16 July 2010

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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.

Consider this: the average page length of a book I read is about 300 pages.  My rule: if I can't get into a book by the first hundred pages--that's one third of the book--I won't finish it unless I feel compelled otherwise.  I won't waste my time.

Unfortunately, the first hundred pages of "Vampire Academy," were not charming.  I liked the first seventy pages or so and had high hopes for it, then...in the last thirty pages or so, it started to dwindle very fast.  Where was the conflict?  Where was the backstory?  Where was the character development?  All I had were horrible flashbacks of the House of Night series, which I gave up on by book three.  (As in, I read book three and didn't bother with book four.)  

I wanted this book to be good.  I've seen a lot about it and I needed a new series to emerge myself in.  I enjoyed the humor and for a while, the writing style.  But not enough to make up for everything else.  A good idea, poorly executed.

"Vampire Academy" seemed more like a repeat of the House of Night novels.  And did you notice how both books were published in the same year?  Heh?  We have a parallel series going here.

The main character, Rose, is trying to be such a badass--excuse the language.  But she's not.  She's not very bright and she's just as judgmental as the people she looks down on.  She's got a huge attitude, but not in an appealing way.  She doesn't have much between her ears except some fluff and hot air.

I don't want to go any farther with my criticism because all reviews are relative.  A LOT of people love this book series, but it's just not for me.  Vampire novels have been notoriously shallow to me and I have yet to find a series that has some real class.  "Twilight" appeals to me because of the writing, but not much else.

The cover wasn't really appealing to me either.  Why do all vampire novels have to be steeped in sex--one way, or another?  Gives a really bad label for vampires.

Sorry, "Vampire Academy" but I'm taking you back to Borders.  (In perfectly saleable condition, by the way.)  You will find a better, more appreciative owner, I have no doubt.

Overall grade: D
Sequels:  "Frost Bite," "Shadow Kiss," "Blood Promise," "Spirit Bound," "Last Sacrifice"

Book Info:
  • Pages - paperback, 332
  • Published - August 2007
  • Publisher - Razorbill
  • Genre - urban fantasy/paranormal romance