Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead| Audio Review

October 22, 2014 Reviews 18

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead| Audio ReviewVampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Narrator: Stephanie Wolfe
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Published by Audible Inc., Razorbill on March 31, 2008
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 340
Length: 8 hours 55 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

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.

The Narration…

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.

The Characters…

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.

The Story…

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.

Concluding Sentiments…

Overall, a decent start to a series and I’m definitely planning on continuing.

Just Okay
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About Richelle Mead

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She’s a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

18 Responses to “Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead| Audio Review”

  1. Lexxie

    I read this when it first came out, and recently, I listened to the audiobook as well. I enjoyed the narration like you did, but I thought that the voice used for Lissa made her more annoying than I found her when I read the story myself. I also didn’t really care that much for Dimitri’s voice – and he’s one of my favorite characters!

    Great review, Berls! I’m glad you’re going to stay with this series – it is a different view on vampires. And if you think these characters are a little immature and high-school worthy, Bloodlines – the spin-off series has more mature characters… just sayin’ 😉
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: The Heart of Christmas – Brenda NovakMy Profile

    • Berls

      That’s really good to hear Lexxie – I do want to continue with the series, since I see such potential in the world. I hadn’t thought about the narration impacting my view of Lissa, but that makes a lot of sense. I’ll have to see if her voice is impacting me more than the actual way she’s written as I move forward!
      Berls recently posted…Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis | Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Berls

      I haven’t yet, but plan to. I always have to see movie adaptations, even if they’re bad. I think the movie coming out was what finally motivated me to read the book, since I have to read before watching. If I watch first, I almost always don’t enjoy the book.
      Berls recently posted…Scratch by Rhonda Helms | #KLover Book ReviewMy Profile

  2. Katherine

    I’ve been curious about this series even though it’s not really in my usual genre range because people seem to LOVE this one. I think I would need stronger world building and I think Lissa would definitely irritate me. Thanks for sharing! I might still read this series eventually but I won’t feel quite as much like I’m missing something if I don’t.
    Katherine recently posted…The Bone Room – ReviewMy Profile

    • Berls

      That’s how I was feeling too Katherine – but it is in my genre range, so I really felt like I was missing something. Now that I’ve read it, I see so much potential, but don’t get the LOVE. We’ll see as the series progresses – everyone who likes it seems to agree that it gets better moving forward.
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Riding HomeMy Profile

    • Berls

      I know what you mean, I have a few books on Goodreads I’ve rated five stars from before I was blogging and I think about how I would rate them now and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t ne as high. Reading as much as I do now – and always reviewing – has really changed what impresses me. I’m still curious to see now the series develops though, so I’m going to go at least another book.
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Riding HomeMy Profile

  3. Lola

    I think the world building is done better in later books and I think in every book in the Bloodlines series they explain Moroi and Strigoi again. I liked the first book, but only grew to love this series later on, I hope you also enjoy the later books more.
    I actually liked Lissa, although she grows a lot in later books and becomes more awesome. It’s been a while since I read the first book so I don’t remember it too clearly anymore.
    Lola recently posted…Review: Wraith by Susan Kaye QuinnMy Profile

    • Berls

      I’m really encouraged hearing that Lissa grows a lot in later books – I love it when characters grow and I see potential on her. I’m looking forward to reading on then, hopefully I’ll enjoy the other books even more.
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Riding HomeMy Profile

    • Berls

      I understand why you didn’t get further, it wasn’t near as good as what I was expecting with all the hype. I’m going to give it another book, though, since first books tend to be rougher especially with fantasy. And, like you said, most people say it gets better.
      Berls recently posted…Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead| Audio ReviewMy Profile

  4. Melanie Simmons

    I’m not a huge fan of YA, but I used to read more of it that I do now. This is one of the series that I started, but I never finished. I thought the first books were pretty okay. I had similar feelings as you. By the time we got to the second to last book (which I came really close to DNF), I just couldn’t do it anymore. A small part of me wishes I had finishes, because I would like to know how the story ends. Maybe you will get all the way through and you can give me the deets. 🙂

    I hope you enjoy the series more that I did. I know a lot of people who liked it. Once you get through the second to last book, I’ll tell you what was the final straw. I don’t want to give you spoilers.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Seventh Grave and No Body Audiobook by Darynda Jones (Blog Tour)My Profile

    • Berls

      Hmm I’m definitely curious now! I’ve heard that it gets better, but I’ve also heard from a lot of people who liked the first book more than I did, so I don’t know. We’ll see. Hopefully I do like it better, because I hate not finishing series (but will drop them if I’m not feeling it)
      Berls recently posted…Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead| Audio ReviewMy Profile

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