Pages: 332, paperback
Date Released: August 16th, 2007
Genre: YA/ Paranormal / Romance
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. (Taken from Goodreads)
Okay, so last year, I'd been hearing all this hype about this book, and how awesome it was, and how Mead was churning out, like, two books a year for the series, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon.
This book starts off with action. No boring first chapter with boring background info. Just action. All the background info is gradually added as the story progresses, which is a plus in my books. Info dumps just slow the story down, and bore the reader.
The writing in general is mediocre. It's nothing spectacular, but the narrator, Rose, has a strong voice, and it's easy to warm up to her, even if she does act like a bitch at times. The use of first person is quite effective as a result.
Now, I have mixed feelings when it comes to Rose. At times, she's witty, sarcastic, tough and a smartass, but it's not always a good thing. At times, I just found myself rolling my eyes when Rose tried so hard to prove that she was so tough. It just got overused, I think.
Also, when Rose sometimes tries to make things go her way (like telling Christian that Lissa didn't like him), I wanted to punch her. She acts so bratty at those moments, with no respect for what other people--especially her best friend--want.
Christian is one of my favourite characters in the book. He's mysterious, broody, loyal and a total misfit. He's my kind of guy. I'm very supportive of Christian/Lissa shipping. ;)
Now, Dimitri and Rose, on the other hand... It doesn't really feel as if Rose is feeling it. It seems fake on her side: she's constantly telling the reader how much she likes him, but it's not really put in depth.
Dimitri is cute, albeit a copy of Christian. Moody, broody, antisocial etc. *yawn* If he were 7 years younger, he would be Christian's doppleganger.
I was impressed until I got to the end of chapter four, when the point of view randomly switched from Rose's point of view to Lissa's. I get that there's supposed to be this bond between them, but it felt like a really cheap and sloppy way to show the reader what's happening when Rose isn't present.
I loved the vampire lore. It was well thought out and made sense for the most part. That dhampirs are like mules (wherein, they can't breed with each other), and have to mate with vamps, it brought up an interesting viewpoint that is constantly being touched upon not just in this book, but in the entire series, as well. It raises the idea of blood-whores, which Rose sometimes feel the pressure of. It gives a great understanding of their culture, and of Rose's insight.
Overall, the book was a fun read. I finished it in a day, and instantly ordered the rest of the books in the series. This book is one of those that is a light read, perfect for lazy afternoons.
Cover Art: 4
Level of Interest: 4