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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Title: Vampire Academy

Author: Richelle Mead

No. of Pages: 332

First Released: August 2007

Synopsis (Courtesy of B&N): “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.”

Comments and Critiques: Just when I thought I had read everything there was about vampires, I am introduced to the world of Moroi, dhampirs, and Strigoi.  It is an unusual mythology but it works.  Vampires who are alive, part-human part-vampire, and evil vampires who are officially dead – they make for an intriguing mix, fantastically believable.

Make no mistake, this is not going to win any awards.  Ms. Mead is no Shakespeare.  The vocabulary is weak, and there are way too many grammatical errors in this book.  For a moment, I thought I was reading an ARC, but alas, I paid money for it.  The errors definitely detracted from the book.  The dialogue wavers from waxing poetic to being overly stilted.  However, anyone who reads this is not expecting Tolstoy-type work.  What makes this book work is the characters.  Rose is an amazing example of female power and a great role model for teenage girls.  She grows from a spoiled teen to someone who realizes and accepts her responsibilities with the proper mix of respect and grace.  It’s refreshing to see a teenager grow that much in one short book.  In addition, the fact that she excels in a male-dominated role is an even greater example of female power.  If anyone proves that women can play with the big boys, Rose does.  Rose definitely reminds me of Buffy, and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri.  I’m anxious to read what else happens, if Rose will ever get her man, and if Lissa will ever be able to resolve her powers.  I would love to see more of the Strigoi and see how Rose handles them.  It was a light, fun read that I would recommend to the young-at-heart and fantasy-inclined.

What did you think?  Agree or disagree?

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