Posted by Deitering at Monday, December 01, 2008 Labels: 2008, 9.5 Stars, Hunky Male, Must Read, Paranormal, Reviews, Richelle Mead, Urban Fantasy, Vampire Academy, Vampires, Young Adult
Why I read it: I was trying to find something good after I read Twilight 7,000 times too many.
Barnes and Noble Synopsis:
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 saw this book at the Barnes and Noble I always went to for months before I decided to give it a try... Unfortunately, the cover just didn't catch me like others did. But I wasn't having any luck with those types actually having any decent content. Luckily, this turned out to be a "don't judge a book by it's cover" moment. I was in a reading rut and grasping at straws by this point. This book is... WOW [and no, not World Of Warcraft]. Richelle Mead did a wonderful job creating an alternate reality inside of our own world that included vampires, damphirs and the undead [aka Strigoi]. She makes it easy to relate to the characters despite the major differences [like the whole blood-sucking or ass-kicking thing].
The two main characters, Rose Hathaway & Vasalissa Dragomir have an incredible bond that is unlike anything you will experience. The way that Rose wants to protect Lissa is so selfless. It makes you re-evaluate your relationship with your own best friend, and see how inadequate you are in comparison.
The romance is very well done for a YA. It's both loving and frustrating then is tied up in a little "craving more" bow. You will fall in love with the love interest by the 3rd time you "meet" him. I couldn't read Vampire Academy quick enough. But, I didn't want it to end as quick as it did either. I was only able to allow myself to finish when I realized there was a 2nd one, and it was out!
Vampire Academy pumps you up to the point where you want to go out and kick some ass [and laugh while doing it]. I was completely shocked by the "bad guy". Which is saying something. My #1 can predict the ending to just about every movie and book, so he's taught me well. And I didn't see this coming.
One thing I really liked is that either Richelle Mead is a complete genius [not discounting that idea at all], or she just really has her shit together. Because I couldn't find ANY holes and yet, I couldn't stop wondering what was going to happen next. The back-story laced throughout the current made sense and was completely valid. It didn't seem like she just made up some lame excuse that was a split second decision and assumed we the reader would be dumb. Instead, it was a building thing that was described in a matter of pages. Usually that's where you can find unanswered questions.
One of my favorite quotes: [Rose to Dimitri] "You beat up your dad when you were thirteen?"
I would have added everything about Dimitri, buuuuut, the whole book would be in this review. I just thought that quote summed up how bad-ass he is ;).
I recommend this book to EVERYONE.
1. Cover +.5
2. Hooked: +1
3. Finished the book: +1
4. Overall Feeling: Pos: +2
5. Re-readability: +1
6. Suggest to others: +2
7. Lost time: NOPE +1
8. Readability: +1
9.5 out of 10 possible points. I so wish I could give it the full 10 out of 10, because the content overpowered the cover [at least the old cover]... but, that wouldn't be the honest thing to do. But hey, if the cover's all that I couldn't grasp, that's one damned good book!