Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill, 6 Books in Series
Publication Dates: 2007-2010
Penguin Group USA and Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length Ranges: 9 to 17 hours
Summary of Vampire Academy Series
The series starts with Rose Hathaway, a Dhampir (half vampire), and her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess, returning to St. Vladimir’s Academy boarding school for vampires. While Rose is training to fulfill her duty to protect the Moroi (living vampires) from Strigoi (evil dead vampires) her best friend Lissa is learning to wield her unusually powerful magical gifts. Both girls experience the highs and lows of unrequited and true love while at St. Vladimirs. While each book is its own fabulous story it’s the kind of series that you will want to start and not stop until it’s done.
Sheri's Audiobook Series Review:
With the exception of the final book the others range in audio length from 9 to 13 hours and are solid narrations despite using three different narrators to complete the series. Since I didn't read the books first the short narration length meant I could finish a book a week during my usual commute which made it easy to keep track of characters and the plot. As the books lengthened and the plot became more complex the final narrator Emily Shaffer did a great job using distinct voices to represent the characters. I enjoyed the content and the narrators so much I listened to the books one after the other! My favorite details from the series are Dimitri's obsession with Westerns and the relationship between Rose's parents. I would love a book just about those two!
Pam's Series Review:
This is one of my favorite series, although I have to admit, the first book was just ok. I kept hearing about it and finally read the first one, and I was like…eh. Rose bothered me a bit, she was pretty obnoxious, and Lissa definitely bothered me. She was such a wimp. And everyone talked about how great Dimitri was, how swoon-worthy, etc. and I just couldn’t see it. So I read the first book and decided to read something else. But then I decided to give it another chance, and I’m so glad I did! Every book gets progressively better, and as you get to know the characters better, you just fall in love with them (or hate, the ones you’re supposed to). So here are the main characters:
Rose: Pretty bad-ass heroine, but she has her flaws. She thinks she’s all that. She’s reckless and makes some pretty poor decisions. But she grows and matures throughout the series, and she loves Lissa and Dimitri and makes many sacrifices for them. If Rose is on your side, she goes all in. At the end of Book 3, something quite shocking happens (I was just sitting there with my mouth hanging open, tears in my eyes, not quite believing it) and Book 4 is Rose’s journey to do what she believes is right (It’s really hard to write this review spoiler free, by the way).
Dimitri: I ended up loving Dimitri. He’s the strong, silent type who has such a good heart. Rose learns even more about Dimitri when she meets his family, and everything you know about Dimitri just makes you sigh. Definitely a top book boyfriend!
Lissa: I didn’t like Lissa at first, but she grew on me. At first she relies on Rose too much, but she gets more independent and stronger as each book goes by. She realizes how much Rose has sacrificed for her (and will in the future, when she is her bodyguard). And her and Christian are pretty cute.
Christian: Always liked him. Cute, sarcastic, and doesn’t take any crap from Rose. Perfect boyfriend for Lissa.
Adrian: I have to say (and I may have some haters here), but I never loved Adrian in this series. He was the classic bad boy it seemed to me. and I felt really bad for him (Rose really uses him, which made me mad). To me, he was never really a viable alternative for Rose. And there's one scene I absolutely hate between him and Rose (what Rose lets him do) and I lost a little respect for Adrian there (and Rose, for that matter). They were just not good together. But I absolutely adore him in the Bloodlines series!!
Each book has a lot of action (and romance). The whole politics of this world is interesting, how the Dhampirs (half vampires) are charged with protecting the Moroi (full, living vampires) and they really don’t have a choice if they want to stay in that world. They’re sort of second-class citizens. Richelle Mead definitely has an interesting take on vampires, with Dhampirs, the Moroi, and then Strigoi, the evil ones that are “typical” vampires (can’t be out in the daylight, kill, soulless).
I loved the ending—absolutely perfect and satisfying. The way a series should end.