Monday, April 23, 2012

My recent Book Bender - Vampire Academy series.

It's been a while since my last post. My only excuse is that I've been kind of busy...there was spring break then a visit to my sister in Utah, breaking up with my best friend (one I mentioned in a previous post), my husband went way for a week on business so my sister actually came with her family up here for a while. The day she left I started reading.

I've heard of some people going on " drinking benders". Basically they take a week or weekend off and just drinking themselves into oblivion...well, I don't drink so instead I read myself into oblivion.
So in a matter of 8 -9 days I managed to get through the entire six book series of  "Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead.  (And for you speedier readers out there who are all "well, that's not that fast." Remember I have 2 kids, a dog and a husband. Not to mention that even though they start out around 300 pages, by the end they are pushing 600 pages. So for me...that's pretty darn zippy! )

When I borrowed the first two books from the library, going on a bender was NOT my intention. I figured I'd read the first one and see if I had time for the second...well I decided to make time! Thankfully because the series ended in 2010 there wasn't a long wait to acquire the other books... obviously it sucked me in.
If you haven't heard of this series I'll give you a quick over view of the beginning...but before I do I need to give you a few definitions. (things that took me a while to grasp (let alone pronounce)  in the beginning.)

There might be a test later soo pay attention...

Dhampir (pronounced 'Damp-ear') - Half human half living vampire. Most train their entire lives to be  "Guardians" to the Moroi. Look like humans. Has the durability of humans but also have the higher senses of the Moroi (night vision, better hearing and sense of smell). Does not drink blood. The sun doesn't bother them at all.
Moroi (pronounce 'Moe Roy') - they are peaceful "living" vampires that are not immortal but do require small amounts of human blood to survive. (they eat other human food too). They can also stand limited amounts of sunlight. Have differing degrees of magic that controls at least one of the 5 elements, but they refuse to use it for defense. They rely on the Guardians to protect them. Can use compulsion but it's taboo.
Strigoi (prounced 'Stri goy') - The bad guys! Your stereo typical Vampire.Will burn in sunlight. They are immortal vampires that kill and drink only blood to survive. Most used to be Moroi who killed willingly thus causing them to change or were Dhampirs forced to change against their will. Either way they are evil from here on out and their favorite food group is the Moroi. They do not have magic anymore but are much stronger and faster than most Dhampirs or Moroi and they can use compulsion.

Ok so that's pretty much what you need to know....

    In the beginning we meet Rose Hathaway, a novice Dhampir who has trained her whole life in the hopes of being a guardian for her Moroi best friend Princess Lissa Dragomir. Starting after an accident that killed Lissa's entire family and almost killed Rose, the two have been psychically bonded. With out saying Rose is very protective of Lissa.  So two years ago when they perceived a threat to Lissa's life, they ran away from their home, a remote Moroi/Dhampir boarding academy in Montana.
    Living among humans and trying to  avoiding any Strigoi and especially any retrieval squads from the Academy. Things had been quiet for months until one night they were ambushed and dragged back home by the new addition to the Academy's guardians, Dimitri Belikov.(insert happy sigh)
    Now, forced to integrate back into school she must find a way to keep protecting Lissa (some times from herself) and catch up on her training if she has any hopes of passing the final tests at the end of the school year to become a true Guardian and protect her best friend. Unfortunately, due to her bad temper and previous record the only person willing to train her is Dimitri. (insert happy sigh) Who, while extremely good looking (of course), is seven years older and is not known for his social skills but has the reputation of being a "God" when it comes to his job.......and thus the forbidden romance and drama with the occasional fight scene ensues.


While this series is all from Roses perspective, due to her one way bond with Lissa we get to see what Lissa is thinking and feeling even when they are not together (which can be good and bad at times) thus almost making it seem like two different stories.
And I've never really cared for the type of male lead who reminded me of Fabio with the long hair but I must say that if Dimitri were real......(insert happy sigh) Let's just say I won't be able to see a guy in a leather "duster" coat without wishing he really was real... I might have to put him on the shelf with Edward and Jace in my opinion....
The writing is easy to read but also a bit repetitive as the series goes on. Mostly though to accommodate those who have had to wait long periods of time between books and who may have forgotten some details. So I found myself skipping paragraphs here and there if I saw she was going into more back story that I already knew about.

As the books went on I also got the feeling she (the author) could have cut 100 pages if she didn't put quite sooo much detail and extra explanations . And despite me sometimes yelling at the book "I get it already!" it never really made anything drag. So no harm done.

Oh! Without giving anything too spoilery away I must mention that due to something very very bad happening in the third book the fourth book will require tissues...lots and lots of tissues. But like I said by that point you can't stop reading! And it all gets as the British say Keep Calm and Carry On.

Needless to say, I reallllly enjoyed this series. I try to only obsess over one series at a time and I was hoping it would be something good but not get to invested in it...nope! It doesn't help that I discovered that there is a spin off series called "Bloodlines" following one of the minor characters ....It's on hold for me at the library right now!!!...and the second one in that series comes out in June!! Between that and the next Mortal Instruments book coming out in two weeks, I have a feeling my kids are going to have to learn how to use the microwave because.... "Mommy will be unavailable."

Books in the Vampire Academy Series....
-Vampire Academy
-Shadow Kiss
-Blood Promise
-Spirit Bound
-Last Sacrifice