Narrator: Stephanie Wolfe
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Published by Audible Inc., Razorbill on March 31, 2008
Genres: Young Adult
Length: 8 hours 55 minutes
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn't just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
My Initial Reaction…
I think I’ve heard so much about Vampire Academy that I expected more. I do like the main character and the world has potential. For the first book in a series it has enough that I’ll keep reading.
Stephanie Wolfe was a pleasant narrator. She didn’t blow me away, but I also didn’t have any problems with any of her voices. They were all distinct and had personality – and even the male voices worked. I’d give her a B+ and plan to continue listening.
Vampire Academy is told from the point of view of Rose, a Dhampir. In this world, Dhampirs (as I understood it – the world building was a bit weak) protect the Moroi (mortal vampires). Rose is pretty mature for her age (a teen) and she takes her responsibility of protecting Lissa – her best friend and a Moroi Royal – very seriously. She seemed smart and she’s definitely got kick ass potential, which I always enjoy.
The thing that didn’t work for me, though, was that I couldn’t stand Lissa. I hated seeing Rose give up so much and work so hard to protect someone that seemed so undeserving to me. Lissa is SO immature and her drive to be popular – though it’s supposedly justified by her position as a royal – was annoying and WAY TOO high school for me. She has a great deal of power and the way she uses it is so wrong. I think I was supposed to come around to her by the end, but I didn’t. Hopefully she’s either going to be a villain or she’ll grow a lot as the series progresses.
We have several male characters that I could talk about, but… well, I won’t say much because the romances didn’t do ANYTHING for me. I like Dimitri a lot, but I didn’t feel any chemistry between him and Rose – perhaps he just felt too old for her and it was a bit like student and teacher, which I so don’t like. And Christian seems like a sweetie, but that just angers me because I don’t like Lissa. So it’s not the guys that are the problem, but the pairing.
Vampire Academy‘s plot was okay. My major complaint would be the world building. It has serious potential, which is why I will continue the series – but it was inadequately weaved into the story IMHO. We have all these different names for kinds of vampires – Moroi (Mortal, good vampires) and Strigoi (evil, immortal vampires) – which, is great on the surface. I love complex and unique vampire mythology. But it was quite a ways in before I understood even those basic distinctions.
There’s several complex world building narratives going on in Vampire Academy and basically, while I could follow them, I felt like I was left with way too many questions for each thread. But I’m really intrigued by them and see some really interesting narratives developing and worth exploring.
The mystery was pretty good – there were some very obvious elements, but there were also some twists that I didn’t see coming. All-in-all, everything about the plot was “ok”, but also very promising.
Overall, a decent start to a series and I’m definitely planning on continuing.