‘”Don’t worry,” he said “I won’t bite. Well, at least not in the way you’re afraid of.”‘ p58
Vampire Academy is the first book in the Vampire Academy (VA) series by Richelle Mead. VA has 6 books and has a spin off series called Bloodlines based around a number of side characters.
Rose Hathaway, a Dhampir (half human half vampire), is tasked with protecting her best friend Lissa, a Moroi princess (mortal vampire). After spending two years on the run, Rose and Lissa are captured by a group of guardian’s including Dimitri Belikov and taken back to St. Vladimir’s Academy. Unseen forces are at work everywhere at St. Vladimir’s and Rose will do anything to keep Lissa safe as her abilities are revealed.
Firstly I should note that this wonderful full set of this series featured above was actually won through a Penguin Teen Australia Facebook contest… when I liked their post I highly doubted I’d win but I was thrilled when I was notified and received this beautiful set in the mail (thankfully replacing my then battered copies).
I love this series for a number of reasons, but mostly I love one of the main characters Rose. Rose is sarcastic, sporadic and is constantly causing trouble (not always on purpose). She is extremely protective of her best friend Lissa and throughout the first book the reasons behind her protectiveness is explained.
Dimitri is also another reason I love this series, he’s a bad-ass Russian warrior who puts Rose in her place on many occasions. He does have a soft side that he rarely shows to others and frankly I adore him.
‘”Guardian Belikov is the Princess Lissa’s guardian now” said Kirova “Her sanctioned guardian.”
“You got cheap foreign labor to protect Lissa?”‘ p22
I wasn’t a huge fan of Lissa in this first book, I found her whiny and was constantly shaking my head at her poor decision making. However saying that I really came around to her later in the series so try to look past this if it annoys you too.
There are many other minor or side characters in this book that are great such as Mason, Eddie, Christian, etc. Some have bigger roles in later books in the series or in the spin off series Bloodlines so keep an eye out for clues and hints.
‘”If you weren’t so pyschotic you’d be fun to hang around.”
“Funny, I feel that way about you too.” He didn’t say anything else, but the smile grew and he walked away.’ p227
This book also has a great plot, with a number of subplots interwoven. While the story is told only from Roses point of view, the bond between her and Lissa allows for an insight into Lissa’s life and happenings too. It’s not an extremely intellectual read but it keep me interested and there was a fair bit of action. There is some subtle romance between a number of characters but things don’t pick up in that department until later in the series.
I highly recommend this series. When I started reading VA the series wasn’t fully released yet and I had to wait for the final books to be released (the horror!). Not only is the whole VA series out but all of the spin off Bloodlines series are out too so if you want a series to binge read, this one is ideal!
Thanks for reading!
*The stickers featured are not VA specific… the left one says “Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be” and the right one says “Read more books”. Both were purchased off Redbubble (Artists: eviebookish & bookscupcakes).