Reviews

Rereading Vampire Academy (10 Years Later) πŸ¦‡

VA Reread

Hello fellow bookworms πŸ¦‡ I joined the St. Vladimir’s Readalong this year, which is all about reading the Vampire Academy and (spin-off) Bloodlines series. I used to love Vampire Academy back in high school and had been wanting to reread the books in order to finally read the spin-off series, so this Readalong came at the perfect time! The first six months are over now, which means that I reread the Vampire Academy series and wanted to reflect on my expefience reading it for the secind time after roughly 10 years (oh god it has been so long πŸ˜…). Sometimes the nostalgia of an old favorite can’t hold up, so today I want to discuss my reread thoughts om Vampire Acamdey! I’ll be starting with some (spoiler-free) general thoughts and the move on to my opinions on the invidiual books (with spoilers!!) πŸ₯°

Let’s start πŸ˜„

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VA1

NO SPOILERS

My ratings surprisingly stayed the same (except for Blood Promise which went from 4 β†’ 5) and I loved this series just as much the second time around. I wasn’t sure about this would be the case, as time can change things, but Vampire Academy remains a source of great nostalgia for me. I still love the worldbuilding which is so unique and the great discussions about the double standard of the Moroi Society. Rose as a witty, flawed and realistic main character, Rose & Lissa’s bond and strong friendship, the platonic dynamics (Rose x Christian, Adrian x Lissa, Rose x Sydney) and great minor characters (Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Mikhail) really made this series worthwhile for me πŸ₯°

πŸ’• Favorite Characters πŸ’•

  • Rose Hathaway
  • Adrian Ivashkov
  • Christian Ozera
  • Jill Mastrano

⚑ I’m More Critical Of ⚑

  • The way Mental Health was portrayed. For the time I guess it was okay, but words like ‘crazy or insane’ were used a lot and the fact that Spirit as an element ‘drives its user insane’ was a bit iffy. I liked the discussion of self-harm and that there was at least some therapy, but it wasn’t the best rep ever.
  • Some of the slut-shaming Rose has to endure & the general girl-on-girl hate/jealousy.
  • Rose & Dimitri’s relationship. Even back in the day, I never shipped them, but now I see them even more critical. The age gap and teacher-student dynamic is problematic and though addressed, it’s also brushed aside and romanticized a lot. I also still don’t care for their romance at all.

Ranking ⭐ (Fave to Least Fave)

  1. Last Sacrifice (Book #6)
  2. Shadow Kiss (Book #3)
  3. Spirit Bound (Book #5)
  4. Vampire Academy (Book #1)
  5. Frost Bite (Book #2)
  6. Blood Promise (Book #4)

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SPOILER ALERT!!!

Vampire Academy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This remains a great first book in the series and what got me hooked the first time as well. Despite having some flaws Vampire Academy is a good setup for the rest of the series and manages to introduce us to the characters and worlds despite being much shorter than the rest of the books.

πŸ’• Highlights πŸ’•

  • Rose and Lissa’s friendship, it’s still one of my favorites even so many years later
  • Christian and Rose being the most entertaining frenemies (for now)
  • The entire setup of the world: the combination of vampires/dhamphirs and elemental magic
  • Natalie as an unlikely friend & the tragedy that is her turning Strigoi only to get killed in the end for her misguided loyalty to her father Victor (still breaks my heart but it was well-done).

⚑ Low Points ⚑

  • The intense girl-on-girl hate between Rose/Lissa & Mia on the other side, as it was so stereotypical => Mia trying to get back at them because of a guy (Aaron) is such a sexist, overused trope, that I could have done without.
  • The amount of times ‘bitch/slut/whore etc.’ was mentioned annoyed me, especially the vicious slut-shaming Rose has to go through was infuriating.

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Frost Bite ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Frostbite is probably still the book with the least plot and designated to be more of a ‘filler book’ that largely sets up the stage for future books in the series. I still had a great time, but I also have to admit that this one suffers from ‘Sequel Syndrome’ and the second time around I noticed the last of significant plot even more.

πŸ’• Highlights πŸ’•

  • The Cabin Getaway (as it gives us some winter/snow vibes and I like that a lot)
  • Adrian’s introduction!!! (He is a bit more ominous than I remembered, especially in the beginning when we don’t know much of him though. But he is one of my favorite characters, so I was eager to see him.)
  • The end was very suspenseful and intense. Mason’s death made for a very haunting and emotional moment, especially as Rose blames herself for what happened with him and how things ended between them.

⚑ Low Points ⚑

  • This wasn’t the most memorable book, though it does have some intense scenes.
  • Rose’s own mother slut-shaming her at that one Royal Party, which was completely out of line.
  • Rose lowkey leading Mason on, which was making me sad, as he’s such a good guy. Rose being a bit of a brat to Tasha because she saw her as a rival for Dimitri’s affection.

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Shadow Kiss ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a good example of a great Middle Book that advances the plot and is therefore one of my favorites in the series. It has a lot of high stakes and was impossible to put down, even the second time around. There are so many things I love about this book and not much I didn’t like!

πŸ’• Highlights πŸ’•

  • Rose and Christian slowly coming to respect each other and becoming reluctant friends (They are similar and the banter between them is always hilarious),
  • The Training Exercise Storyline was cool and is one of my favorites (Especially with the twist that Rose didn’t get Lissa and instead has to guard Christian. Meanwhile Eddie gets Lissa, though Rose has to admit that he is a great guardian and if not her, Eddie should guard Lissa.)
  • The Ghosts playing a major role for the first time (especially Mason whose death Rose is still mourning and who tries to warn her when the Strigoi are about the attack).
  • Adrian and Lissa trying to practice spirit, especially as there aren’t many spirit users and with such a newly discovered element they have no lessons from schoolΒ  to hone their magic.
  • The final big showdown with the Strigoi & later Rose and Lissa’s fight, when Rose decides to kill Dimitri since he was turned into a Strigoi and this is what he would have wanted.

⚑ Low Points ⚑

  • Not much, probably only Rose & Dimitri sleeping together, as their relationship is still problematic with the age gap and student/teach dynamic but it increasingly gets brushed over with each book.

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Blood Promise ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This used to be my least favorite book because of the Strigoi!Dimitri and holding Rose captive Storyline, but the second time around I enjoyed it a lot more! The rating went from 4 to 5 Stars in the reread. There were so many great discussions and dynamics that made up for it. The book’s pretty slow at times but didn’t get boring.

πŸ’• Highlights πŸ’•

  • Sydney’s and the Alchemists’ introduction, as I forgot so much about them but they are such an interesting concept
  • Sydney x Rose unlikely ‘friendship’, especially as Sydney believes even dhamphirs and Moroi are ‘evil creatures’ at first
  • The intro of Abe Mazur/Smey (Rose’s father, though she doesn’t find that out until the vry end.)
  • Getting to know Dimitri’s family and Russia.
  • Jill as a new prominent character.
  • The final showdown between Avery & Lissa with Rose trying to teach her how to fight
  • Rose & Lissa finally having a conversation about their friendship and how both their trauma/experiences has strained their bond.

⚑ Low Points ⚑

  • The Rose Held Captive by Dimitri Storyline, as the ‘Love Interest turns evil’ is one of my least favorite trope and Dimitri is (obviously) being so toxic in this book. He’s even keeping Rose as his own Blood Whore and generally acts possessive.
  • I’m also sad we never got a resolution between Viktoria and Rose, as I liked their dynamic.
  • Lissa’s cheating on Christian by kissing Aaron & how vicious she was to Jill (I get that it was Avery’s control bringing out the worst in her, still iffy though)

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Spirit Bound ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I remember loving this book a lot back in the day, though I forgot some of the details with time. As we get closer to the ending of the series, this was a great ‘pre-finale’ that had a lot of interesting plot points like Saving Strigoi, the Age Degree, what Dhamphirs do after graduation and breaking Victor out of prison. There was so much tension and drama!

πŸ’• Highlights πŸ’•

  • The last exam of the guardians & seeing life after graduation: Rose and her classmates trying to get assignments as guardians and the barriers she faces because of her bad behavioral record.
  • The whole Victor/Robert/Saving a Strigoi Storyline was super intriguing: it had a prison break, Las Vegas and Victor being a great villain.
  • Mikhail! (Sonya’s former lover, he’s such a great minor character!)
  • The whole age degree!! (I still remembered this vividly and it was such a good plot point showing how selfish some Moroi are. Sacrificing more dhamphir instead of learning to help them against the Strigoi.)
  • The Dimitri being Saved Drama (There was so much good tension between Rose’ despair at having risked everything for Dimitri yet being turned away by him + Dimitri’s shame and inability to forgive himself for what he did as Strigoi, especially to Rose + Lissa having this psychological bond with Dimitri & trying to help him, yet also being caught in the middle as she understands Rose frustration).

⚑ Low Points ⚑

  • Probably only the Adrian x Rose x Dimitri Triangle, as I felt bad for Adrian who is trying hard to understand Rose and her past with Dimitri, but actually never stood a chance. As much as I love Rose as a flawed character, she wasn’t being fair to Adrian and still pining after Dimitri alongside dating him.

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Last Sacrifice ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was a worthy finale to the series and the longest, most complex book. I like how so many things that were set up in earlier books came together and I think Last Sacrifice did a great job providing a satisfying conclusion, yet also leaving some storylines open for the spin-off series to pick up on.

πŸ’• Highlights πŸ’•

  • Lissa’s Trials to become queen were so fun to watch! I loved seeing all the excitement for the competition and election, it was probably the most interesting part of the book for me and the one I liked best!
  • Seeing Sydney again!! I forgot that she had such a big part in this book and I was pleasantly surprised to see her becoming Rose’s partner in crime in their search to find the lost Dragomir. I’m looking forward to Bloodlines, where we’ll see her again.
  • All the twists and turns. Like I said, this book brought everything together and there were so many surprises in store. Like Jill being Lissa’s lost sister and Tasha being the one who really killed the queen. (I also completely forgot that Rose killed Victor in a spirit-induced rage)
  • Seeing Dimitri heal. I never cared that much about him as a character, but I liked seeing Dimitri come to terms with his past as a Strigoi and find purpose and beauty in life again.
  • Sonya coming back!! We only heard of her/saw her through flashbacks, so I was excited to see more of her in this book.

⚑ Low Points ⚑

  • The cheating/love triangle. As much as I enjoy Rose as a flawed protagonist, her treatment of Adrian in this book was especially bad. She already used him and his money in previous books. In Last Sacrifice it becomes even more apparent that she doesn’t really love him like he loves her, yet keeps him around since Dimitri doesn’t want to be with her anymore. It felt like Adrian was a placeholder for her, especially as she cheats on him almost immediately when she finds out Dimitri changed his mind. Adrian definitely deserved better and I’m happy to see that he gets the spotlight in the Bloodlines series!

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Have you read Vampire Academy and/or Bloodlines? Who is your favorite character? What is your favorite book in the series? πŸ¦‡

15 thoughts on “Rereading Vampire Academy (10 Years Later) πŸ¦‡

  1. Wonderful in depth review! I had to skip over the parts with spoilers, but I bought a copy of the first book in the series last year and plan on reading in October for those Halloween vibes haha. Your review made me excited to start the series!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tracy! I highly recommend the books and I hope you get around to reading them – even years after the series has come out, it’s still so good πŸ₯° I’m so happy to hear that I could get you excited for Vampire Academy 😊

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  2. I loved the Vampire Academy series and I can’t believe it’s been over 10 years since I read them too. I remember loving this series so much and now after reading this post it’s making me want to reread it again too. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a really great review!! I re-read/finished Vampire Academy earlier this year and had a lot of fun too. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of Blood Promise either the first time I read it to the point where it put me in a slump and i didn’t finish the series ’til years later but I ended up enjoying it more on my re-read. Also very glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t like Rose+Dimitri.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Elli! Happy to hear that you also enjoyed your reread of Vampire Academy! It’s interesting how our opinion on Blood Promise has changed with the reread! I just never liked Rose & Dimitri as well πŸ˜…

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  4. As someone that used to be a massive fan of Vampire Academy and still has a lot of nostalgia connected to it, I loved reading this post! I’ll admit that I *loved* the relationship between Rose and Dimitri when I originally read it πŸ˜–, but I know that wouldn’t be the case today, which is why I’m super hesitant to reread the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you liked my post!! ❀ I can recommend a Vampire Academy reread, it was such a great experience and I still loved the books a lot! I totally get that, I didn’t see things as critically back then πŸ˜… I do like Rose and Dimitri, just not as a couple and rather as individual people – the reread made this even clearer!

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  5. This is such a cool post idea!! I love that you got a chance to reflect on how your thoughts have changed, I would definitely love to read it more of these 😍 I don’t know if I would be brave enough to do the same – I’m too worried to reread for example Twilight because I know it will be awful if I read it now πŸ˜‚ I have heard a lot about the Vampire Academy but I haven’t actually read any of the books. I have definitely been intrigued recently though – do you think they would stand the test the time even if read for the first time now? 🧐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Pauliina – I’m so happy to hear that! ❀ I would love to do more reread reviews, it’s so much fun to reflect back on how/if opinions changed over the years! I feel you though, sometimes I feel like I wouldn’t like some books as much now (like Twilight) πŸ˜… I still recommend reading Vampire Academy now, just be aware that it’s a bit cliche – but still fun if you want a Vampire story πŸ˜„

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