Richelle Mead

Cover Design– The Vampire Academy-At first glance I am intrigued by this cover. The woman seems to be looking at me with a coy look that leaves me to think she knows something I don’t know I would definitely pick up the book to see what it was about. 5 Stars

Having read the first book, the reader now knows the woman on the cover is Mead’s main character Rosemarie Hathaway. Another character is introduced on the cover of book 2-Frost Bite. Could this be Dimitri, Rose’s mentor and love interest? Had I not read book one and saw this cover, I am curious enough by this cover to pick this book up. After reading the back cover and finding that this is book 2 in a series I would want to read the first book and this one. 5 stars.

The cover for book 3 Shadow Kiss is much like book 1. The way the woman representing Rose is looking at you, it’s like she thinks you’re insane. This cover goes along with the story Mead is trying to convey. There’s just enough of a hint to catch the eye. Once a reader reads the back cover they would be interested in the entire series. 5 stars.

The cover of book 4- Blood Promise portrays Rose in a sad way. The end of Shadow Kiss was heart breaking which explains why Rose is so sad. However the cover doesn’t catch the eye as the others have. Had I not read the first books I wouldn’t have picked this book up. 3 Stars.

On the cover of book 5- Spirit Bound Mead once more added Dimitri to the cover with Rose. This time she has both of them in an interesting position. It has the reader questioning if they have found their way back to each other. It would catch the eye. 4 Star 

The cover for the final book in the series, Last Sacrifice-shows Rose in a carefree/I’ve had enough attitude. After reading the series I would pick this up to find out how it ends, but that’s the only reason. 3 Stars.

Overall complete series Cover Design 4 Stars

Character Development– Dimitri is positively yummy! In Vampire Academy Mead introduces the reader to Rosemarie Hathaway, a smart-allec with serious attitude who has one goal in life-protect her best friend Lissa. The book is written from Rose’s point of view. You instantly love or hate her. Mead introduces not just one, but three new species. Her vampires aren’t known as just vampires, they are Moroi or if they have killed- Strigoi. They aren’t the all powerful vampires of other stories these vampires have guardians or dhampir’s, as Mead calls them. The reader is instantly pulled into this world. You find yourself wanting to help Rose protect Lissa. Like Rose the reader finds Dimitri’s accent sexy. By the end of the first book, the reader is invested in Rose’s life. 5 Stars

In book 2- Frostbite-Mead continues to give more insight into her three main characters-Rose, Dimitri and Lissa. The more the reader learns about them, the more they are invested in their story. She also introduces new characters as she builds the story for her main characters Mead tells just enough about her new characters to let the reader know they will play a part in what happens to Rose, Dimitri and Lissa. A couple of the characters are annoying. I felt they didn’t really add anything to the story. 4 Stars. In Shadow Kiss Mead has taken a character lost in book 2 and made him a spirit. He’s not really a ghost but more like a specter. Mead also expands the area around her main characters which enables her to introduce the reader to other characters needed to get Rose and Dimitri to a happy ending. There are still one or two not needed for the story. 4 Stars

In Blood Promise Mead dares to take one of her main characters and turn him from a good guy to a bad one. This is unheard of. He’s not just a bad guy he’s the worst of the worst. He kills people. While the reader is reeling from this, Mead introduces new characters. An alchemist that eventually will be in a spin off series. Also a new spirit user that tries to kill Lissa. I felt Avery  wasn’t needed. She was only introduced to keep Lissa and Christian in the story. I was bored with the new characters. 1 Star.

In book 5- Spirit Bound- Mead continues introducing needless characters to the story. In this book she brings in Adrian’s parent’s so Rose can meet them. There’s no need for this. Too many characters take away from the story. 2 Stars.

In Last Sacrifice, the final book in the series, Mead yet again introduces the reader to new characters that add nothing to the story. She brings other characters barely mentioned back into play to explain some loose ends from book one. 2 Stars.

Over all for Character Development I give 3 Stars.

Concept-The Concept of Vampire Academy is different and intriguing. As I’ve said these vampires are known as Moroi. They attend a school for vampires and the guardians to protect them. The normalcy of vampires going to school is easily relatable. The Moroi are in danger from former friends and family who were either forced to become Strigoi or choose to. There are good and bad vampires in most vampire tales, but I’ve never read one where the good ones are fed on by the bad and forced to die or become bad. 5 Stars.

Frostbite isn’t just a continuation of Vampire Academy it also introduces more excitement. I wonder if Mead had an idea where her story would go or if it happened as she wrote. The idea behind each book is unique. 5 Stars.

In book 3- Shadow Kiss-Mead takes another leap into the supernatural world. Not only does she introduce ghosts, but the ghosts plays a part in the idea she has in mind for book 3. I thought the Concept of book 3 unusual and exciting. 5 Stars.

Mead took her story in a whole new direction in Blood Promise. She took a risk turning Dimitri into a Strigoi, then sending Rose on a quest to kill him. The reader feels Rose’s pain. When Dimitri holds her captive, the reader is taken on a heart wrenching journey as Rose faces the love of her life and knows she has no choice but to kill Dimitri. Mead takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster with Rose from her pain at Dmitri’s loss to the longing Rose has for the man he once was. 5 Stars.

In book 5- Spirit Bound- Mead adds more loops and turns to her roller coaster. After ripping the reader’s heart out with her last book, she makes it all better in this one. The idea that a person could become a vampire then get staked in the heart and become human again is  unique idea. I have never heard of such a thing. A great idea! 5 Stars

In the final book-Last Sacrifice- Mead ties up loose ends, she also ramps up the excitement. Again with a jail break and a scavenger hunt to find a long lost half sibling no one knew existed. I have to wonder if this was Mead’s plan from book one or if the characters led the story there. With great relief Mead gives the main characters a happy ending. 5 Stars 

Overall I give 5 stars for Concept

Plot/Sub-Plot-In Vampire Academy Mead has taken her unique idea and woven such a complicated plot that the reader doesn’t want to put the book down. They have to find out what Lissa specialized in, who was torturing and killing animals. The kindling attraction between Rose and her instructor is delicately written within the plot that it’s almost an after thought. 5 Stars

Mead takes the reader to the next level with Frostbite. She takes a risk killing one of the secondary characters. After enduring them to the reader, she takes a chance by killing him, but she needed to do so to take Rose to the next level- 5 Stars.

In Shadow Kiss Mead starts by jumping straight into the story she wants to tell in her next installment of this vampire saga. She weaves a tale within a tale so the reader is always engrossed in the story. 5 stars.

In Blood Promise Mead introduced the Alchemist. It was dull. The explanation of how the bodies were dealt with held no appeal. Mead was obviously setting up her spin off series-Bloodlines. If not for Rose’s ability there would be no way to keep Lissa and Christian in the story. Mead tried to hard to keep two supporting characters, Lissa and Christian, in the story when they weren’t needed. 1 Star

By Spirit Bound I realized Mead has a tendency to ramble on about things that aren’t pertinent to the story. If not for Rose and Dimitri I would have stopped reading long before now. 2 Stars.

I liked the way Mead brought the series to a close in Last Sacrifice. However had she left out the meaningless characters and story lines that weren’t needed the six part series could have been a trilogy.  2 Stars

For the entire series I give Plot/Sub-Plot-3 ½ Stars

 

Entertainment Level-I found Vampire Academy hard to put down.. I wanted to be dhampi, fighting the Strigori, practicing with Dimitri, bound to Lissa. I wanted to be Rose. Shes a total badass. The reader roots for her in everything she does. When she wants to punch Mia, I wanted to do so. 5 Stars.

Frost Bite was almost as good as Vampire Academy. The more that happened with Rose the more I wanted to know. The flirtation between Rose and Dimitri teases the reader through out the book. I couldn’t wait to see where they go next. Would they or wouldn’t they. 5 Stars

Shadow Kiss was a nail biter. The shadow figures torturing Rose had me turning the pages long after I should have been asleep. I am so glad I didn’t read these books until the series was finished. If I’d had to wait for the next installment, I’d have gone insane. 5 Stars

After loving the first 3 books I was anxious to dive into book 4- Blood Promise. I was disappointed. At times it seemed overkill with new characters. There were simpler ways to talk about Dimitri’s family than to introduce characters not important to the story line. The same goes for Rose learning her father’s character with the people she met in Siberia and St. Petersburg. Simply letting her see him in action or told by Sidney why he was dangerous would have sufficed. If not for Rose and Dimitri this book would have bored me. 2 Stars

Book 5– Spirit Bound wasn’t much better. I found Adrian and his antics from beginning to be boring and pointless. His character wasn’t needed other than Mead. Setting up her spin off series. Having him and Rose attempt a relationship was boring and unnecessary. The only part of this book worth reading was Dimitri and Rose. After ripping Rose and the reader’s heart out by turning Dimitri into a bad vampire she decides to save him only to have him push Rose away in a misguided feeling of guilt. Mead hit the nail right on the head here. Men would react as Dimitri did instead of talking to a woman to see if she felt he should feel guilty. 3 Stars

With the final book-Last Sacrifice it was half love half hate. Mead wrapped up Rose and Dmitri in a way the reader would be happy with. As for the search for the long lost half sibling and Victor showing  up was boring. 3 Stars

Over all Entertainment Level for the series 3 ½ Stars

Overall rating for the entire series 3 stars