Two Minute Backlist Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Monday, December 18, 2017
Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: supernatural
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Pages: 335
Published: 2007
Source: purchased
Rating: 3/5

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires - the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

This book is terrible and I was living for it. I was really into Mead's adult series, The Age of X, but since I was apparently the only one into it and the third book has been shelved indefinitely, I thought I'd give her most famous work a try. This is a pretty fun take on the vampire craze of the early Thousands. Rose is basically Blade, a half human, half vampire trained from the cradle to kill (evil) vampires. She attends St. Vladimir's Academy, a typical catty boarding school stereotype except it's full of (good) vampire royals and the dhampir guards training to protect them.

Lissa, Rose's best friend and future liege, has a secret that's created a bond between the girls that hasn't been seen since the bible. The vast majority of the book is them navigating high school cliches and "forbidden love" (which in this case means Lissa's in love with someone from a lower social status and Rose is in love with her twenty-four year old fighting instructor). There's a kidnapping and one pretty badass fight between Rose and a bad vamp, but for the most part it's a relatively standard YA that happens to feature vampires.

This review is of the 10 year anniversary edition which also featured four short stories: The Turn and the Flame, which looks at Christian's back story (it was fine), From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir, Lissa's journal from the times immediately prior to this book (also just fine), The Meeting, an utterly pointless retelling of the first chapter from Dimitri's point of view, AND Hello My Name is Rose Hathaway, a five star short story that is so much fun. The dhampir have a scavenger hunt on Halloween that sees Rose and stick-in-the-mud Dimitri flirting like SO MUCH. I was on the fence about the ship until this one.

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