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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Rose and Lissa are best friends who share an unimaginable bond, even by vampire standards. Now, after time spent on the run, they have been returned to the school from which they escaped to face ridicule, speculation, and danger.

Welcome to St. Vladimir's Academy, a private high school for vampires and the half-bloods who are bound to protect them. The Moroi are vampires, and the descendants of Moroi royalty are the social elite of St. Vladimir's. The Moroi are at constant risk, though. The Strigoi, the fiercest vampires, are out to get them, any way they can. The Moroi are protected by Dhampirs, guardians who are sworn to lay down their lives to assure that the Moroi bloodlines continue.

Rose is a Dhampir and Lissa is the last of the Dragomir line of Moroi royalty. Rose and Lissa share a special bond; one that nearly assures that Rose will be Lissa's guardian for life. Returning to school, however, proves to be more difficult than either of them imagined. The social politics have changed during their absence and Rose and Lissa are both the topic of several rumors. Their sudden disappearance, their time on the run, and their return are all subjects for speculation. In some instances, the truth may cause them more harm than rumors ever could.

In addition to the social pressures, Lissa may be in even more danger than anyone could have imagined. In addition to being Moroi and royalty, Lissa seems to have special abilities that haven't been seen among the Moroi in centuries. Abilities that make her an even more tantalizing target to the Strigoi.

VAMPIRE ACADEMY is a thrilling adventure that draws you along and makes you continue to turn the pages. As the danger to Lissa gets closer, it gets more difficult to put the book down. In a world that seems saturated with vampire books, Richelle Mead has created characters and a world that is both unique and believable.

Reviewed by: JodiG.
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on 25 May 2009
This is the first in the Vampire Academy series and it's an amazing start. I was instantly drawn in to Rose's world and her desire to keep Lissa safe and the lengths she'd go to, to acchive it.

Rose is sassy and rebelious, but with an edge that clearly shows she understands a lot more about being an adult than you would iniatially assume, but she doesn't always show it. The world created here is vivid and realistic, something easy to get lost in. All the characters are developed well and you can get a really good sense of them in a short space of time. I love the relationship between Rose and her teacher, Dimitri Belikov and the way it's created. It is a forbidden romance, but it's not all consuming. They grow closer as they train together through discovering more about the other and who they are. Although romance is a big theme here, it's not the main one. It's the major subplot, and becomes a little more in the third book, but it's not the focus of the book, nor does Rose spend all her time mooning after Dimitri.

The plot flows quick and easily, making it a very hard book to put down. The writing is good and with a sharp sense of humor that creates a few laugh out loud moments. You can really feel the ups and downs as Rose does, keeping the tension up until the last moment.

Anyone who's looking at this having read Twilight and looking for another YA vampire book, read this. In my opinion, it's massively better. The characters more interesting and far less annoying with a much bigger, more rounded, and darker story around it. Fantastic work, and the series only gets better. 4.5 stars.
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on 20 June 2009
I haven't read Twilight. The last book I read about vampires was...over a decade ago, back when I was school. It was The Vampire Promise by Caroline B Cooney. I was petrified when I read it, and gave up on vampires. Then, there was Buffy. I enjoyed vampires after that, yet still never ventured into vampire fiction. I didn't get the deal with Vampires, why they made such cool characters, why everyone raved about them. That was until Vampire Academy.

Vampire Academy is the first in a trilogy, already out across the pond in the United States of America. It's the story of Rose Hathaway, unofficial guardian to Lissa Dragomir, a vampire Princess. The only survivor in her family.

For reasons I will not divulge, the story begins with Rose and Lissa as runaways from St Vladimir's Academy. The guardians at the Academy unceremoniously drag them back to school. However, it isn't as safe as all believe it to be.

The Academy is home to other royal vampires, and novice guardians. There's the usual school atmospheres: cliques are formed, popularity is uppermost in most students' thoughts. Superficial friendships related to the constantly run popularity contests run alongside more recreational relationships. Surrounded by this, and the real threat of expulsion which will keep Rose away from Lissa forever if she caves in to her wild nature, is the mysterious bond the two girls acquired after the accident two years prior to their escape.

It's a bond on a physic level, one which neither will tell the teachers about. The bond saves Lissa's life countless of times. There's more than just the bond that's kept secret: Lissa, although she doesn't show particular aptitude in any of the four magical elements which the students study, has another skill, one which forced the two to run away from the Academy. Now they're back, the skill begins to consume Lissa, changing her from the sweet, vampire princess she used to be into a literally manipulative princess. She has many redeeming qualities, the level of compassion she has for anyone, or anything hurt, and the way she's not keen when other students exploit Feeders - humans who enjoy being fed off.

Rose definitely holds the crown for snarkiness - the story is told from her point of view - but Lissa doesn't keep her fangs hidden when issues she care about arise.

That's what drew me to Vampire Academy: the fact that it wasn't told from the POV of the princess, but from her friend - her unofficial guardian (technically Rose is still in training). I don't see this happen a lot in fiction, at least not the books I've read up until now. I've always wanted to know the stories behind the protectors, how they developed their fighting skills, how they strengthened their minds to protect their charges no matter the cost.

Rose believes that she can take on the Stirgoi, the type of vampires who never die. Think super-tough, with abnormally fast reactions and pure evil minds. The scariest thing about them? They can keep their nature hidden for a while.

Dimitri, Lissa's personal guardian, volunteers to help train Rose. He pushes her hard, but not as hard as she pushes herself once she learns the reason behind the seemingly useless exercise.

relationships raised the paperclip level to three. There's some coarse language, a fair amount of innuendo and a little detail on adult relationships.

That didn't stop me from sitting glued to my book, oblivious as my parents kept picking up and putting back oven gloves on my lap this evening. The way sensitive topics that until not long ago were a taboo area are addressed makes me want to hand Vampire Academy out in schools around the country. Depression and self-harm are portrayed in a startling accurate manner. It shows the view from the close friend, seeing what the sufferer is doing to themselves, not quite understanding it, but accepting that it's a part of them. I won't spoil the outcome of that story line, but its one which touched my heart.

Vampire Academy has opened up a new genre for me - Vampires. (Yes, I may now go and read Twilight. Maybe). You can guarantee that I'll be waiting for the post when the second installment, Frostbite comes out in October. It's bound to have more plot twists and edge of chapter page turners than this one.
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on 11 December 2009
I bought this purely because i needed something to read, i honestly did not expect to get sucked into the story as much as i did... and in three words I LOVE IT!

The title of the first book in the series is a bit...bleh! To be honest, it makes it sound a lot more childish and lame than in actually is! Rose, a dhampir (half human half vamp) is training to be a guardian to protect her best friend Lissa, a moroi (vamps that age, live, eat etc)

After the first few chapters, i felt as if id missed out a book, that i wasn't in the loop of what was happening! It kept mentioning things that had happened previously that i wasn't aware of, this was quite frustrating at first. However, it just made me more determined to find out what had happened - as i suspect was the authors goal...

It was Rose's relationship with her mentor that kept me going back for more, I'm a sucker for forbidden love! I loved all scenes with Rose and Dimitri...

Vampire Academy, is funny, edgy, exciting, and puts a totally different spin on vampire lore and this is what i love about it...! Read it, you will not be disappointed! I promise!
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on 5 April 2016
Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, half-vampire and half-human, who is training to be a guardian at St Vladimir's Academy along with many others like her. There are good and bad vampires in their world: Moroi, who co-exist peacefully among the humans and only take blood from donors, and also possess the ability to control one of the four elements - water, earth, fire or air; and Strigoi, blood-sucking, evil vampires who drink to kill. Rose and other dhampir guardians are trained to protect Moroi and kill Strigoi throughout their education. Along with her best friend, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir, a Moroi and the last of her line, with whom she has a unbreakable bond.
The film starts with Rose (Zoey Deutch) who must run away from St Vladimir's, in order to protect Lissa (Princess Vasilisa Dragomir played by Lucy Fry) from those who wish to harm the princess and use her for their own means. Fellow dhampir's eventually find them returning them back to the academy.
One of these is Dimitri Belikov (Danila Kozlovsky).
When they return, the Headmistress Kirova (Olga Kurylenkon) itends to punish Rose, but the old Moroi Victor Dashkov (Gabriel Byrne), who was a friend of Lissa's family, dissuades Kirova from her intent. Lissa dates her outcast schoolmate Christian Ozera ( Dominic Sherwood) kind of but unexpectedly she is threatened by someone that wishes to harm her. Victor's daughter Natalie (Sarah Hyland) joins Rose and Lissa to help them to seek out who might be the enemy.
There are twists and turns and your normal teenage angst.
"Kirova: Rose Hathaway is wild, dangerous...
Dimitri Belikov: Insubordinate.
Rose Hathaway: [waves hands in front of her] Right here, folks. Right here."
"Rose Hathaway: I lied, Lissa doesn't think that you're a creepy stalker, she actually likes you.
Christian Ozera: Then why did you-?
Rose Hathaway: Because I think that you're a creepy stalker and I actually don't like you."
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on 28 August 2008
this book is AMAZING. the title is a little cheesy, and puts a 'lame' sticker on the book, but once you read it, the book is great. some of the characters are a little superficial. a great teenage read. i would know, being a teenager and all. i'd recommend this to all my friends. in fact, i have, and i've turned them all into vampire-novel junkies. this book is a favourite with all of them.
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on 27 September 2009
Admittedly, I had my doubts about this one, but I was pleasantely suprised at how good it was. I liken it to the Harry Potter effect--written for young people, loved by adults. This one is the first in the series and I am really looking forward to checking out more like it. All the way through, it kept getting better for me. I'd recommend this one to fans of Charlene Harris and Harry Potter.
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on 11 May 2015
I had never heard of Richelle Mead, and only came across her books after watching the Vampire Academy movie with my daughter (which I really enjoyed too - loved the casting of Zoey Deutch as Rose Hathaway, and Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri...all I can say is 'hot'!). I was a Twilight fan so wasn't so worried that these books were targeted at a teen market. I think the difference between Twilight and VA is that whilst Twilight was sensual, Vampire Academy is passionate, action filled, full of humour and suspense, and even contained some tear-jerker moments - I shed tears a few times!

After reading this series I also bought the follow on series Bloodlines - which is another great read. I am definitely a Richelle Mead fan now and have started reading her other books - making my way through the Swan series at the moment.

If you are on the fence, then don't be - you will thoroughly enjoy this series.
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on 25 January 2016
I have completed the full set and these books blow me a way. Well worth the read and with price there aford able. A world of romance, excitement and danger.
There many charities in these book but the leads are Rose and Lissa. These two have a strong bond magical and physical. There love life's are a journey but its well worth it. Completely hocked and inturn I lent my copys to a Freind who is also now hocked.
Am moving to Bloodlines now but will return to these books many more time.
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on 30 April 2014
I've heard so much about this series, all being good, and I have a few friends who rate Richelle Mead as a top author.... well, I think I've just joined in!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the way this book was written, it hit all the right spots and jolted me in the right places... I loved the way the characters were portrayed and the way the plot panned out...

I really didn't know what to expect, of course I didn't even consider the title... Vampire and Academy (doh)... but I'm glad I didn't think about it too much because it gave me a lovely surprise when reading it... Having said that, even if I thought about it and guessed maybe at what the story contained, I would have still been surprised at the plot and the outcome!!!

Dimitri... what can I say.... Dimitri, Dimitri... every story has one... from the JZB's to the BDB's... our Dimitri ranks as high as those big bad beautiful men for me... and Rose is a remarkable leading lady... I didn't expect the bonds or the powers within the storyline and I found them intriguing...

I had planned to read another author's book after this story and return to the next Vampire Academy book after that... but no... I will be picking up number two right away!!!

I loved this book... I just wish I'd read it earlier!!!
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