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. (From Goodreads.com)
I’d heard lots about Vampire Academy, lots of good stuff that had me marking it as a series to get round to soon. With the release of the 6th and final book in the series (Last Sacrifice) this week I was offered the chance to review the whole series and agreed eagerly.
Vampire Academy is very different to any of the YA Vampire books I’ve read, that’s for sure. The first instalment took me by surprise I must admit- it’s fast paced, sexy and feisty right from the start… and I loved it! As soon as I started reading this book I felt ‘wow’.
Then sadly it kind of went downhill a little for a while after the first 20-30 pages. I was just so confused and had to check I hadn’t started book two by mistake. As the girls are returned to the academy we are introduced to so many different characters, of differing breeds it feels a lot to take in. Back-story is slowly revealed through flashbacks to the past and while I usually love this style of story telling, I didn’t enjoy it so much here and found it a little jumpy. If it wasn’t for Rose, whose point of view we read from and is definitely up there with my favourite girl characters ever, I may have been tempted to quit. Thankfully I didn’t and the final 100 pages are fantastic!
What I did like about this book was that I didn’t really know where it was going. While the middle was slow going, the final third of this book really does grip you. With plenty of unique and fascinating takes on Vampire lore it certainly stands out. But my favourite part of this book was the relationships between Rose and Vampire Princess Lissa and Rose and her mentor Dimitri. Both are intense and very interesting, and while Lissa herself left me feeling a little ‘meh’, Rose’s fierce loyalty towards her really intrigued me. All I can say about the relationship with Dimitri is…wow-Hot! There’s a seriously sexy scene or two in this book and the tension between the pair is electric. This is no simpering romance though…its on fire!
Conclusion: After a fast and feisty start Vampire Academy was a little shaky at times for me. There’s a lot of series setting which does get a little tiring at times but is worth persevering with for the fantastic climax and promises a breath taking series to follow.