Thursday, July 9, 2015

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


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
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.

MY TAKE:
I was reluctant to start this series despite the good reviews heard because Twilight and the flux of vampire books, shows and movies had worn me out.

In Vampire Academy, Rose is a dhampir and protects her best friend, Princess Lissa Dragomir. They've been on the run for the past two years, but they were brought back to the Academy. Lissa's powers are misunderstood but powerful and someone is after them. Now Rose must work harder than ever to be good enough to defend Lissa from the Strigoi. However, there's another danger that neither of them expected, and it could be just as bad as the Strigoi.

I finally saw the movie version of this book on cable, and I liked it well enough so I decided to give this book a chance. I'm glad I did. I've been told many times that the book is better than the movie. While I'm inclined to agree, especially when it comes to Rose and Dimitri's romance, there was at least one thing I liked in the movie that wasn't in the book. It's the scene wherein Dimitri and Rose are outside and Alberta asks Dimitri if he had cleared the operation with Kirova. After Dimitri says that it's better to ask for forgiveness later than permission now, Rose adds that she had "put a sedative in her (Kirova's) a**". That scene always makes me laugh because of her delivery.

Anyway, back to the book. I liked the world-building and how everything is structured. Potential plot holes I spotted were explained or patched up almost as soon as I thought of it. It's different from other vampire books I've read, and I'm glad that there's the whole bodyguard idea. I also love how the romance is between bodyguards and not between bodyguard and client, the way it usually is.

Speaking of Rose and Dimitri's romance, I liked how it was paced in the book. Movies are well and good for bringing books to life, but in the interest of time, scenes that can add to the tension between the characters and the audience's investment in the characters tend to get cut.

I like strong characters, and both Rose and Dimitri are strong in many ways. Rose is a bit of a loose cannon sometimes, but instead of being annoying, her passion is kind of endearing, especially when what she does and says is something you'd probably want to do or say had you been her but you were too afraid or controlled to ask. It's actually kinda cathartic.

Dimitri is the perfect match for Rose. He's strong and silent, opposite to Rose in some ways, but complementary or alike in others. There's enough differences to keep their things interesting, but there's also enough similarities both deep and shallow to make their connection strong.

I'm definitely hooked on this series.

THE GOOD:

  1. Rose and Dimitri's romance is hot.
  2. It's an interesting take on vampire mythology.
  3. It's action-packed. 

THE BAD:

  1. There are some moments that border on melodramatic. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
“The spell. Victor said you had to want me... to care about me... for it to work." When he didn't say anything, I tried to grip his shirt, but my fingers were too weak. "Did you? Did you want me?"
His words came out thickly. "Yes, Roza. I did want you. I still do. I wish... we could be together."
"Then why did you lie to me?"
We reached the clinic, and he managed to open the door while still holding me. As soon as he stepped inside, he began yelling for help.
"Why did you lie?" I murmured again.
Still holding me in his arms, he looked down at me. I could hear voices and footsteps getting closer.
"Because we can't be together."
"Because of the age thing, right?" I asked. "Because you're my mentor?"
His fingertip gently wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek. "That's part of it," he said. "But also... well, you and I will both be Lissa's gaurdians someday. I need to protect her at all cost. If a pack of Strogoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her."
I know that. Of course that's what you have to do." The black sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes again. I was fading out.
"No. If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.”
READ IT IF:

  1. You want a new take on vampires.
  2. You like forbidden and star-crossed romances.
  3. You like older guys. 

RATING:
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