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REVIEW: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Published by Razorbill on 16th August 2007
Pages: 332


Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…
Sadly I was rather disappointed with Vampire Academy. It certainly did not live up to the hype. Like the majority, I really do hate these covers, they are so cheesy!

Rose and Lissa have been on the run from The Academy, but when Dimitri finally tracks them down, they are hauled back. Though history has a tendency to come crawling back to you, and whilst Rose becomes increasingly worried about Lissa, she must try to keep the secrets surrounding their abrupt leave, before Dimitri or the wrong people find out.

The characters in this novel were okay. I am not sure whether I liked Rose of not. She was strong-willed, could kick-butt and always endangered her life if it meant saving her best-friend. She could be rather admirable, especially with her witty personality that would certainly have you smiling at moments. However, there were certainly aspects of her character that I did not like. To be honest I would have rather read the novel from the perspective of Lissa, I found her to be a far more interesting character as sometimes I felt Rose just seemed to fall a little flat.

The main relationship in this novel was the thing I really hated. The relationship between Rose and Dimitri was weird. I mean, she was 17/18 and he was 24, which in this novel I felt just did not work. I just... I really struggled to see the romance that the majority of readers have seen. There just felt to be no chemistry, no swoon moments to make you think 'yes, they should totally be together!'. I just felt forced. However, like in my previous paragraph, I much preferred the slow developing relationship between Lissa and Christian. It was mysterious and amazing, so very cute!

The plot of this novel, the majority of times, just did not grab me. Admittedly I did read Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout a month before starting this, and they are very much alike in terms of plot. However, Half-Blood had that spark in the plot that Vampire Academy did not. As a reader you want to be invested into a novel and yet it felt rather flat. It was slow paced and constantly lost my attention, yes their were parts that were interesting which all revolved around Lissa but apart from that there was nothing that shocked me, or had me cheering them on. Just a lack of action and thrill in the novel.

Sadly this first novel of the series did not impress me, though I have heard that people have preferred the second to the first, so I will try the sequel, although I am not rushing out to get it.

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