Friday, 20 March 2015

The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

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.

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I finally gave in and read this young adult series. After seeing the movie (which was incredibly bad) I actually did not want to but I got the e-books for a good price and couldn't resist. I have now read all six books and below I will briefly review each of them. These reviews will not contain any spoilers, so if you want you can read all six of them.

The first book Vampire Academy was a bit boring for me, because like I mentioned before I'd already seen the movie and I remembered way too much of it. Near the end of it, though, I started to enjoy it more, and that's why I decided to read the second book as well.

I liked Frostbite, the second book in the series, a lot more. That probably had something to do with not knowing what would happen because there doesn't exist a movie to spoil me. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! Another reason that I liked this book better was that there was less teenage high school drama involved (if you read the first book, you might know what I mean). However, I should really remember not to start reading the last chapters of these books when I actually should be sleeping because if I do, I won't be able to sleep at all. All the books in this series have this quality, the ending is awesome and makes you want to read what happens next.
However, in the beginning of each book it's the other way around, they are mostly very slow, and for me at times hard to get into (even though, I read one after the other). 

Shadow Kiss, the third book in the series, is my absolute favourite of the six! None of the others even come close to this one, which is a shame. This book has it all, action, romance, friendship, drama, mystery, ghosts and some heartbreaking moments. Man, it gave me a lot of feels! I don't think I have negative things to say about it. I am glad to have read this series just because of this book. It was amazing!

Despite loving the third book so much, Blood Promise almost made me give up on the series after all. The fourth installment in the series counts 500 pages but could and should have been shorter. Only the last part of book was worth reading. The first 2/3 of the book were boring as hell. It was even worse than the first book! Again, the ending had some redeeming qualities and made me want to read the next two books. So that's what I did. 

Book five, Spirit Bound was better, though not great. I liked that there were more shocking, action-packed things happening. However, I got annoyed at some of the decisions certain characters made. It made the story drag on at times. The only thing that made me read on was the cliffhanger at the end. 

Last Sacrifice is the final installment in the series. Although I became really attached to all the characters, I really didn't like this book. Again as with Blood Promise, this book was too long. Furthermore, as the last book in the series,  I expected a lot more from it. There were still some shocking twists I didn't see coming but all in all I was dissatisfied with this book. The way some things were resolved just didn't feel right to me. This should have amazing but I thought this book lacked in every aspect: the characters behaved too uncharacteristically at times and in my opinion there really wasn't any romantic scene that worked (even though I wanted things like that to happen, the way it happened didn't work for me). Furthermore, this book the most predictable one in the series, which was also a little bit disappointing.

All in all, I gave Vampire Academy 2,5 out of 5 stars and Frostbite 3 out of 5 stars. Shadow Kiss, my favourite book in the series gets 4 out of 5 stars. Blood Promise also gets 2,5 stars, Spirit Bound is a 3 star book to me and Last Sacrifice also get 2,5 out of 5 stars.

Looking back, I'm glad to have read this series, most of the time I really loved the characters and I do feel sad to leave them behind. I think I would have enjoyed some of the books more if they had been shorter. Since I really loved Shadow Kiss, I am giving this series 3,5 out of 5 stars.
The books are exciting and tense at times but at some points still a little bit on the boring side for me. I do recommend this series if you already want to read it. If you have doubts about this series try to borrow them from the library or friends because you might be a little disappointed by them.

Just to be serious though, Rose Hathaway is probably one of my favourite characters of all time. She is one character you don't want to mess with! Rose is witty, funny and kick-ass! What's not to love?

The spin-off series Bloodlines follows Sydney, one of the characters from book 4 and 6. I do really like the characters of these series, that's why I decided to read the next series as well. So look out for that review!

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