Today I will be talking about the Vampire Academy book series by Richelle Mead. I bought the first book a few months ago, I felt ready to begin a new book series and fall in love with new fictional characters and discover a whole new different world. I will try my best to avoid spoilers, however if I do I will warn you before hand!
First of all, I'd like to say that I love Y A fiction (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, The Mortal Instruments...) and this series definitely possesses the characteristics specific to the Young Adult Fiction genre: it involves themes that appeal to these readers, and with which they can relate to. Identity, sexuality, love, friendship, bullying and popularity, depression, family troubles. All these themes are explored through the lead characters life experiences, in a world where the supernatural and the paranormal is just an normal everyday thing. It fits in the paranormal romance, urban and dark fantasy genres.
In this case, the lead character is Rose Hathaway, a 17 year old Dhampir who is training to become a bodyguard to protect her best friend & bond-mate Lissa Dragomir, a Moroi and also of royalty, the last of her line. The story is set in a world of magic & vampires (the good ones called the Moroi and the bad, known as the Strigoi. I'll let you discover the reason why there are 2 different ones!)
In these books you'll discover vampires (Moroi & Strigoi), dhamphirs, guardians, vampire politics and royalty and magic.
I really enjoyed the first 3 books: Vampire Academy, Frostbite & Shadow Kiss. However during the fourth book, Blood Promise, I got really bored with the plot and the general lack of story development. The only reason I pursued reading it is because of my love for the characters, particularly Christian Ozera, Adrian Ivashkov & Sydney Sage. The former is with us from book one, Adrian Ivashkov makes his debut in book two and Sydney Sage in book four. I think the reason I was disappointed with book four is because there was so much potential & so many interesting ideas and concepts (concerning the use of magic for one) but instead the story was focused on a love story between the lead character and SPOILER her teacher/crush Dimitri Belikov. Even though the whole story in general is based on this, having an entire book where Rose only thinks about how good looking and tall he was became a little annoying and unbearable, especially when the story could have focused on magic users and alchemists, not to mention the different abilities of the shadow-kissed. (Sorry for being vague, I would rather you guys discovered the story yourselves ;) ) But that is just my opinion, for those who love a good star crossed lovers love story, then this series is the one for you.
One thing you should know about these books is that it's constructed in a way that the whole start and middle of the book is a build-up towards the "finale", so most of the time you have no idea where the plot is leading you until the last few chapters. In the last book however, the plot is laid out from start to finish and has loads of action and one or two plot twists. For me personally, it definitely makes up for the last two books that I found slightly disappointing in terms of plot. (However the characters are so love-able and the story has so much potential that I couldn't help reading on, and I'm so glad that I did because the last book is probably the best). One thing I love in books is team work, & throughout the last book all the characters are working together, learning more about each-other and bringing them closer together.
What I found disappointing: lack of story development concerning magic: what are the limits? what else are spirit users capable of achieving? Moroi training/fighting? What else can the shadow-kissed do?
All the different ideas expressed throughout the series: true love and soul-mates, equality, royalty, sacrifice.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves love stories, love triangles, vampires and magic. I would say anyone between the ages of 13-17/18 would enjoy this the most.
I'm really glad I read these books as I love the characters and the concept of magic-using vampires.
Bloodlines is a spin-off series that follows some of the characters from Vampire Academy, so I might give it a read in a bit. Hope you enjoyed this post and please let me know what you think! x