If you've been following my twitter, you may have heard that I'm dealing with the aftermath of a housefire. Mix that with my work schedule, and I haven't had much time to write my reviews. But I never stop reading, so expect further reviews for the Lords of the Underworld series, Ultraviolet, and the Vampire Academy series, plus a few others that are probably escaping me, at the moment.
That being said, I finally have the time to write up a quick review, and today I figured I'd start my special Vampire Academy readthrough series of reviews. For those of you wondering why these particular reviews are special, the answer is that unlike the majority of Mead's fans, I did not read Vampire Academy first. Rather, I got ahold of a Bloodlines ARC--which you can see my review for here on this blog--and read that before I was asked to do a Vampire Academy series review. That being said, let me begin my review of Vampire Academy, through the eyes of a Bloodlines' fan.
As someone who read Bloodlines first, let me start by advising everyone to not make the same mistake. Bloodlines is the first book in a series that, while being a spinoff, is still a series that can standalone. This means that the story is a huge spoiler for, let's face it, pretty much everything in just the first book, and several major points that I assume show up later. If you don't like your books spoiled, don't touch Bloodlines until after Vampire Academy.
But even with the spoilers, I still enjoyed Vampire Academy--although I'll admit that I'm enjoying the following books a lot more. In Vampire Academy, you follow Rose and her best friend, Lissa. After running away two years ago from the academy meant to train living vampires--Moroi--to live in society and use their elemental powers, and dhampires--half human and half vampires--to be able to be guardians that protect the Moroi, the two girls are suddenly caught and sent back, where Rose faces expulsion and separation from Lissa if she steps out of line even once. The only reason she is even allowed to stay is the mental bold formed between the girls that makes Rose the perfect candidate to be Lissa's guardian after graduation. But before they can graduate, the pair have to survive their final years of training, dealing with the rumors and aftermath of their escape, and the dead animals that keep appearing in Lissa's things.
Vampire Academy is a decent book that I probably would have enjoyed more if I hadn't already spoiled most of the plot. I particularly enjoyed the types of vampires that Mead has created, and her twists on the race and myths. I love the academy setup, too, which is probably the influence of my inner Harry Potter fangirl. But what's really great about Vampire Academy is that, while there is the typical romance you associate with a YA book, nowadays, VA isn't at all Twilight-esque like so many paranormal YA books tend to be, nowadays. There's a great plot, strong female characters, and and the romance is light and -not- the entire reason for the book.
The only bad thing I can say about Vampire Academy is that it's a little slow, in comparison to the later books in the series. That being said, if VA isn't your favorite book when you're reading it, I'd still suggest finishing it and going on to the next book in the series before you give it quits.
Vampire Academy is a promising start to a new series, and fans of books like the House of Night series or vampires in general will probably really get into it. If you're a paranormal YA fan, you'll probably like Vampire Academy too, and I'd definitely suggest picking it up at your local library or bookstore.