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.
The author has created a unique and intriguing world of vampires. Vampire Academy sets up the series really well by introducing us to the academy and the main character Rose. There are two types of vampires that are in conflict and half vampires known as Dhampirs. This is way better than the usual vampires vs. weak humans!
The first chapter presents a lot of mystery to be solved. Lissa and Rose have run away from the Academy but the readers are left in the dark as to why. Even when they are dragged back to the academy, we still don't find out as they resume their previous daily lives.
Within the academy there is plenty of high-school-ish drama - jealousy, crushes, revenge, gossip - which made it seem like a human environment even though they are vampires. I loved this aspect because at times it made me feel like I was reading a paranormal novel but at other times realistic fiction that looks at teen issues.
In my opinion, the beginning was quite slow as the main character Rose mingled with peers and constantly worried about Lissa's developing depression, when comparing it with the relatively faster pace toward the end of the book. There was a few comments throughout of it being dirty to drink blood while doing it and incidents regarding it, which kind of turned me off a bit because it felt like unnecessary information (sounds twisted even if not mentioned). Also disturbing was some slitting wrists involved but not too graphic.
Of course there is the romance and the forbidden aspect of it explored in the book. The male interest Dimitri didn't really stand out for me in the beginning of the book probably due to the few scenes with Rose. By the end of the book, his actions regarding Rose and himself surprised me and heightened my interest of his relationship with Rose. Also, I didn't like Rose much but as a reader I could see the change in a playful and reckless Rose into Responsbile Rose by the end of the book which made me like her better. It was really refreshing to read about a kick-ass, confident and strong female lead, getting things done instead of staying idle or relying on others.
Another things I liked was how the history of vampires was included - St Vladmir's history, the terms to explain different types of vampires. It was explained by Ms. Mead very well and allowed me to be transported to and be part of the Vampire Academy world. The climax was really good and was an omg wth moment.
The ending is satisfying but leads to many questions and open ends! I'm ready to get stuck into the Vampire Academy world once again with Frostbite.