Books in Series
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) –My Review
Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2) –My Review
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) — My Review
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4)– My Review
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5) — My Review
Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6) – My Review
(Broken down by book first, then as a whole.)
**I am working VERY hard not to leave any spoilers in this summary — even if you haven’t read book #1 I am hoping that this review won’t really spoil anything for you! Although the individual reviews (linked above) may – so don’t click them if you don’t want to know what happens in later books!
In the opening book, Vampire Academy, we are quickly introduced to best friends – Rose and Lissa. Rose is a Dhampir, the child of a Vampire and a Human (or Vampire and another Dhampir) and Lissa is a Moroi – a fun new twist on the vampire! She’s alive, but still requires the occasional intake of blood to survive. And? These Moroi Vampires have magical powers too! This fun twist on everyone’s favorite creature of the night makes for an interesting story. (The vampires we all think of – that live at night and drink blood, totally non human? They are Strogoi in the world of Richelle Mead.) Book number one really sets the tone and does some great character and world building for all the juicy fun stuff to come later! (Sure, there’s an evil plot, high school drama – including the sexy instructor, Dimitri and Lissa’s boyfriend, Christian. But the really good stuff comes in later books.)
Frostbite mostly takes place at a ski resort – where we also get to meet Lissa’s cousin (Adrian). I loved Vampire Academy, but this is where I really fell in love with Richelle Mead’s writing. She mastered love triangles (I HATE love triangles – but the ones she gets going in this series make sense and I LOVE them… Like this one? Rose – Dimitri – Aunt Tasha. GREAT.) She also throws in twists that you never could have seen coming, all the while tying up lose ends that she’d left early in previous books. But back to book two. A vicious murder evacuates the school campus sending everyone to a ski resort, from there? Rose and her friends try to take matters into their own hands, and once again Rose finds herself deep in the middle of an evil plot. About 50 pages into this one? I couldn’t put it down.
If Vampire Academy was about world building, and Frostbite about action? Then Shadow Kiss was about answering questions. We get to learn more about the world of the Moroi, including a tour of their royal facilities and developing a relationship with their Queen, Tatiana. We also get to learn more about Rose and Lissa’s bond! Which really helped me to appreciate their relationship. And then, because Richelle Mead is twisted (and I say that in the most loving way possible!) she throws in a cliffhanger that will leave you in tears and anxiously searching for the next book in the series.
Blood Promise is really mostly “All About Rose” – she heads off on an adventure to Russia/Siberia all by herself. (I promised – no spoilers…. so I can’t tell you why!) I think the personal journey was great for Rose, we met some interesting characters on the otherside of the world like Abe Mazur (who becomes one of my favorite characters!) and Sidney the Alchemist (Bloodlines is all about her!!) Really? This book is a great turning point for the rest of the series. And again? Mead throws in some great twists that you could have never expected — including a few very intense moments between Rose and some Strigoi!
I think (in hindsight) my favorite book of the series was Spirit Bound. It has the most complex plot, running all over the place and with multiple HUGE twists and high points… I would recommend NOT reading this one on an expensive e-reader! The cliffhanger at the end had me ready to throw my iPad out the moving car!! I thought the ending to Shadow Kiss was bad, but this one? I was angry!!
Which brings us to Last Sacrifice. I wanted answers, but I didn’t want to finish the series. So starting this book was very bittersweet for me. The cliffhanger isn’t resolved – not for awhile which shocked me. But? I couldn’t put this one down. I have to say I’m very pleased with certain parts of the ending of the series. But others? Not so pleased – although I understand that they ended they way they should. (If that makes any sense at all??) I think Lissa and Rose (and the rest of their friends) ended up where they needed to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My Final Thoughts:
Vampire Academy is easily one of my favorite series. I was emotionally invested in so many of the characters and plot lines, and I’ve never read an author who throws in so many twists and turns that you get dizzy, yet left no plotline untouched at the end. Everything wrapped up nice and neat with a little bow.
Fans get a neat little treat in that Bloodlines follows Jill and Sydney – and I’ve heard that many of the other characters get large cameos! So while the series has ended, there is still more to the story! I love that it continues!
I feel the need to touch on this – but these covers? They suck. I’m a total cover lover, and I think part of what took me so long to grab these books is my absolute dislike for the covers. (If I have anything negative to say at all about the entire series? It’s that.)
I would recommend Vampire Academy to anyone who is a fan of paranormal YA. (And yes – I dare to say that in my opinion it is better than Twilight.) It’s not so much a paranormal story though – this series is about friendship and relationships. About growing up and finding your place. With some fun supernatural abilities thrown in!