- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (26 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141328525
- ISBN-13: 978-0141328522
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 222 g
- Customer Reviews: 1,214 customer ratings
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Vampire Academy (book 1) Paperback – 26 May 2009
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About the Author
Richelle Mead is the bestselling author of the Vampire Academy, Bloodlines and Age of X series. Her love of fantasy and science-fiction began at an early age when her father read her Greek mythology and her brothers made her watch Flash Gordon. She went on to study folklore and religion at the University of Michigan, and, when not writing, Richelle spends her time drinking lots of coffee, keeping up with reality TV, and collecting 1980s T-shirts. Richelle lives with her family in Seattle in the USA.
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Top reviews from Australia
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I absolutely love Rose and Dimitri, the forbidden romance/student-teacher relationship is just so good! And the character development from both of them was so just done so well, especially Rose’s, she really grew up and matured in a lot of ways throughout the book.
While I didn’t overly connect with Lissa, I really loved watching her and Christians relationship develop and I kinda wish we got a novella or something from their POV.
The style was very tongue-in-cheek and skipped along at a reasonable pace, reminding me of the witty banter in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ Richelle Mead expertly created a slow built throughout the entire book to a big and satisfying reveal and climactic finish. The reader got to find out much of the information of this world through the eyes of Rose and Lissa, with very little information dumping, which made this such a great read. I wish I hadn't of seen the movie first though - the ending would have packed much more of a punch.
The two main characters, Rose Hathaway (a Dhampir) and Lissa, (Moroi Vampire Princess) have great chemistry: even with the story is told from Rose’s perspective, we get glimpses of Lissa’s school experience through their shared psychic link. I did have difficulty in connecting with Rose because I got a stuck up vibe under all that bravado, like she was certain she was good looking, and could do whatever she wanted; which didn't work well with the loyalty she had for Lissa and being her bodyguard. Having said that, she possessed a great satirical wit that had me laughing out loud.
Lissa painted a picture that was equally, royal and grounded, vulnerable and strong. And maybe because of my love for angsty characters, she was by far my favorite.
Dimitri, one of the Dhampir Instructors was equal parts smouldering and unapproachable and is definitely worth the read!
Was it predictable? (If I hadn't seen the movie first) I wouldn't have guessed what was going to happen, and delighted at every twist and turn. The only thing I missed was Roses’ one-liner at the Formal when she clocked Mia in the face from the film – it was definitely a highlight for me.
Did I like it? Yes, definitely, but I wouldn't rave about it. Being the first in a series, it’s quite possible that the best is yet to come. I’ll read the next in the collection and let you know how it measures up (without a movie spoiler!)
On a side note: With the film performing poorly at the box office, and second installment, ‘Frostbite’ now turning to crowd funding, it may mean an end to the series on the big screen :(
Alright. I admit it. I was completely wrong. Vampire Academy is a fun, great read with a sassy MC and cast of characters. I won't deny that after reading The Glittering Court, I wasn't sold on Richelle Mead as an author (though I can't be blamed - that book is so bad) so I was really hesitant to read Vampire Academy even though everyone assured me I wouldn't be disappointed. Why did I pick this book up then? Well, mainly because through curiosity I watched the film (It was good... not great, but funny. I laughed both with and at the film). I know books are usually a lot better than the films (there are exceptions *cough* Stardust *cough cough*) so I gave Vampire Academy the benefit of the doubt and I couldn't be more glad that I did!
Let's admit it - Rose's voice is the primary reason this book works so well. She isn't perfect, but her loyalty, intelligence, reasoning and desire to be the best dhampir out there, along with all the snarky, sarcastic remarks makes her a great character to read. Lissa, Christian, Dimitri, Mason and the secondary cast all really fleshed out the world well. I have to say that I appreciated the complex layers of each character.
The plot was fun and plodded along well. I obviously wasn't surprised, because I've seen the film, but I was shocked to find that the film actually stayed mainly true to the book with only a little deviation.
The romance was well done. This looks like it might feature a slow0burn romance I can ship.
All in all, Vampire Academy was just a fun read - it only took me a day and was light, made me laugh, but at the same time explored some thoughtful topics and issues relating to people and relationships. I'm definitely reading on and curious to find out what happens next in the series!
Top reviews from other countries
Tasha Ozera was never really one of my favourite characters, but I certainly had a new found respect for her after reading The Turn and The Flame. And seeing how events unfolded immediately after Christian's parents turned Strigoi certainly made his attitude towards using his Fire Magic defensively easier to understand.
The Meeting was a scene I didn't know I wanted until Mead gave it to us in this book. It is from Dimitri's POV and is the scene in which he and his team locate Rose and Lissa in Portland. It was very short but worth it for the glimpse inside his head.
But my most favourite part of this anniversary edition was the final short story Hello My Name is Rose Hathaway. This takes place soon after the events of Vampire Academy, we follow Rose as she takes part in a scavenger hunt with Mason and Eddie. But the highlight for me, and I'm guessing for many other lovers of all things Rose and Dimitri, was when our hunky Russian decided to help Rose find one of the harder items on her list.
By the time I had finished this book I was more in love with Rose and Dimitri than I was before, but I was terribly sad that it was over. I am definitely going to make room in my reading schedule to read the rest of the series, but I really hope Mead offers us up some more extra scenes in the future.
But within the first chapter, I was hooked. I think that is the marker of a good story, as much as a good writer. But after reading it, I noticed there was something missing.
Not once during the book, or the series in fact, does Rose Hathaway ever have doubts about the way she looks. She doesn't worry about getting on the scales. She doesn't call herself fat or question her looks. Rose is truly confident in the way she looks, the way she moves her body, and this hasn't come from sex.
Rose thinks about her body primarily in terms of what she can or can't do with it. She only has minor concerns about the clothes she wears, and she only compares herself to the catwalk-like Moroi in terms of what the differences are.
It made me trust her. I believe in Rose Hathaway as a character, and Richelle Mead as a writer for young women. Yes, there are moral dilemmas that she faces, but everything is seen through the eyes of the guardian in training; she doesn't stop fooling around with boys because of some concern over rumours, she learns about self-respect through her trainer Dimitri Belikiov, who teaches her how to use her body, and challenges her perspective on her previous actions.
Within the first page I was hooked on the dynamic of Rose and Lissa's friendship, as well as the world of Dhampirs, Moroi and the Royal element. I was fascinated by the way Mead equates blood to power, giving it is giving away self-respect (supposedly), and taking it from someone is a show of power. I was surprised and delighted (and honestly? A little disappointed...) that the ending of this book didn't mean Rose and Dimitri getting together. That Rose's crush is tempered with her own concerns, and her care of her oldest friend.
I recently saw someone on Twitter saying you had to 'push past' this book, as the others get better, but personally, I love this book. I'm currently re-reading for university, and from this perspective, not only do I still love how strong Rose is, but I admire Mead as a writer, because I have never seen every hint, every echo, every future foreshadowing of the entire series on just the first page.
If you are looking for a story of strength, honour, vampires and politics, all seen through the eyes of a young adult, this is the book (and series) for you.
Vampire Academy is a brilliant book which has politics, action, danger, romance and a kick-ass heroine who you can help but love. I like the different versions of vampires and the background we learn about them.
I love Rose as she is the type of person I wish she could be as she is caring, protective, confident and willing to fight for what she believes in. I also like Lissa as I felt I could connect with her really well and I liked how the friendship between both of them was portrayed. I liked all of the characters in this book as they are all unique and I can't describe them all, but I have to say I love Dimitri as he is my favourite male hero as he is strong, calm and caring. I like the bad person in this book as I did not predict who it was or what was going to happen next.
I love Vampire Academy and cannot recommend this series highly enough to anyone who likes paranormal or just great books.