Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Audiobook Review : Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

  • Release Date : August 16th 2007
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Audiobook Length : 8 hours 55 minutes

Synopsis : 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

Two years ago Rose Hathaway,  a half-human vampire, and her best friend Lissa Dragomir, a vampire princess, ran away from the vampire filled St. Vladimir's Academy. We don't know what they've been running from, but these girls have their reasons. Only now, they've been dragged back to St. Vladmir's and the darkness has followed them.

Vampire Academy is the first book in my growing "Books I Need To Read Before The Film Adaptation Comes Out" list. Since I've started blogging I've read a lot of positive reviews and excitement for this series. I even had the opportunity to attend and author event where Richelle Mead was in attendance and she has so many passionate fans who stood in line for hours to get her signature.

Right off the bat. the most dynamic part of this book is the strong bond between Rose and Lissa. It's refreshing to have a YA novel where the two main female characters are friends and not frenemies.
 As a  half-vampire Rose's choices in life in the vampire world  are limited, but despite her dhampir status she is in trainig to become Lissa's guardian. I think this  dedication adds a another level to their friendship

Going to  a school full of vampires , Rose and Lissa deal with their fair share of mean girls, gossip,social climbing and romantic entanglements.  I found that because this book isn't one of those "humans meet vampires " books, that the vampire elements where rather muted, which lends this  book well to those who aren't big paranormal readers.

Personally, I found this book to be very similar in tone to Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Both books feature female protagonists returning to a paranormal school, training to be a guardian and of course a   receiving extra help from a gorgeous older male superior. However what makes Vampire Academy come more full circle for me are the strong female relationships in the book.

Stephanie Wolf does the audio for this book and since I once had Russian co-workers, I found her Russian accent to be extremely accurate. I did think she made Lissa sound a little to young and innocent and not like a teenager. Khristine Hvam from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone audiobooks does the next audiobook, so I am curious to hear her interpretation of the same characters.

Vampire Academy is the perfect book for those who want a lighter YA paranormal with a few dark elements and a touching female friendship.  I enjoyed the world and character enough that I plan on reading the second book in the series Frostbite.

 The movie has one of the directors from Mean Girls so I'm interested to see how this gets compared to  Mean Girls. I think Zoey Deutch is a perfect Rose plus they have a real Russian  actor playing Dimitri!

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