Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Finishing Vampire Academy, I consider an accomplishment. It was tough not to throw it at the wall. I trudged on mainly because I was reading it out-loud to my husband. In between my wtf commentary, it was a fun out-loud read. The 3 stars should really be 2.75 stars.
***Spoilers from here on:***
The Good: Richelle Mead‘s writing is polished and flows. Reading it out-loud showcases the smooth prose.
The Not-so: Too many named characters. Many times I had to page back to figure out who was being talked about. The high-school crowd blends together. You don’t really care who is who – or remember. Check-your-brains-at-the-door was in full mode in the later part of the novel.
The inside track:
Rose and Lissa’s relationship at times seems romantic, which really threw me off at the beginning of the story. It didn’t strike me as a relationship of friends or sisters. Rose is so intensely interested in Lissa at times I wondered if her character was originally written to be a male. It throws the relationship between Lissa, Christian, Dimitri and Mason into strange murky waters. The Christian and Dimitri characters never get real guts and flesh. The outline is good, but I never got enough of them to sink my teeth into. Far too many times I’m asked to buy what’s being said and follow along sheep-style. I am not a sheep. The ending was downright ridiculous. Outrageously poor story crafting.
Would I read another? I would start a real sequel to see if the character development improves. I know there are other novels in this series but I also know the next book does not focus on these characters. I am not interested in reading another story in this world.
Bottom line: Some interesting vampire story ideas but the world does not compel me to dive in for the long haul.
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The air had the scent of summers past; when the morning was spent in anticipation of the day ahead. I remember the light breeze and coolness of the day that lifted my hair as I helped to pack the car for the trip to my aunt’s house. I could capture it for you; a mix of bird song the scent of flowers and the essence of sun starting to warm the day. A calm unfettered feeling with only the movement towards our arrival. I would see my cousins, drink lemonade, eat tiny egg salad sandwiches, and walk in the woods.
“It’s your turn.” I say handing him the small white dice. They make a pleasant sound as he shakes them and land with a plunk on the table. “Six!” He says with glee, obviously not understanding that a low number is not that desirable. A few more pieces of colored paper move into his meager pile. His turn is played and the dice come to me. I hold them in hand testing their weight and roll them between my fingers thinking of tens and twelves. The roll is disappointing; only an eight. I buy some colored papers and move on.
The sweet smell of lilac in full bloom hit me long before I touched the cold metal of the gate. The morning was chilly despite the sun’s warmth. A breeze lifted my hair and rustled the branches. I released the latch. The garden was still loved, but plainly far too much work for aging hands. The green burst of spring had consumed the bare spaces left by winter die-back. I put down my basket of tools and laid the blanket near the wildest part. Gathering my well-worn skirt to one side, I settled myself, surveying the smaller world.
The bones were old, creamy beige with dark brown crevices. You could imagine my surprise to find them so neatly stacked behind the shed. They were gleaming, as if someone had washed and dried them. It was more likely that the rain and wind had done the thorough cleaning. Brushing stray leaves away, I lifted the top bone. It was lighter than I expected and still warm from the sun. I brought the flared lens of the bone analyzer close. There were no fractures in this one. It was long, tapering to a wide end point where it joined something.
The camp was deserted. We picked a random spot to pitch the tent. I head towards the car to get the last pole set and am surprised that so many people have arrived. An acquaintance asks for help moving; a strange assortment of damaged sports equipment and battered musical instruments. I ask her to teach me guitar tuning. She asks where the next event is. I tell her that it’s over. She asks who won, but I don’t know. We scan the newspaper as we’re waiting for the pedestrian signal to change. Bicycles rush by on the rubble filled street.
My self-imposed Sunday Weekly Writing Challenge: To quickly write exactly one hundred words on whatever topic, theme or idea that wanders through my head that morning. Inspired by medium.com to give credit where it is due. Here’s this week’s 100 Words:
The call of “sweetie” over and over again, was creating an auto loop in my head even when the bird was silent. It was slowly driving me insane. I considered some sort of violent extermination and then reconsidered. It was spring after all, and the poor bird had only a few words with which to seduce and nest a mate. Pity consumed me. I should not be judging the evolution of this tiny creature. The solution was to turn up the music to run interference. The rasp of the singer’s voice soothed me and I forgot all about the bird.