This is a review of “Vampire Academy” by Richelle Mead. It is the first novel in the Vampire Academy Series.
I read this series years ago, and loved it then. As this novel has been recently turned into a film, I decided to re-read the series, and review them.
Rose Hathaway is a teenage dhampir. She’s a sort of half vampire. There are Moroi, good magic-wielding vampires. They still need blood to survive, but they never kill for it, and they not immortal. With only an aversion to sunlight, they’re not that different, just a bit taller and more ethereal than the average joe. When they have children with other Moroi, they produce Moroi children. When they have children with dhampirs or humans, they produce dhampirs. Dhampirs are sturdy and strong. They’re fitter than humans and hardier than the Moroi. This makes them the ideal candidates to be trained to guard the Moroi. And they do need guarding. Because there are other vampires, and they’re far from good.
Strigoi are the undead. They are evil vampires that are immortal, but have lost all sense of morality and survive only to kill and cause suffering. Their favourite prey is Moroi, but they’ll happily kill dhampirs and humans to survive. They can’t go out during the day, and ultimately they’re the reason why Moroi need their dhampir guardians. Rose was training to become such a one. That is until she and her best friend Lissa (Moroi Princess Vasilisa) decided to leave their school St Vladimir’s Academy, and live out in the human world, on the run.
But they’ve been located by the school’s guardians, and it’s back to St Vladimir’s. The girls are in trouble and they’re not telling why they left in the first place. Lissa is yet to specialise in her elemental magic. Moroi teens usually manifest their magic by having particular skill and aptitude with one element. Even though Lissa seems behind in her magic use, she’s developed other useful skills. Skills nobody else seems to have…
Rose is back into her hardcore guardian training, but she’s missed so much. This has led to her having to undertake extra classes with top notch (and pretty hot) guardian Dimitri Belikov. When strange and sinister things start to happen around Lissa again, will Rose be up to par with her guardian skills? Will she be able to protect her?
I enjoyed this book the first time around, and I enjoyed reading it again now. It didn’t matter that I’m a few years older than I was, it’s still a good, entertaining book. I love the friendship and devotion that Rose and Lissa share. They truly value one another and go to great pains for each other. I also like Rose’s interesting love-predicament. I love the way Mead tackles issues like mental health in her YA novels. She provides insight into what it’s like to suffer from a problem that not many people are willing to openly discuss. I look forward to seeing the movie adaptation of this book.