Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vampire Academy (Book #1) by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Book #1) by Richelle Mead

Buy This Book | Website
Release Date: August 16th 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: Paperback, 332 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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. - Good Reads

Before I get to picking on Vampire Academy, I will say I did like it this book and will continue on with the series...

But there were flaws. Flaws that personally irritated me and probably wouldn't bother the majority of the readers. The author brought the Russian Orthodox Church into the book, yet all her references were wrong. It isn't "mass", it's "Divine Liturgy". We cover our heads in church, we cross ourselves upon entering, we light candles and there are no long sermons and no sitting down. The "long boring sermons" part really irritated me. There aren't really any long sermons in the Orthodox church, just brief messages towards the end, but that's the quickest part of the service. It would have been better if the church would have been neutral and she hadn't picked a denomination. It would have been even better if she put effort forth to research it since I see how she wanted to tie it in with the Russian and Romanian background. The majority of Russians and Romanians being Orthodox Christians and all.

The other thing that bothered me and I might just be going overboard with this, but Lissa is not the nickname for Vasilisa, nor could it be. Vasilisa is pronounced "Vah-see-leesa". Leesa sounding like Lisa. So, Lisa would be a more valid nickname, though the nickname for Vasilisa is actually Vasya or Vasyona. Rose mentioned that she liked her "American" version better, which would had to of made it Lisa. Also, the female guardian with Dimitri who's first name slipped my head had the last name "Petrov". She's a girl, so it would be Petrova. Like in my instance my husband is Kurlykov and I'm Kurlykova.

Now, putting that aside it was an interesting read and it did drag me in. At first I didn't like Rose much at all. But she did show some growth throughout the book and by the end I warmed up to her a little more. I'm hoping for more growth and maturity in the coming books. I was kept in suspense throughout Vampire Academy and I honestly didn't know who done it for a long time. I only figured it out right before Rose did. Rose could be a little too self-confident for my taste at times and I was ready to reach in the book and slap her for being such a jackass sometimes and then other times I wanted to reach in and shake her for being so passive. Sometimes the way she referred to Dmitri was silly and immature. The whole 'badass god' thing got old. It's cool that he's strong, but it would have been nice if the vocabulary expanded. The writing wasn't amazing and a lot of phrases were reused, but I think the story was interesting enough for me to put that aside and enjoy it. I really like the fact that we get to see Lissa's views through Rose. That really enhanced the story and I loved her character.


What I really liked about this book was the lore though. Vampires are an interesting subject, but everyone represents them differently and I really liked Richelle's version of vampires and the whole world she's created. 

I checked this out from the library, but I think it's something I'll buy if I turn out to like the rest of the series. Which I'll admit I want to read ASAP. I'M SO MAD THE LIBRARY IS CLOSED RIGHT NOW AND TOMORROW I'LL BE BUSY ALL DAMN DAY, SO I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THURSDAY.  So, there. I liked it enough! 




5 comments

  1. I really like the VA series. It's a shame that Richelle Mead got the details of Russian Orthodoxy wrong, but most readers won't notice (me included, unfortunately, so thanks for the info).

    I agree with you about the writing: The VA series has the most basic writing of any YA book I've read. The story and the mythology of the moroi/dhampirs save it and make it worth reading, but it would be nice if the prose was little more imaginative.

    I also never got why it's Lissa instead of Lisa.

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  2. i loved this book!! i'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and opinions about the book. It sounds like a great read!!
    ~Sherry

    Sherry Soule Official Website

    Author of the Spellbound Series

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  4. TG: Yeah, most people wouldn't even know the difference, but I thought actually adding in the atmosphere of Orthodoxy would actually have made the story a little better. I think the atmosphere of an Orthodox church would actually fit in with the feel of the school and the world. It's funny because she describes it the boring sermons, but it's actually beautiful chanting and singing throughout the service. Everything is chanted and sung without instruments. And the incense and often times the icons and the darkness of the church! I think that would have helped improve the atmosphere of the story since the church was so involved.

    Carrie: Thanks for your comment! I actually did really enjoy it. I just finished #2 and I'M ALL EXCITED ABOUT IT! :D I'm on #3 now and basking in happiness. I am definitely liking this series!

    Sherry: Why thank you! :D I'll have to check out your books, the description looks interesting!

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  5. I have read and own the *Vampire Academy* series. I actually read them several times now. That's how much I love this series, and can't wait for the movie *Blood Sisters*! *Vampire Academy* was the 1st book I checked out of the library. I use to hate reading until I read *Twilight* I actually borrowed the *Twilight* books from my niece and read 1-3 each one in 24hrs. and "Breaking Dawn" took 48hrs. So after I read them about 5 times I decided to find more "Vampire Love stories" and came across *Vampire Academy* I didn't know about the religious parts being all wrong until I read your review. I loved how honest your review was. I also thought Lissa should have been Lisa. Love your Blog. & Happy Reading! :)

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