Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy, #1) [A]
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Format: ebook from Jennifer @ Little Shelf
Read: 8/25/2011 [Bout of Books Read-a-Thon]
In Six Words: Engrossing read with an unusual bond.

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Book Depository — Paperback
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Book Order

1. Vampire Academy [A]
2. Frostbite
3. Shadow Kiss
4. Blood Promise
5. Spirit Bound
6. Last Sacrifice

Why I Started This Series and General Thoughts

Vampire Academy was originally recommended by Tara (I feel like this should just be assumed from now on since it seems the vast majority of the books I read are because of her recommendations).  I received it, however, from Jennifer for July RAK.  I’m not really sure why I put off starting this series for as long as I did.  I spent the afternoon reading it for Bout of Books and really enjoyed the story.


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.
-from Goodreads

Thoughts on Book 1

Vampire Academy was the type of first-book-in-the-series to whet your appetite for the rest of the series.  I felt like Vampire Academy told me everything and nothing.  Reading Vampire Academy was like peeling back the layers of an onion, slowing revealing the world in which it is set, and all the secrets that follow with gaining that knowledge.  And while we’ve gotten deeper within the world, we certainly have not reached the inner core.

I really enjoyed the friendship between Rose and Lissa, partly because it was so strong, and partly because for as much as they are connected, they also seem distanced; Lissa is as much of a friend to Rose as she is a responsibility and it is interesting how this line is blurred and crossed repeatedly.  We were thrown head first into the story, having to make frequent trips back to the past to explain the present.  I got lost a couple times, but for the most part this device worked well.  Back to the onion layer thing, if you will.

Finishing Vampire Academy felt like looking at the tip of an iceberg.  I know there is something big beyond this book, but I can’t see it; but what I have seen is enough.  There is a lot we still don’t know, and I’m left with the feeling that the academy is only a very small part of the bigger vampire world, and that the politics going on will come out to play in future books.

You Might Enjoy This Book If…

Vampire Academy is definitely a YA novel for older young adults.  Definitely recommended for lovers of YA paranormal, especially of vampires.

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20 Replies to “Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead”

  1. YAY! I’m so glad you’re giving this series a try Amanda! Richelle just kind of sucks you in doesn’t she? Things get a lot darker and more intense as you go, so I can’t wait for your thoughts on the rest of the books:)

  2. W00T! Great review!! So happy you enjoyed this one! Uhm…but where’s the gushing for my boy Dmitri?! lol This is my second favorite Richelle Mead series, I’m sad that it’s over now (Georgina Kincaid is first, Dark Swan is third, Bloodlines last (so far)). Hope you like the rest, too!!

  3. Great review and I totally agree with the onion analogy. This series gets better and better as some pretty interesting situations and characters are introduced. I still haven’t read 3-6…

  4. Dang you Amanda for first reading the MI series and now moving on the VA without me. Someday I will gain on you! Okay, maybe not, but a girl can dream.

    The relationship you described between Rose and Lissa sounds pretty awesome. I’d like to see how that dynamic plays out.

  5. I *adore* this series. I’m so glad you’re reading it! Richelle’s writing is so much better than a lot of other mediocre YA writing that’s out there. It really struck me when I read Spirit Bound right after a re-read of Twilight. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the Twilight series (yes, I’m one of *those*), but it was so refreshing to pick up one of Richelle’s books and read quality writing, not just a quality story.

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