Published: August 16th, 2007
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, YA Series Challenge
Other: First book in the Vampire Academy series. The last book, Last Sacrifice, came out in 2010.
Buy the book: Bookdepository
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.
In the first book of the well-loved Vampire Academy series, we meet Rose and Lissa. Almost immediately at the beginning of the book, Rose realized that they're being watched, and decides to run for it together with Lissa. In the group of Guardians that are there to take Rose and Lissa, there's Dimitri. Dark and handsome - and very serious in his job to protect Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They are taken (back) to Vampire Academy, where they had fled from two years before. During the rest of the book, we see that not everyone is equally friendly and Rose and Lissa have to struggle to stay safe.
First up, I want to say that I really liked this book. I didn't *love* it as most of the blogosphere seems to do, but I can certainly see its appeal. I think this book is a great start for the rest of the series and I'm looking forward to reading the next book, which I will be picking up soon.
I liked Rose's determination in protecting Lissa. She takes her job very seriously, even though she's not fully trained yet. I also really liked that in Dimitri - even though Rose couldn't seem to take her eyes off him. I think he can grow on me to be a very swoonworthy character.
The villain in this story wasn't really clear to me until it was clear to Rose, which I think was a great revelation, because there were many hints towards this person. The way this was worked into the story was well done.
Overall, I really liked this book and Richelle Mead's writing style. This was the first book I've read that was written by her and I'm looking forward to reading more. I've heard that she's written some adult titles as well, so I think I'll check those out and put them on my wishlist, as well.
Four stars - because I think this is a great start for a series, and I'm looking forward to reading more!