Vampire Academy, Book 1
Tags: YA, paranormal, vampires, sex
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
This is no ordinary vampire world you’re stepping into. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, a half-vampire, half-human being who is sworn to protect the lives of the Moroi, mortal vampires whose blood is especially desirable by the Strigoi, the evil immortal vampires. Rose has a unique bond with her best friend Lissa, a Moroi princess. The bond was what told her that being at Vampire Academy among the guardians and the other Moroi and dhampirs wasn’t safe, and so two years ago they escaped and have been on the run ever since.
At the start of their senior year, however, Rose and Lissa get caught and it’s back to the pointless social politics of the Academy they go. In between classes, house arrest (as punishment for escaping), and grueling training sessions with the extremely hot Russian guardian Dimitri, however, Rose begins to sense that danger is surrounding Lissa, that she is not who she thinks she is. Lissa has a rare power that could destroy her, and only Rose can protect Lissa from herself…and others who might want to use her for their own benefits.
Now this is the kind of YA paranormal series that I like. Butt-kicking, whip-smart female protagonists; dangerously sexy and complicated love interests; cutthroat high school drama; and an elaborately imagined alternative world…what more could you ask for?
All of the characters, not just the main ones, are great. They have personality, they make biting remarks, they sharpen their claws, spread rumors, manipulate. The Academy is, in a way, like Gossip Girl for vampires: the class politics underlining this series makes it more than a just-for-paranormal-entertainment read. Dhampirs whose life mission is to protect the royal Moroi? An exchange of blood between dhampires and Moroi being dirty and disgusting? The Moroi’s conscious decision to hide from, not fight, the bloodthirsty Strigoi? Come on. There’s plenty to be discussed in this book, as well as plenty to be entertained about.
And speaking of entertainment. The Gossip Girl reference is accurate, more so because of the sexuality that runs through the book. Vampires themselves are already attractive creatures; throw in a couple of hot guys, smart girls, and impossible romances, and you’ve got drama and heartbreak enough to satisfy your cravings. Most books get their strength through either character development or plot; VAMPIRE ACADEMY does both.
This book is class drama for the paranormal set, Twilight done right (in a sexually realistic kind of way). Pick this up and you’ll be sucked immediately into its enchantment. I doubt you will be disappointed.
Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods series)
Want more? I am dying to get my hands on the next in the series. Dying.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5