ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richelle Mead is an American author from Michigan. She is a popular author of fantasy novels, particulary known for her series, Vampire Academy, and its spin-off, Bloodlines. Mead started her career as a teacher while also writing her first book, Succubus Blues. The book received above-average reviews from critics and went down well overall. In the same year, Mead published her second work, Vampire Academy, which went on to become a bestseller.
A passionate writer, Mead is known to release multiple books within a single year.
The story of Vampire Academy revolves around a seventeen-year-old girl named Rosemarie Hathaway. Despite being a teenager, her problems are anything but trivial. Rose is a dhampir breed, a hybrid of vampire and human, which puts her at an advantage in terms of strength.
Rosemarie is training to be the assigned guardian of her best friend and the royal princess, Vasilissa Dragomir, who is a pure-bred vampire. Together, they must navigate their perilous world, not only from the immortals known as the Strigoi, but also from other unlikely adversaries.
Being the last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa needs the utmost protection from the Strigoi, and Rose Hathaway will go to any lengths to protect her friend while trying to not succumb to forbidden distractions.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT VAMPIRE ACADEMY
Vampire Academy begins almost in the middle of the story. The reader gets a preview of the lives of the two girls as they go on with their adventures.
The story is narrated by Rose Hathaway in first person. This plays an important role in involving the reader even deeper in the story. All the major characters are introduced in the very first scene without preamble. The author doesn’t prance around with unimportant scenes and quickly gets the two girls to be friends.
As a protagonist, Rose comes over as strong and unrelenting. She has to put up with teen drama in the academy and handles it as poorly as one would expect from a girl her age. Yet, her determination to not play the victim makes her a potential role model for young readers. On the other hand, Lissa is portrayed as the delicate one with more sensibility than her protector. This contrast in personalities makes for an interesting read. Neither of the two are portrayed as superior to the other at any point. Even their love interests are controversial in their own ways.
Every character has their own past, something that lends depth to the plot. The drama is as aggressive as in any young-adult novel with the central focus being the bond between the two girls.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT VAMPIRE ACADEMY (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
The book is too fast-paced and could have done with some additional scenes that didn’t directly contribute to the plot.
Given how rigidly it adheres to clichés, the story has an undeniable fan-fiction-like feel to it. Even the threat eventually turns out to be rather minuscule compared to what was initially promised at the start of the book. This, however, could be a direct outcome of Mead not being the seasoned writer she is today.
Wild and disrespectful? Who the hell are you anyway? Outsourced help?
If I let myself love you, I won’t throw myself in front of her. I’ll throw myself in front of you.
Lissa and I had been friends ever since kindergarten, when our teacher had paired us up together for writing lessons. Forcing five-year-olds to spell Vasilisa Dragomir and Rosemarie Hathaway was beyond cruel, and we’d – or rather, I’d – responded appropriately. I’d chucked my book at our teacher and called her a fascist bastard. I hadn’t known what those words meant, but I’d known how to hit a moving target.
Lissa and I had been inseparable ever since.
In conclusion, Vampire Academy is meant for young readers. The book has all the elements needed to keep one hooked throughout the series. That said, older readers might as well overlook this one, for the stakes will probably seem too trivial to them.
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