Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flippin' Backwards: Vol 1 Issue 2 - The Vampire Academy Series

My inability to go back in time and thoroughly review every single YA book has made me result to what I am calling Flippin' Backwards.

I'm going to go back and take a peak at some of my favorite books- again!

These will be mini-reviews of stand alone books and series alike.

The Vampire Academy Series
by Richelle Mead
|Series Website|
All Books Available : Published byRazorbill

[The Short Version: Sorta]  With a main character like Rose there is nothing not to like, YA adult fiction would really benefit from having more characters like her around.  She is a able, likable and strong, physically and emotionally.  Courageous and selfless are just two of the words I would use to describe Rose as well.  Rose has a way of letting her friends in while keeping them at a distance keeping you on your toes to keep up and understand the reasoning behind her actions and feelings.  She is nothing if not loyal despite what that loyalty calls for.
Other characters in the Vampire Academy series which are in the forefront all bear very prominent personalities which not only cause conflict but relationships with Rose and help create a storyline which is anything but bland and single visioned. Lissa, Dimitri, Christian and Adrian are just a few of the characters who are followed and I grew or learned to love.  While Rose is who we follow, they are all key players to smaller stories and larger plots which make this series what it is.   
While the series is based on a school setting it also travels abroad and then to the Courts and that in itself helps balance the wide range of essential and nonessential characters which help make the story believable and well rounded.  
One of the unique aspects of this series is that it holds it's own breed of the supernatural.  Of course, there are "Vampires" but they are categorized into Moroi, Strigoi and Dhampirs. It is definitely a unique twist to the popular Vampire book making it a breath of fresh air.
It is almost impossible to review Books #2-6 without completely spoiling the previous books so take my bragging for what it is.  This is a fabulous series which I highly recommend.  

Vampire Academy Frostbite (Vampire Academy, Book 2) Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3) Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Book 5)  Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, Book 6)

Vampire Academy [Book 1]  A strong and great start to a series. No slow intro here, Vampire Academy set you right into the action and gave you the characters full force while filling you in as you went.

Frostbite [Book 2] Frostbite is a respectable follow up when others can easily fall. If the action in Vampire Academy wasn't enough you could very well get your fill here all while still battling some of the issues from book one (crushes, connection issues with Lissa, etc.) there are also a whole new set thrown into battle in Frostbite.  This was one of my favorites even though Mead used it as a stepping stone to take us further into the depths of Rose's world and set us up with characters who would return in later books.

Shadow Kiss [Book 3] The title of this book is really more then just a name and it was truly the most emotional of the books up to that point.  More action.  More romance.  More impossible dilemmas.  It is all there.  Despite an ending to kill over it truly was one of my three favorite of my series.  For those just picking this book up you would have to have very good self control not to immediately dive in Book #4 needing answers.

Blood Promise [Book 4]  I said that Shadow Kiss had more action, romance and dilemmas, did I not?  Well times that by two and you've got Blood Promise.  Even more emotional and heart breaking then Book #3.  This book does stall a little, I'll give you fair warning, and there are points you may become irritated at a certain character, or two, but it really all does fit together and pulls you in just the same.  It really all does make sense and you really do feel the sense of loss in this one.

Spirit Bound [Book 5] Even with a slower feel then Books #1-4, Richelle pulled me into the web that was VA even deeper.  She planned on finishing what she started when she started this series all the while throwing a whole new group of twists and turns ending it with a major cliff hanger, which really was brilliant.  I must say that my feelings for character in particular during this book really hit their peak vesting me further into this book unable to choose sides and leave me feeling torn.

Last Sacrifice [Book 6] Wow.  Whoa.  Did that just really happen?  I can't believe this!  Finally!  Dammit! Phew!  That is all I can say to describe this book.  This last book in this series really is a whirlwind of action and emotion.  There is so much going on and it is almost on the brink of overwhelming but it never did over flow. Not every one can win and not everything is happily-ever-after, but when was it ever with Rose?  Never.  Why?  Because while their world isn't truly real, Rose's character is.  I didn't want to say goodbye when I started this book but by the end Richelle really did lay it to rest on a good note soothing any of my worries and fears regarding Rose's story.


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