Thursday, May 15, 2014

Numbers 10, 14, 18,19, 22, 27: Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

Did you forget I'm trying to read 100 books this year?  Don't worry, I keep chugging along.  I figured that if I'm actually going to accomplish this goal, I gotta balance the heavy hitters with some less...challenging, shall we say, fare. Since my library had the Vampire Academy series available, rotting my brain a little via teenage bloodsuckers seemed like the way to go. I'm reviewing them as a series rather than individually because that would take more effort than I spent reading them.  Truly.

In order, the titles are:

Vampire Academy
Frost Bite
Shadow Kiss
Blood Promise
Spirit Bound
Last Sacrifice

Crazy titles, right, right?  I can tell you're already titillated.

I'm not going to pretend I didn't enjoy this series and plow through it to its reasonably predictable, highly addictive, ending. Yes, there were some annoying grammatical and editing errors, but Richelle Mead writes much better than another teen lit vampire author who shall remain nameless. True, her name is Richelle, which doesn't seem like a real name so much as a speech impediment, but the prose, if you want to call it that, didn't make me want to rip my hair out.

The setup: Seventeen year old Rosemarie Hathaway, a dhampir (weird hybrid human/vampire), and her best friend, likewise seventeen, but a Moroi (Mead's word for living vampires that don't kill people but still drink their blood) try to graduate from high school and plunge themselves into adult life without being killed by various enemies, including Strigoi (evil vampires who have become dead and immortal by killing someone). Naturally, boys also insert themselves into the situation, much is made of the saint/slut dynamic, which pisses me off, and there's a good amount of general stupidity on behalf of almost every character.  On the upside, Rose, as she's called, definitely has a personality and feels strongly about being in full control of her life.  Except for the part where dhampirs are expected to serve and protect Moroi as their sole purpose in life.  I also find this problematic.  For obvious reasons.  But so does Rose, and this is light reading, and I am an adult with my own opinions. But problematic for the teens, who are probably still as stupid as I was when I was their age.

The Verdict: Want something to read by the pool this summer? Go for it! Doesn't tax the mind, fast-paced, generally enjoyable, and only occasionally annoying.  Surely, you didn't think these were great works of literature, but who doesn't like a beach read now and then. Definitely get these suckers from the library though, no reason to buy since I can't imagine anyone would feel strongly enough to give these a re-read.

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