Publication Date: March 31, 2008
Publisher: Penguin Group
Goodreads ~ Amazon
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.
For being a big (big, huge) vampire fan, I took my time starting this series. I cannot put my finger on what exactly it was that kept me away from it. Honestly, I don't know.
I am glad I started it but it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
Let me touch on the audio portion first. Stephanie Wolfe does a wonderful job at narrating, Mead is really lucky to have her. I can't say I really loved all the character voices, especially Lissa. She ended up sounding like a simpering weakling...not a favorite of mine. But, the inflection was spot on throughout most of the book and Rose's attitude shined.
The vampire lore in this is where the story really drew me in. I won't go into a huge amount of detail as most of you have probably already read this series...really, I'm like the last one on the planet. Moroi are like the elite pure blood fangers, Dhampir are like half breed bodyguards for the Moroi. Strigoi are the evil and vicious killing kind of fangers that the Dhampir have to protect the Moroi from. Clear? There is, obviously, much more to it and I found these details intriguing.
The story itself was slow and somewhat predictable. There is also the weird attraction between Rose and Dimitri. I loved Dimitri but the relationship was almost uncomfortable because of the ages of these two. Only because I was rooting for them to get together...hmm.
Jeesh, I sound like I really didn't like this book. That isn't the case. I did. Like I said, I like the lore. I also really enjoyed Dimitri and Rose. I think Rose has a lot of characteristics I like in a female protagonist.
Okay, I am going to stop this incessant rambling and just say this : Vampire Academy is the start of what I think may end up being a quite addictive series. It is not without fault but it builds a fairly solid foundation for some pretty great potential stories. I will continue with the series, just may not rush out to do it.