Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Reviewed by Taylor Beach, Editor-in-Chief
Being a borderline crazy book lover, I’m also a devoted movie-goer. I collect movies like I collect books, religiously. Then, one day, movie producers decided it would be a good idea to have the authors of beautifully written books like Richelle Mead’s novel Vampire Academy sign the rights over to them so that they can twist and warp the plot into a movie and call it art. This can go one of two ways: a complete and total disaster or Academy Award Winning. Since this phenomena of turning books into movies came into being, I have a very Holden Caulfield outlook on the movies. I live by one motto and one motto only:
Never, ever, judge a book by its movie.
My whole life, short as it may be, has been dedicated to spending hours upon hours reading young adult novels like Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. I give praise to the first novel in the Vampire Academy series and every other book after that.
Richelle Mead created a new vision of vampires that relates back to traditional folklore of the immortal creatures with a twist. The novel is centered on two types of vampires: Moroi and Strigoi. Moroi are the good vampires, the mortal kind who are still connected to their humanity whereas the Strigoi vampires are depicted in the traditional way of being immortal mindless monsters with intense bloodlust for humans and Moroi alike.
Introducing a sassy and dangerous human named Rose Hathaway who devotes her life to protecting her best friend, Lissa Dragomir, from the Strigoi who want to make her into one of them and abuse her power. Lissa happens to be a Moroi princess with an affinity to earth’s magic. The two powerful girls share a bond like none other, combining both human and vampire blood, Rose becomes a Dhampir. She can sense Lissa’s emotions and also see through her eyes.
The girls run away from St. Vladimir’s after some of the professor’s begin having mental deterioration from obtaining a rare affinity. The girls try living life on their own until an attack from the Strigoi have them running back to the Academy’s iron gates. Inside the gates are dangerous with the social lives of Moroi and the strict rules for Dhampirs, whose sole purpose is to protect the Moroi royal they’re assigned to. Rose finds herself attracted to her trainer Dimitri, but they are forbidden to pursue the attraction further lest it distracts them from protecting the Moroi they’re assigned to. Protect the Moroi at all costs.
Vampire Academy was such a wonderful world to get lost in that I constantly thought, “I wish
they would make this into a movie.” I had the same thought with many other novels such as Immortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, and the Beautiful Creatures series by Margret Stohl and Kami Garcia. The movies didn’t do these novels justice, especially Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. The plot is less detailed than the book because of the two hour limit placed on a movie. There’s just no way to get every incredible description of her characters. The actors were all wrong.
When you read this novel, you’ll notice how the tone is very serious even though Rose is sarcastic and sassy at times. The movie was way too over dramatic and they went for funny more than serious. It was all off. The movie always leads to disappointment one way or another. Do not be deterred from reading the next book because you saw the movie! I always tell myself that I need to read the book first before seeing the movie because I’ll never read the book.
So many exciting things happen in Vampire Academy that sets up the next four books in the series. I hope you enjoy the roller coaster as much as I did.
Further Reading and Author Info
Richelle Mead has written over twenty-five books for young adults and adults. She is the international #1 bestselling author for her Vampire Academy series and its spin-off, the Bloodlines series. She is the author of Soundless and her new novel The Glittering Court.
Richelle Mead has always been drawn to mythology and folklore which is part of the reason I love her writing. I become inspired from reading myths and folklore, it sparks my imagination on a whole whacky level. She loves traveling and trying interesting cocktails. Originally from Michigan, Richelle currently lives in Seattle, Washington!