2 Jun 2012

Series Overview: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (contains spoilers!)

WARNING: Unless you’ve read the entire series do not continue on! Beware, spoilers lie ahead!

I remember when I first picked up Vampire Academy. It was getting late and I had a headache and I didn’t know what to do with myself, but I did know I wanted to read and get lost in a good book. So I decided upon Vampire Academy and here I am, 6 books later, a crazy, fanatic fan!

Vampire Academy makes for an excellent start to the series, introducing the reader to the wonderful world Richelle Mead has created. It was interesting to learn about the version of vampires the author has whipped up – Dhampir, Moroi, Strigoi – and what their roles are in society and how they are seen in the social pyramid. There's a lot to take in but thankfully the author does it with taste, slowly but steadily presenting the reader with new bits of information here and there instead of in one big heap.
“Do you think I'm pretty?
I think you're beautiful
You are so beautiful, it hurts sometimes.”
Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy
Overall I thought Vampire Academy was enjoyable but the second instalment, Frostbite, wowed me and hooked me completely! Sometimes sequels can disappoint but with Frostbite this wasn’t the case at all, in fact it was the total opposite! It seems that with Richelle Mead, she only gets better with time (no cheesy pun intended). Loved the ski resort setting as its glittering winter landscape made it magical to read about. Sizzling fires, falling snow and hot chocolate – what more could you want! The ending of Frostbite was intense. It was so sad to see Mason die as he was such a great friend to Rose and the way in which he passed makes it even worse.
“You can't force love, I realized. It's there or it isn't. If it's not there, you've got to be able to admit it. If it is there, you've got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love.”
Richelle Mead, Frostbite
Shadow Kiss follows the journey of Rose after Mason’s death, her finding peace, letting go of the guilt, seeing ghosts (mostly Mason’s) and moving on…with the help of Dimitri. And just when you think everything is good again, it all comes crashing down and fast with a single word: Buria. And just like that, BAM! The ending was so intense, I couldn’t believe it. One minute Dimitri was himself and the next he was Strigoi. I was stunned and if I hadn’t of heard that he features in the spin-off series, Bloodlines, I don’t think I would have taken it as graciously as I did. Despite thinking everything would eventually turn out it was still a lot to take in and come to terms with. I was a little very annoyed with Lissa at the end of Shadow Kiss, when she tries to use compulsion on Rose. After everything Rose has done for her this is how she repays her? In the end though, I forgive Lissa because I know how much she cares for Rose and at least she recognises that she messed up, which is what counts.
“I set off, off to kill the man I love.”
Richelle Mead, Shadow Kiss
I love this series, I truly do but Blood Promise…oh my! I still enjoyed it because this series is epic but it was hard to wrap my head around. But the worst thing was seeing Dimitri as a Strigoi. I LOVE Dimitri, which was why it made it SO hard, devastating and upsetting to see him act the way he did. You could see this glimmer of (the real) Dimitri still in their – reading westerns, his love for Rose – but apart from those features or feelings that still lingered he was a Stigoi, there was no denying that. I get why the author did what she did to Dimitri. Concerning such a loved up series the plot always has to be spot on and lively. I understand that something BIG had to happen but…Dimiti! *hugs* And then when you least expect it - a glimmer of hope. *happy sigh*
“Roza." His voice had that same wonderful lowness, the same accent . . . it
was all just colder. "You forgot my first lesson: Don’t hesitate.”
Richelle Mead, Blood Promise
I was excited to see how Spirit Bound would pan out. How would their quest go? Would they succeed in turning Dimitri back and would it be for good? Who would help and how? Spirit Bound is one heck of a ride, trust me when I say that there is plenty of action and suspense! Fast forwarding to the end, I am so happy that our beloved Dimka is back! Colour me happy! With Vampire Academy I should have known by now to expect the unexpected because just when things are returning to normal, the murder bombshell drops. Queen Tatiana is dead and who is the murder suspect? No one other than Rose.
“He has no right to threaten my boyfriends. I'm eighteen. An adult. I don't need his help. I can threaten my boyfriends myself.”
Richelle Mead, Spirit Bound
Last Sacrifice, the final and last instalment is beyond brilliant! Sometimes series can end badly but Richelle Mead wraps it up so perfectly, leaving the reader content yet eager for the spin-off series, Bloodlines! I loved the road trip aspect of this book – such fun. And although there are some loose ends that need to be tied up in Bloodlines, I am thrilled with the ending. To me, it is PERFECT! So happy that Rose and Dimitri are finally together again, they always were perfect together. They get each other, they just do. Seriously, one of the hottest YA couples ever – swoon! Was completely surprised to see that the bond between Rose and Lissa is gone, one minute it was their and the next it wasn’t! I honestly didn’t have a clue who actually murdered Tatiana, but I was surprised when I found out it was actually evil, jealous Tasha.
“I don’t belong to anyone. I make my own choices."
"And you’re with Adrian," said Dimitri.
"But I was meant for you.”
Richelle Mead, Last Sacrifice
Rose is such an awesome heroine! Strong, kickass, protective, caring towards her friends (particularly Lissa) and so much more, you can’t help but love her. Without a doubt, she is one of my favourite heroines in YA fiction ever. As a character, Rose grows and matures the most. When we first meet her she’s laidback, carefree and all about having fun but then Rose meets real world and real world meets Rose and she’s subject to what it’s really like to be out on your own, fighting Strigoi and it finally hits her just how serious her role as a guardian is – it’s a matter of life and death. It was a pleasure watching her grow from a snarky, teenager into a successful, beautiful young women.
Dimitri. Where do I even begin? Gorgeous and kind and hot and sweet and totally badass – swoon much! Not only has Dimitri earned a place in my heart but he’s also made it onto my all-time fave fictional crushes list. Love his loyalty to Rose and how he’s always there supporting her through all the craziness. With Vampire Academy, you’re either Team Dimitri or Team Adrian and I’ve always been Team Dimitri, always.
There is no doubt about it, Adrian is certainly interesting! Spirit user, dream walker, tortured bad boy - he’s nice and all, but I only ever saw him as a friend.
Smart, brave and caring, Lissa is a character I grew to love. At times she was annoying, but other times she was sweet and a gorgeous friend. Apart from Rose, Lissa also grows a LOT over the course of the series and it was lovely to watch her develop from a timid, shy, unsure girl into a confident, poised, regal queen.
Special mentions to: Mason, Eddie, Sonya, Sydney, Janine and Abe!
Richelle Mead is a genius...
Richelle Mead, you are fabulous. Fabulous! Your prose is a delight to read, so effortless and fun. After falling in love with this series you are one of my favourite authors. Whatever you write I shall read, so please, please never stop creating such wonderful stories.
The story is compelling, the prose addictive, the characters relatable and the romance sizzling! Anyone up for a reread? Cause I sure am!
This is one of my favorite series EVER! It deserves a gazillion stars!


  1. I loved these books too! I was also surpirsed at how good 'Frost Bite' was. I had a theory that all second books were like new moon, but definitely not 'frost bite'. great review! Did you read bloodlines. heres my review: http://quirkygirllikesvintage.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/bloodlines-by-richelle-mead-review.html

  2. I was really only able to skim this post based on your warning at the beginning but I just had to comment! I was literally looking at my bookshelf a few hours ago and wondering why I haven't read these books yet! I really need to read them soon!

    Also, thanks so much for visiting my blog today!
    Bonnie @ wordsathome.ca

  3. BECCA.
    You already know how I feel about your review. IS BRILLIANT. AND THE QUOTES! AND THE "ROZA."