Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
The first time I read Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, I devoured it and immediately leaped into the second book Frostbite. But I wasn’t so sure about the book when I started it. The first 40 pages felt clunky and a bit confusing, but once past them the visuals exploded and the characters came to life.
This time around those scene-setting first 40 weren’t much of a problem, and I think that’s because I was already familiar with the key terms — moroi (living vampire), dhampir (half vampire, half humans who generally guard the moroi) and strigoi (dead vampires, evil and crave moroi blood).
All the things I loved about beginning this series the first time were there all over again: the strong characters, the drama, the forbidden love.
Meeting Rose, our strong and stubborn guardian-in-training, again reminded me why she’s one of my favorite heroines in YA. She puts herself in bad situations for good reasons.
Reading the back-and-forth with Mia and the rumor mill reminded me just how much Lissa and Rose have grown up since this first book. My how things have changed by the time we reach Spirit Bound (review)!
And Dimitri. Oh, Dimitri. Rose’s Russian mentor with a penchant for Western novels and a reputation for being god-like. How I’ve missed reading about the one who puts up with all those Comrade jokes.
What was new this time through is that I realized just how much foreshadowing fills this first Vampire Academy book. I knew the world-building was clear in this book, but so many events and discussions become pivotal in later novels. And each of these moments in Vampire Academy gives us a deeper understanding of the moroi/dhampir world, their culture and why the thing Rose, Dimitri and we as readers want most of all is so taboo.
Even knowing I’ll get more of the Dimitri-Rose romance rollercoaster as the series progresses, I still felt that tug at my heart when I read Dimitri tell our girl, “If I let myself love you, I won’t throw myself in front of her. I’ll throw myself in front of you.”
In preparation for the release of the final Vampire Academy novel, Last Sacrifice, this December, we’re hosting a re-read of the series. Join us and win prizes!