Evidently, I’m a teenaged girl. I’m ok with that as long as the books are good.
Does Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead change the world? No. But it’s fun, and sometimes that’s what you need after reading something like Old Man Logan, which was fun at times, but was also damned depressing.
I’ve owned this book for about nine months after catching it on sale on Kindle, and I’d watched the movie a couple of years before that (and unlike most people, I liked the movie). But I’d been hesitant to actually read it for a few reasons: 1) I’m not a teenaged girl, 2) It’s a six-part series, and 3) I just wasn’t THAT excited to read it. I have 96 books sitting on my to read list on Goodreads as it is, and I like to reread books. This one wasn’t jumping out for any particular reason, especially because I knew the basic plot.
But I finally relented. I needed to start winnowing down my Kindle queue. There are 13 books unread on my Kindle, plus two more I’m in the middle of. We’re going to ignore the unread books on my bookshelf.
Vampire Academy throws you into an interpretation of the vampire world that’s a little different than most interpretations. Like most, the vampires drink blood and avoid sunlight. Unlike most, Mead leans on Romanian myths a bit more in-depth and divides are vampire bloodlines into moroi (magical vampires who are in charge and magical), dhampirs (vampire hybrids who guard the moroi and are not magical), and strigoi (evil vampires who try to drink the blood of moroi).
And of course the moroi and dhampirs go to school together to learn how to do their jobs and how to begin their indoctrination into the culture they were born to.
The book follows a moroi (Lissa) and dhampir (Rose) who are best friends who have run away from school. Of course, they get caught. It’s Vampire Academy, not Vampire Truancy.
When they get back, you get to deal with the social system, as well as trying to figure out the underlying plot to get to one of our heroines. Lissa and Rose have polar opposite personalities and a bond that makes them closer than any two people ought to be.
A bit like Harry Potter, you know there’s a big outside plot going on, though much of the time is spent just going through the normal ins and outs of being teenages, except the teenagers are vampires.
Rose is our POV character, but because she can get in the head of Lissa almost literally, you get a secondary POV character. Which come to think of it is a little Harry Potter-esque too. Rose is sarcastic and ready to punch people in the face. That’s always a plus in my book (also worth noting, I want to grow up to be Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire, so as a grown-ass man, I pick weird role models).
This is a high school book with vampires, not a vampire book with a high school. I don’t know if the other way around would be better, but I think that’s worth noting if you’re considering it.
This book won’t change your world, but it’s not a bad escape for a few hours. It helped get me through an eternity in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. If you think, “no way in hell,” then this book isn’t for you. But if you vaguely intrigued, give it a try. It’s not bad.