Book: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Book 1 of 6) Sponsor
Note: These reviews may contain inadvertent spoilers about the book. Read at your own risk.
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous 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; she is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.
After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.
Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir’s–but their world is fraught with danger both inside and out of the Academy’s iron gates. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever…
I felt her fear before I heard her screams.
Her nightmare pulsed into me, shaking me out of my own dream, which had had something to do with a beach and some hot guy rubbing suntan oil on me. Images—hers, not mine—tumbled through my mind: fire and blood, the smell of smoke, the twisted metal of a car. The pictures wrapped around me, suffocating me, until some rational part of my brain reminded me that this wasn’t my dream.
I woke up, strands of long, dark hair sticking to my forehead.
Lissa lay in her bed, thrashing and screaming. I bolted out of mine, quickly crossing the few feet that separated us.
“Liss,” I said, shaking her. “Liss, wake up.”
Her screams dropped off, replaced by soft whimpers. “Andre,” she moaned. “Oh God.”
I helped her sit up. “Liss, you aren’t there anymore. Wake up.”
After a few moments, her eyes fluttered open, and in the dim lighting, I could see a flicker of consciousness start to take over. Her frantic breathing slowed, and she leaned into me, resting her head against my shoulder. I put an arm around her and ran a hand over her hair.
“It’s okay,” I told her gently. “Everything’s okay.”
“I had that dream.”
“Yeah. I know.”
We sat like that for several minutes, not saying anything else. When I felt her emotions calm down, I leaned over to the nightstand between our beds and turned on the lamp. It glowed dimly, but neither of us really needed much to see by. Attracted by the light, our housemate’s cat Oscar leapt up into the open window.
He gave me a wide berth—animals didn’t like dhampirs, for whatever reason—but jumped up on the bed and rubbed his head against Lissa, purring softly. Animals didn’t have a problem with Moroi, and they all loved her in particular. Smiling, she scratched his chin, and I felt her calm further.
Continue reading chapter 1.
When I first picked up the book, I was unsure if I could really get into a vampire series. I’ve seen a couple of the Twilight movies and wasn’t all that impressed with the whole vampire thing. I’ve picked up vampire books in the past and rarely been able to get past the first few chapters. However this book is different. Yes, it’s about vampires but it’s not about blood sucking, goth looks, and dark world magic. And, it’s not a love story. Nor a triangle love story.
It is about an uncanny friendship between Lissa, a Moroi princess, and Rose, a Dhampir guardian in training. Prior to the book, Lissa, Rose, and Lissa’s family were involved in an accident which left only Lissa and Rose alive. Shortly after the accident, Lissa and Rose discovered that they’re minds were bonded, something that rarely happens between a Moroi and their guardian. When Rose believes Lissa’s life is in danger, she convinces Lissa to flee the academy. The book begins when Rose and Lissa are captured and returned to the academy.
As they begin to settle into their new yet old surroundings, little things start to go wrong. There are rumors circulating about the reason behind why they left, what went on while they were away, and why they’ve returned. They encountered a few new faces and some familiar ones; Aaron, Lissa’s ex-boyfriend, Mia, Aaron’s current girlfriend, Christian, an outcast Moroi royal, Natalie, Lissa’s cousin, Dimitri, a guardian assigned to push Rose through extra training sessions, and a myriad of other classmates, teachers, and administrators. They used to be part of the popular crowd but decide to take a low key approach upon returning to the academy.
Coasting through the middle doesn’t last long before they are forced to rejoin the popular crowd in an attempt to uncover who’s causing Lissa trouble and put a stop to it. Is it Christian, the outcast Moroi royal? Maybe Mia, Lissa’s ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend? What if the Strigoi are behind the trouble?
This is the first book in the Vampire Academy series which we’ll be reviewing this month.
Pick up your copy of Vampire Academy from your local library, request it on Paperback Swap, or buy a copy on Amazon. You can also get a signed copy of Richelle Mead books by following the directions on her website.