if, at the same time, we understand that she prefers putting Lisa's sake first before her own. On the other hand, I don't know how to feel about Lisa, since I usually don't like weak characters; I know she is probably not one of that kind, but sometimes I just couldn't understand how she resist to be so patient and silent in front of such injustices. Nevertheless I think her character became stronger every page more, and I really started to enjoy her when she finally decides to take the situation in hand, even if that meant sacrifice her own sanity.
Dimitri was without doubt a really fascinating character, but I can't say that I feel particulary attached to him, since the author only showed us a part of his personality: his devotion to his work. I really hope there will be more of his character in the next book ( I am sure of it) and I would like to read something about his past since there are bits and pieces of it in book one, but nothing is detailed yet.
Another character I feel like talking about is Christian Ozera, GOD I loved him so much! I know that most of the Vampire Academy fans out there are madly in love with Dimitri, but on the contrary I think that Christian (for now) is far more interesting than Dimitri and above all a character we know a little bit more of! I loved his concern for Lisa and how he completed her, how he could reveal her true personality - let's say that he was the character that allowed us to know something more about Lisa, too.
Something so irresistible is how lonely and distanced he is from the rest of the royal families and his evident indifference toward other people's judgement.
Yes, I would really like to see Christian and Rose together, is this so hard to imagine? I think they would make a great couple, actually, if one of them survives to the other!