I finally finished the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. It wasn’t bad, but definitely not one of my favorites. My original plan was to write an in-depth review of the whole series. However, after drafting it in Word I was already three pages in and didn’t even come close to being done with what I wanted to say. Instead I decided to just post some random thoughts about what I liked and what I didn’t throughout the whole series. I won’t be explaining terms or going too in depth on any given event I mention, so if you haven’t read the book, nothing will really make sense. And if you plan on reading the series, definitely don’t read any further. SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON. (But feel free to scroll down to the movie trailer at the end.)
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
-More often than not, Rose annoyed me. She’s impetuous and childish.
-The “Keepers” in the last book were mostly a waste of time, though there were a few amusing moments. I kept waiting for them to be brought up in the end, but after Dimitri, Rose, and Sydney leave them, we never hear about them again. What was the point?
-While I always rooted for Rose and Dimitri, the beginning of their relationship is kind of creepy. She’s seventeen and he’s her 24 year old teacher. It’s practically a Lifetime movie.
-We never find out what Sydney and Abe’s arrangement was. This drove me crazy. It was alluded to several times and never resolved.
-Adrian’s ending was ridiculous. He became one of my favorite characters and his ending consists of Rose wondering if she’d ever see him again. THAT MAKES TWO OF US. Though I kind of liked them together, Rose and Adrian dating was the worst. She never fully committed to him. He gave her outs and she just kept saying she wanted it to work. My other big issue is when she first goes to Adrian to get money to go on her trip after Dimitri. It’s a big deal because she knows she’s using his feelings to her advantage and he tells her he wants a serious chance with her when she gets back. I kind of felt like this came out of nowhere. I mean, Rose mentioned previously that Adrian often talked about how he liked her, but she thought he just wanted to get laid. Then at the end of that particular book she knows how much he cares about her and believes he’s serious about it. There was nothing really leading up to this for me. I would have liked to have seen more moments between the two of them leading up to this.
-In addition to Adrian, Rose also used Mason to try to forget about Dimitri, thought she still spent the whole time with Mason pining after Dimitri. It took until the last book for Rose to realize, “…It was better to be alone with self-respect than be in the wrong relationship.” No crap.
-Almost the entirety of the third book. It was all spent pining for Dimitri, even when she was with him as a Strigoi. Very, very little happened in this book and it drug on forever. Also, the whole Avery side plot was worthless. The only thing that came out of it was finding out Lissa can’t bond with more than one person.
-Rose started seeing ghosts because either the wards were weakened or she was outside of them. What about the whole 2 years she and Lissa were outside the wards? She never had any problems then.
-Did anyone tell Dimitri’s family he was “cured” and is a Dhampir again? Because after watching them grieve for him, I really wanted to see their reunion. Or at least a mention of it.
WHAT I LIKED:
-I enjoy 1st person POV and this series was told from Rose’s 1st person POV. Through her bond with Lissa we were also able to see events that happened when Rose wasn’t present, without “cheating” by changing between 1st and 3rd person. For the most part I felt like this worked and helped move the story along. It only fell apart for me in the last book when all shifts from Rose to Lissa were preceded by something like, “since I had time, I thought I’d check on Lissa…”
-There were a couple good surprises I didn’t see coming – but they still made sense when you thought about them. The first was the reveal of Abe as Rose’s father. The second was the reveal of Jill being Lissa’s half-sister. And the third was Tasha being the one that killed the queen (my only problem with this last one is that they spent half a chapter with Rose knowing who did it, but only gave us hints and after really the first hint or two it was obviously Tasha. But it was still a surprising choice for the murderer).
-Rose, Christian, and Adrian’s sarcasm. Pretty much all the humor in the series came from the sarcastic comments from one of these three characters and I enjoyed it.
-Dimitri. If you can overlook the whole sex offender status, he’s a pretty great character. Strong, protective, smart, loving. I was pretty angry when he became a Strigoi, and liked the twist of a spirit user being able to bring Strigoi back from the undead.
-Lissa and Rose’s relationship. While there were moments throughout the book they both drove me crazy, I think their friendship is the real “love story” in the series. At the end of the day it’s about best friends that will do anything for each other.
The Vampire Academy is also going be a movie (out February 14, 2014, I believe). For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included the first trailer. I am not a fan of the casting AT ALL and almost all of the dialogue in it is NOT in the book, but I’ll probably watch it anyways.
*EDIT* I just found out that there is a spin-off series that focuses on Sydney and Adrian and Jill and a girl from the Keepers. So I kinda hate that the last book in this series was used as a “back door pilot” for a new series, I’m obviously going to have to read it. Because I MUST know what happens.*