Author: Richelle Mead.
Published: August 16th 2007 by Razorbill
Sort: Part one of ‘Vampire Academy.’
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.
I liked how the world was build. There was enough information to understand the hierarchy without having an information dump. There are bad vampires, Strigoi, good vampires, Moroi and the ones in between: half-human, half-vampire, also Dhampirs. They are the sworn protectors (or Guardians) from the Moroi vampires. Rose and Lissa have something that is even more special, because they are connected. Rose is a Dhamphir and can feel Lissa’s feelings. Sometimes she’s sucked into Lissa’s head and this strong bond makes Rose the ideal protector. The girls ran away, but are brought back to St. Vladimir’s Academy after two years of freedom by Dimitri. He is now also Lissa’s protector and he gives Rose extra lessons to make up for her lost school time.But things aren’t as good as they might seem. Rose and Lissa have to suffer from horrible rumors and Lissa keeps finding dead animals in her room. Something strange is going on and when Rose starts to unravel more information about Lissa’s gifts, she starts to worry for her friends sanity. Until Lissa disappears.
I had some trouble with Rose. She is many things we all wish we could be. Strong, smart, kick-ass and loyal, but on the downside, she is sometimes a bit too arrogant, too stubborn and unsteady. It’s good to have a character that is comfortable with her looks, but she went over the top here and there:
”I knew perfectly well that there weren’t a lot of girls at this school who looked as good in a bra as I did.”
I don't think it's very admirable when a character believes she is so much better than any other girl. She always points out how she is curvy and the vampire girls aren't, but that doesn't make her any prettier. Her sarcasm is great though and I adored her friendship with Lissa. It’s clear that they are meant for each other. Lissa is unpredictable. She is described as someone who looks like a princess, but she is mentally unstable and always on the brink of depression. I liked her and I think that with the right guidance, Lissa can be a strong and good leader with many loyal followers.
Unraveling what was going on with the dead animals wasn’t too hard, but you know what? That’s not what I was expecting about this book. It’s easy, fluffy and funny – sometimes that’s all what I’m asking for. I honestly don't care about the romance at this stage. The age difference between Rose and Dimitri is something I can't overlook for now, but I do want more.