Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I enjoyed the first half of this book. I don't usually read vampire novels (literary snob that I am), but with Fill-in-the-Gaps Project I've been trying to read outside my comfort zone. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I initially found myself interested in the plot and characters of Vampire Academy (the first book in a series of six). Of course, reading it felt a lot like watching an HBO drama, but there's a time and place for HBO dramas, and I guess I was in the mood to be entertained.

I thought author Richelle Mead's twist on classic vampires was interesting. She has a good group (the Moroi), a bad group (the Strigoi), and then vampire guardians who aren't vampires (the dhampirs). Main character, Rose, is a dhampir. She is best friends with Lissa, a Moroi princess, and works as her protector.

Mead found a pretty sneaky way to show two characters' thoughts and feelings without switching back and forth between points of view. She gave Rose the gift of getting inside Lissa's head and seeing through Lissa's eyes, basically whenever she wanted to. When Rose started doing this all the time, however, the story crumbled for me. I felt like Mead cheated, using Rose's ability to spoon-feed us Lissa's emotions. The end was especially disappointing. There was so much telling about how Lissa was feeling, the conclusion felt scrambled and rushed.

Also, by the end I was totally bored with all the intrigues of the Vampire Academy. There was so much gossip and back-stabbing and not a single character to redeem it.

Needless to say, I've read outside my comfort zone with this one and tried to do so with an open mind, but I won't be continuing with the series. And I haven't checked my FitG list for more vampire novels, but I'm kind of hoping this is the last one I have to read. I've done my due diligence by reading Twilight and this book. Sorry all you vampire fans out there!