Alright, so I said this was coming out last week. And then I didn’t post it. I bet you are all like. What happened. Life happened and I didn’t have the time to review and finish the review. It is for that reason that it is coming to you now a week later. I’m sorry about that. It is what it is however, and I would rather it was a good review than something placed together last minute. So, here you go!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Series Rating: 4/5
What I Liked:
Rose; My girl Rose. She led us on such an awesome adventure, and honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better protagonist. She was hard hitting and caring all at the same time. Rose was a strong girl, who fell in love, lost friends, and had a kill count than most people could imagine. She is everything I could ever want. I do wish I got more of her mom and dad, but her relationship with Dimitri was everything and makes up for it. She was not all perfect, which was nice. She was very impulsive, and her actions of cheating on Adrian were horrid. She was a well rounded character who grew into her own and I liked that.
Lissa; Most of Lissa’s character development was told through her head when Rose was in it. I did like Lissa, especially as she grew into her own. She was a sweet girl, who really did want to help everyone. I am happy she is queen and can’t wait to see her grow with it.
Moroi, Strigoi, and Dhampirs; I really liked the distinction and the use of the different races for the vampires. Each culture was defined in part, and we saw how different groups of humans reacted to them. I do want more, and I know there is a second book series that gives more. However it is interesting to me that the more “human” they were the better they could take the sun.
Dimitri; I really loved my badass Dimitri. Watching him be a badass, then turn Strigoi, and then be brought back was great. Seeing how he had to overcome that trauma, I did not expect. He was charming and then evil. He was as fully developed as Rose, and I believe that it is because he was her love interst.
Adrian; Between Adrian and Christian I have to pick my favorite boy. On one hand I have Adrian, the loveable boy who is just trying to find his place in the world, and control himself through vices. He is charming, seductive, and ultimately very sweet. I loved how much he cared for Rose. I adored what he would do for those he cared for. Adrian was everything and more and he deserves the world.
Christian; Then there is Christian. Christian was the bad boy who Lissa fell for and listen, I love them together but he also deserves the world. If Lissa hurts him again, I’ll be all for him staying away from her. Christian was hated for what his parents did. He was misunderstood and rejected because they thought he’d become like them. And yet, he did everything to help Rose. He fought with his life on the line when other Moroi would not. He had a massive kill count too, so that always gets bonus points on the badassery scale.
Other Characters; There were so many other characters in this novel. However, while they did stand out, none really captivated me the way that those I noted did. The villains were charming and interesting, but most of the bad came from the Strigoi, not a specific set of villains at all. I did like how rounded they felt and how they helped round out the story tho.
General Plot; Not going to lie, I think the best part of the book series was the plot. I knew it would take place in a school, going in, but not that they were all Vampires or Vampire descendants to begin with. The school and classes were interesting to read about and the stakes were high from the beginning. When the second book came around, however, and I saw just what the Strigoi could do, I was hooked. They were terrifying, and the fact that the book series, with all its books went between school and the real world, the Moroi culture and the Strigoi culture, was great. The plot was what kept me going when I thought Rose was making the wrong choice or when Lissa was annoying me. Seeing how it developed itself and things fell into place. That was what grabbed me.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Lissa; One of the things I would have liked, would have been for Lissa to get a backbone two books sooner. She only really got one for the penultimate and final books. She did drive me up a wall until that point, for how much she was simultaneously holding back Rose, and trying not to at the same time.
Why You Should Read
You want a fun school story that has vampires but not the traditional, “what are vampires” cliches? This is for you. The vampires know what they are and the book follows things from their perspective. You get school. You get murder. You get world changing stakes. The entertainment value is high, even if I’m not sure the reread value is. The series is a roller coaster of adventure and action, with a few cliches thrown in just to make it a bit more fun and angsty. In general, there are far more positives than negatives when it comes to this series. I highly recommend it if you are in the need of a good time, and some books to distract you.