I’ve been kind of slacking on the whole paper writing thing and been more focused on reading Shadow Kiss–the third Vampire Academy book. I realize that I am far behind considering the series will finish in a few books–there’s six in the series–but since reading the first one, they have become one of my favorite series. I might even go as far to say that they are right up there with Vampire Diaries (A close one-two race but Vampire Diaries still comes out on top). That’s why I’m going to talk about this series today.
The Vampire Academy series takes place in a world where there are virtually three supernatural beings that we–the readers–are worried about. The first is the Moroi. They are basically vampire royalty. They feed off humans but don’t take enough to kill. They can harness one of the four elements (We come to learn about a fifth one, too). They are pale and skinny and what you expect from vampire royalty. Then there are the dhampirs, who are part Moroi but one of their parents was not so it’s not enough to be royalty. The last kind is the Strigoi–undead, immortal vampires who are basically worried with nothing more than eating and killing.
The series revolves around Rose–a dhampir–in the Academy where she is learning to become the guardian of her best friend Lissa–the last Moroi in her bloodline. Rose is really hot headed and stubborn though her heart is always in the right place. Thus far in the series, I’ve read about her fighting Strigoi better than any guardian and overcoming a lot of obstacles.
What I really like about this plot is that it’s not the typical story line that would automatically come to mind when you pick up a vampire book in the teen section. It’s not all let’s make out a hero vampire who is going to prove not all vampires are bad by falling in love and saving some human girl. Nope. No humans in this book…well, none that are of any importance. It’s not all lovey, dovey, kissy kissy smoochy smoochy crap. It’s about this girl who is told she has to be a certain way and her fighting as hard as she can to do what’s right for her and her friends no matter if it fits that life or not.
I’ve had this conversation a lot involving the Twilight series usually. You see, I don’t really understand why the Twilight series is such a book that is pushed on young girls. In fact, I have a cousin who would refuse to let her daughter read the books if she ever had one because all it does is promote the idea of changing yourself and losing who you are to be with some guy. It’s like that Stephen King quote where he says Harry Potter is about overcoming challenges and being the best person possible and Twilight teaches you the importance of having a boyfriend (It’s something along those lines but that is the gist of it). My cousin said she would push The Hunger Games on her daughter because Katniss is a strong female character (I have yet to read these books). This is a trend I’m starting to see in the books I’m picking up though. Rose is one of the strongest female characters I have ever read about. Sure, there is a romantic subplot but it’s cool because Rose does not change herself to be with him. In fact, I’m three books in and they have admitted they love each other but aren’t because it’s against the rules. She is working to protect him as hard as he is her. Then we have the Millennium series. Lisbeth Salander may be crazy but that bee-otch is one tough chick who anyone who has read the books can tell you changes for no one. The only reason she changes herself is to keep from being arrested or killed. And then there’s Dejah Thoris. Now, the John Carter books may not be a hugely popular series anymore nor is she the best example from the books (I’m not sure here. It’s been a while since I read the first one) but the movie is a different story. She fights and is willing to lay down her life for her people. She kicks butt when John Carter can’t…and he’s got super human jump-iness. She’s incredibly intelligent and remains really pretty while she kicks butt. I say we take some notes from these girls and start making our girls strong as opposed to…well, like Bella. After all, any of us who have watched Dark Angel know that girls kick a**, says so on the t-shirt.
Anyway, let’s get back to talking about the Vampire Academy. I go through these books pretty quickly when I start reading them. The writing is wonderfully vivid and emotional yet not too verbose in detail as to make it drawn out. I find that with this series I feel a lot like I did when I read the original Vampire Diaries books the first time. The writing is so well done that you can literally feel the emotion of the main character. I don’t know if I’m the only one who found this but I felt as though I was actually living as Elena Gilbert. Maybe I just relate to her really well (book Elena, not dull-as-dishwater television Elena. I’m much more of a Caroline or Rebekah there), but I felt really depressed when Elena was depressed, I cried when she cried, I was furious when she was furious. I don’t find it as strong with the Vampire Academy books but it’s still there. Right now, when I’m reading, I easily get upset and angry because…well, I don’t want to give anything away, but because Rose has a lot of these emotions going on.
Now, of course, like any other book that does extremely well and because we have a lack of creative writers in Hollywood it seems, there has been rumors about the movie swirling since 2010. According to IMDB, it will be coming to the big screens in 2013. That’s not too far off and I haven’t been able to find a solid cast or anything else that says its true (The timing at least). I have found one thing that I really like being rumored about the cast, though: Taylor Kitsch as Dimitri Belikov. Well, you’re going to find out eventually, right? So, I’m just going to go ahead and tell you who Dimitri is. He is Rose’s teacher who gives her training lessons one on one because she fell behind in school after she ran away. He is also her love interest in the series. Now, we all know I’m a little biased when it comes to my dear Taylor Kitsch but I think this would be a good role for him. He hasn’t done anything supernatural or really been in a role as the romantic interest (Though Tim Riggins is everyone’s romantic interest). He has the right looks. He’s gorgeous and muscular and has long-ish hair (Ugh. That boy has amazing hair and I would kill for him to have it long again…though he did look good as Alex Hopper). He has the right attitude: strict, protective, brooding. It’s a good call for the fans wanting him.
Now, I know I probably haven’t persuaded you to go out and read this series. But I hope that I’ve at least planted the seed in your mind and the next time you are in the bookstore looking for something new to read, you will consider the series. All I can say is this: don’t you want to read the series before the movie possibly starring the wonderfully talented (especially if you count looking that good a talent) Taylor Kitsch comes out (Though I am watching The Roommate as I write this and I think Cam Gigandet would make a good second choice for Dimitri).