Series: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Release Date: 2007 – 2010
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Vampire Academy series is one of those huge, renowned YA series that every YA lover must read, similar to The Mortal Instruments or Twilight. I’m one of those bloggers who have a soft spot for the paranormal romance genre – specifically vampires, so I’m not sure why I put off the Vampire Academy series for so long. I had my expectations set pretty high, and after fully completing the series, my final verdict is I’m glad I read the series so I can say I did, but it’s definitely not the best series out there.
The series does get progressively better as the books go on, but they are moderately all about the same level of enjoyment. The first installment didn’t precisely “hook me”, per se, but it was likable enough for me to continue the series.
The characters are honestly probably my favorite part of the whole series. They are truly a fun cast! Rose Hathaway is the main character, and I found her to be endearingly realistic and flawed. However, she’s also very spunky and can kick some butt. Her friends are supportive and smart, making for some exciting, scheming adventures. The romance plays a pretty big role in the entire series; it’s definitely the underlying idea throughout the books. At first it felt a little weird since the man is older than Rose by 7 years and it is one of those teacher-student romances, but I grew to love it as Rose graduates high school.
Technically, this series is labeled as a “vampire book”, but honestly, I see it more as an urban fantasy. Richelle Mead categorizes the vampires into different “races” if you will: Moroi (good vampires), Strigoi (bad vampires), and dhampir (guardian half-vampires). This series did not feel vampire-y at all. So if you hate reading about vampires, still give this one a go.
My main issue with this series has to be Mead’s writing. It’s painfully simple and the language is utterly plain, so nothing juicy there. But when we get down to it, the simplicity of her writing style is what makes the reader able to fly through this series so fast. In some ways, it’s both a good and bad thing. I guess I just didn’t expect her writing to be so completely plain.
I’m overall happy with the Vampire Academy series: entertaining and fast-paced. I’m interested in reading the spin-off series, Bloodlines, but I want to take a break from the world for a little while. I think Mead still has a lot to offer in this world, so I am excitedly ready for more!