Published by Penguin Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: Owned Audible Book
Enter the complete saga of the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth’s magic. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever.
Welcome to my new feature Up Late With Kate where I share the latest midnight read that keeps me reading past the witching hour! Light that candle, grab a chair, and prepare to read all night!
When The Vampire Academy books first started coming out, I just wasn’t interested. Paranormal romance in YA was everywhere, and this series just didn’t stand out at the time. I was on vampire overload. But I was curious.
Things changed in 2013. I met the author, Richelle Mead, at a luncheon at BEA. She was adorable, and I really liked her. I got a signed copy of her book, Indigo Spell, which is part of a spin off series of The Vampire Academy. I vowed to get the books… eventually. You know how it is, midnighters, so many books, so little time.
But then my friend Kim got hooked on them, so I started to rethink their place on my ever shifting (and growing) tbr pile. She had audiobooks of 2 and 3, so I got the first book and started listening. I had already seen the movie, which I had found confusing, but it was very faithful to the book. Listening to it made things much clearer, but while I continued to really like Dimitri and Christian, I was still kind of meh about Rose. She was impulsive and reckless, and not very immature. But I did like her protective streak, and her bond with Lissa was interesting.
In fact, Mead’s world building, her vampire mythology, is very impressive. It felt complete, rich in detail and layered with customs and lore that you just don’t find too often in a young adult novel. And as the world of Moroi and Dhamphirs began to hook me, so did the characters. Rose didn’t change drastically, but her character began to mature in subtle ways. Events throughout the series impacted her, and made her a character I began to root for.
Out of the 6 books, I listened to 5 of them, and read 1 of them (because I was listening to an audiobook for book club and couldn’t wait to finish it before delving back into the series). The series went through 3 different narrators- Stephanie Wolf did the first novel, Khristine Hvam did books 2 and 3, and then Emily Shaffer finished off the series. Wolf was okay, but Hvam and Shaffer were my favorites. I liked that Shaffer gave Dimitri his Russian accent, which definitely made the sexy dhamphir shine, but was less happy about Adrian’s voice… although it grew on me. I’m a huge fan of Khristine Hvam, so I thought I’d be disappointed when Shaffer took over, but she did a great job. She really went out of her way to give each character a unique and distinct voice. Which is good, because I can’t wait to start Mead’s spin off Bloodlines series.
I’m happy with the way the series ends, but I think it helps knowing I’ll see all the characters in the Bloodlines. I’m particularly in love with Adrian, Eddie and Jill. Sydney might need to grow on me. That girl could use a drink. 😉 I had a lot of fun over the last month, and I can now see why so many people were clamoring for these books. I’m sad I didn’t get to them sooner, but for once it was nice not having to wait years for the series to unfold. Reading them back to back really kept me involved, and I feel like the characters and world are part of my own inner landscape now. It’s getting crowded in here, but hey, there’s always room for more!
The Vampire Academy Series as a whole gets a Midnight Book Rating of: