Vampire Academy series - Richelle Mead

I have read in less than a week the five first books of the Vampire Academy series and CAN'T WAIT to read The Last Sacrifice. As opposed to reviewing each book independently, I am going to tell you why going out in the snow right now to buy all the books is not such an insane idea at all.

Summary of Vampire Academy from Amazon:
St Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school - hidden away, it's a 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 where the girls must survive a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night time rituals. But most of all, staying alive.


I can see the ones who didn't read the series telling me that it is just yet another YA series on vampires and that it probably holds all the clichés in there and the story must be all about men chiseled chests and girls swooning. 
That's what I thought last week and that's why I haven't really been keen to read any series coming remotely close to vampires in a while. I like enjoying my reads and being taken into the story and not rolling my eyes every couple of pages because of what's going on. And oh boy was I taken into this one. I have been breathing Vampire Academy for the past days and people probably think I am insane. I just LOVE these books!

The whole vampire mythology, which expands throughout the books, is *awesome*. I can really feel that Richelle Mead was inspired by real vampire myths from Eastern Europe. I really love the distinction between Moroi (who drink blood but aren't dead) and Strigoi (who drink blood, and are dead and evil). I really love that in both societies there are strong issues, like elitism in the Moroi world. The different relationships between the various groups were fascinating and sounded real. It is one of the best vampire mythology I have read and everything makes sense.

The writing is absolutely perfect. The book is told from the amazing Rose's point of view (yes, I am Team Rose all the way :) ) but because she has a bond with Lissa, she also sees through her eyes and can tell what happens to Lissa when she isn't close. Aside from being a really awesome plot twist, it is an absolutely fantastic narrative tool! Rose's voice is snarky and often hilarious and she is the best character to tell us the story.

The characters are all amazing. They are full of layers and really serve the very rich mythology behind the story. The story is multidimensional and I loved seeing those characters falling very low and try to come back and make mistakes and... grow up.
Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir and acts as a protector for Lissa, who is the last member of the Dragomir family, one of the 12 royal families in the Moroi world. Rose often punches before talking (ok, not often, all the time) and she always says the worst things very loud. If you are a friend you think she is badass, if you are a foe you think she is a badass b****. Lissa is in a way Rose's contrary, both physically and mentally and is very sweet, but the magic she can do brings a darkness to her that is a real challenge for her compassion.
There are tons of other characters, and most of them not in the first book so I don't want to give spoilers, but they are all more than just a character, they bring something to the story and make you think. Even secondary characters have depth so you know you will enjoy the books if you like character-driven stories.
The relationships between characters are ace. Obviously Rose and Lissa have a fascinating way of dealing with their friendship, but we see a lot of parent-children relations (Rose and Janine for instance) as well with all the other characters. 

For the swooning teenage girl part of you (and oh boy must you be quite a few out there), the romance part is great and that is saying a lot since you know how much I get bored when the chiseled chest and I-can-see-through-your-soul talk starts. There is romance (everywhere!) but it doesn't hijack the story completely and is more of a teaser rather than full on fluttering heartbeats and sexy make out sessions dragging on for chapters (thank God). Brownie points for Richelle Mead!

The action. The action is wow and since most of it is done by Rose, it is wower. That girl is amazing and she knows how to throw a punch. There is a lot of fighting in there, and the action just flows effortlessly out of the pages and makes you part of the action. I woke up thinking about trying to save Rose at theand of Spirit Bound this morning. Crazy! And yes, though there are some dark parts in the book, the feminist in me didn't cringe all the time!

The sequels are really all amazing and the story doesn't lose its appeal after the fifth book, it just keeps on growing! There is always something new brought to each new book and it keeps the mythology as well as the characters and relationships between them fascinating. It is one of the best YA urban/horror fantasy series I have read!

The last books in the series The Last Sacrifice is out today, and the whole series has now a pretty new look in red and black, perfect Christmas present!!!

Have I convinced you yet? 

Watch the gorgeous trailer and be convinced at last:

Thank you so much to Penguin for sending me these wonderful books!


  1. And if anybody wants to win a set, they can hop over to my blog!!
    I really wanted to start the series so bad because I only read good things about it, but there is no way I would have read them all by today for the launch of the last one.

  2. Where can I buy the books with the red covers? Thanks!