Are Bryan and Robert shadow-kissed enough to read each other’s feelings? Find out how they felt about the first book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
Bryan’s quick summary:
Rose Hathaway and her best friend Lissa lead a relatively normal life. Aside from the fact that Rose is a Dhampir bodyguard and Lissa is a Moroi Vampire Princess. Oh, and the fact that they’re on the run from St. Vladimir’s Academy, a boarding school for vampires. When St. Vlad’s drags them back to school, Rose and Lissa encounter a deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and a secret hundreds of years in the making. If the deadly Strigoy don’t kill them, the Academy’s ruthless social scene surely will.
Vampire Academy is by Richelle Mead
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Bryan) Despite the fact that it took a little bit of time to go beyond introducing the school, I think the book was a lot of fun to read. So much of that is the result of the snarky and likable main character, Rose.
2. (Robert) Rose is a great study in teen pride and not-quite-100% self-belief, but enough to appear cocky. I wanted to know what scrapes she was going to get into back at the Academy, and why she’d risked Vampire royalty out in public. There seemed to be a lot at stake!
3. (Robert) The story has plenty going on, most of which is revealed through backstory, but despite this, I wanted more action! It does come, but in fits and starts, and there are some great cliffhangers and twists.
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Bryan) I’m finding that mystery is such an important part of any successful YA book. The path to learn what Lissa’s powers truly are makes this more than just Vampire School: The Book.
2. (Robert) Though there is a lot of explanation required (about Vampires, the threat, the Academy, the various “castes”), Mead doesn’t labor it, allowing the story to progress, and for Rose to narrate to us the issues as they arise. This is hard to do with it slowing the story, and in this case, Rose is so well established as our narrator that it works really well. Only very occasionally did I feel the need to move on.
3. (Bryan) The emotional connection thing was a pretty great device to understand more about both Rose and Lissa while staying in the first person. I mean, opening line, “I felt her fear before I heard her screams.” Come on, that’s awesome.
Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. (Robert) The use of old literary terms for Vampires and their variations gives the story’s voice an excellent feel.
2. (Bryan) A big antagonist can make a book more compelling. This first book doesn’t really have Harry Potter’s Voldemort, and I think it could use someone like that.
3. (Robert) The combination of college (school) and the paranormal definitely makes for great YA possibilities. Endless possibilities, perhaps!
Prompt of the Week:
What’s your favorite movie or book monster? Place that creature into a high school setting and develop a hierarchy and a mythology for it. How would that book differ from Vampire Academy and why?