- Reading level: Young Adult
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Razorbill; First Edition edition (August 16, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159514174X
- ISBN-13: 978-1595141743
I've been wanting another good teen vampire series to read, and there are so many to choose from right now that it was actually difficult deciding what to read first. This series came recommended by my favorite book reviewer/blogger, Jess at http://bookreviewsbyjess.blogspot.com/ so I decided it was a good place to start.
While I loved the characters of Rose and Lissa (I've always liked the name Vasilissa from Ukrainian/Russian folklore), it took me a few chapters to get into this one. It's written well enough and it's got a great hook for the beginning, but I'm a stickler for Vampire tradition. Mead has created her own world of vampires, something I've seen a lot of YA authors do when it comes to the undead, and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, for me it delays my interest in the story.
After a few chapters, I was hooked and fully emerged in the world Mead had created with Vampire Academy: There are two types of vampires--Moroi are mortal vampires and wield the earth's magic elements (fire, water, air, earth). Strigoi are immortal undead. They've gone to the dark side and lost their magic but gained strength and ferocity. They're basically the traditional vampire but they now carry an uncontrollable desire to drink from the Moroi. Then we also have dhampirs. While half-breeds aren't a new concept, having them as guardians that devote their lives to protecting the Moroi, is (I hate ending a sentence with the word "is" but for today, I'll deal).
Rose is a novice guardian and she's fully devoted to protecting Lissa, her best friend. In an effort to protect Lissa, from what Rose doesn't fully understand, she takes her away form the academy. The book begins with their return to St. Vladimir's Academy. They're back within the well guarded confines of the school, but danger may be even closer than it was on the outside.
Like I said, I thought it was well written. Mead is a very talented story teller and not once did the book feel dull. There's romance, secrets, scandal and vampires. Oh! And big sexy Russian vampires! Ya lublu, tebya, Dimitri Belikov. What's not to love? I recommend this series to all teen vampire fans.