Publication Date: August 16, 2007
Page Count: 332
Synopsis: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
Review: After being told so many times by a close blogging friend to read this book, I finally got myself a copy. With the huge fanbase and hype around this series, I had these expectations:
- a lovable, kick-butt heroine
- a swoon-worthy love interest
- lots of similarities to Half-Blood (or vice versa)
- an all around amazing "omg new favorite" book
Unfortunately... you guys know how this sentence is going to end--I was a bit disappointed. Mostly with the main character. Rose is a very popular and loved heroine around the blogosphere. However, I didn't like her all that much (*raises shield to block the hate I know I'm going to get*). She came across as very rude, jealous, and pompous. She thought she was better than everybody else, she was extremely infatuated with all things boy, and--my goodness--her self esteem was higher than the Empire State Building. She constantly reminded the reader that her body was very curvy and desirable. She constantly deemed other students at the academy "lame" or "boring" which her best friend called her out on a few times. As for her jealousy, oh my goodness. Rose ruined her best friend's friendship with a boy for a lot of the book because she was jealous. She patched it up later, but seriously, to do that to your best friend? Awful. Fortunately, I did really like her starting from the last third of the book. She brought out her kick-butt side. She was also very loyal. But all in all, Rose Hathaway did not float my boat.
Even though Rose was not my favorite heroine ever, I did enjoy some other characters, particularly Lissa. Lissa is Rose's best friend and has a lot going on. She's special. She's kind. And she also has some darkness in her. I really sympathized with Lissa, much more than I did Rose. I found Lissa more enjoyable and relatable. I also loved Christian. I would actually like to read a book in Lissa's point of view, both because I like Lissa and because I want some more Christian.
As for Rose's love interest, the blogger-famous Dimitri Belikov... I expected a little more from him. He was a pretty nice guy, though I didn't find myself swooning over him. As a reader, I didn't get to see him often, so I don't really have any strong feelings towards him.
I did a lot of similarities to Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, probably more than two published books should have. But after the first books, both series go off in completely different directions, so I'm not too bothered.
I felt like nothing really happened for the first half of the book. But once the plot got rolling, I was absorbed. I definitely think that I liked the book more and more as the page number increased. Considering this, I think I might try the next book in the series. One thing that I really, really loved about this book was the ending. It was so satisfying and a non-cliffhanger (thank goodness--I'm so tired of cliffhanger endings).