Guest Reviewer - Madeleine Cleary
By Richelle Mead
If you are looking for something light, fresh and amusing, pick up The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. The series comprises of six books following the exploits of the protagonist, Rose Hathaway and her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. The novel is set in the mysterious Vladmir’s Academy, a school for vampires (Moroi) and half-human and half-vampires (dhampirs). I know what you’re thinking, not another boring vampire Twilight-esque series that capitalizes on the hearts and minds of naïve fifteen-year-old girls! While The Vampire Academy series does in fact follow the complicated “love triangle” plot line reminiscent of Twilight, it defines itself through its quirky and often dark humour and its unique character profiles.
Mead’s female roles are refreshingly strong and powerful, quite a few steps away from the pitiful and weak Bella who drove us all nuts with her wailing and pining. Rose in particular is a captivating protagonist who drives the story with her determination and spirit. Also, watch out for the character of Sydney Sage. Sydney is an Alchemist whose secretive human organization works to prevent vampire exposure to their race. Mead has designed a follow-on series titled Bloodlines (first book released August 2011) which sees Sydney taking on the role of protagonist and continuing on with some other major characters.
The only thing I found disturbing is the major male lead and Rose’s love interest, Dimitri Belikov (who is 24 years old while Rose is 17). Plus he is her teacher. Isn’t that just a little creepy? Rose’s other love interest on the other hand, Adrian Ivashkov... now he is something special! Lucky for me (and other smitten girls and boys out there) he will be featuring in the upcoming Bloodlines series.
All in all: not Twilight. Murder, mystery, intrigue, love, romance and plenty of action and adventure. I had fun!