I have been badgered to read/audiobook this for MONTHS! I think nearly for a whole year now! So, to Laura (aka SisterSpooky), Leanne (aka District YA) & Krystal (helper of Twilight Series Theories, Bookshelf Banter & other wonderful sites), IT'S DONE! I audiobooked it and listened to it TILL THE END! IT'S DONE!
... and breathe.
Right, the story. Rose and Lissa are on the run. They've been running for two years. And soon, it's gonna be over as they are taken back to St Vladimir's Academy, which is a boarding school for moroi (aka good vampires that will drink blood but won't kill the person by draining their blood completely, are alive and can use magic) and Dhampir/Guardians. Away from the evils of the world (mainly Strigoi aka bad vampires that are dead, can't use magic and will completely drain you of blood).
But St Vladimir's Academy is not a safe place. It's filled with forbidden romance and ruthless social scene. But there's something else. Something more terrifying. Someone is leaving dead animals for Lissa to find. And Rose is worried for her best friend. And now only is she worried over this and Lissa's strange friendship with outsider Christian, she's slowly getting feelings for Guardian (and her trainer) Dimitri. And both girls should be careful, cause you never know who might be watching...
Ok, before I go any further, I want to chat briefly about readers of audiobooks. In the past, I think I have mentioned that there are three types of audiobook readers. The first being a voice that you instantly go "You're perfect for this!". The second is a reader that, over the course of the book, you grow to like. And the third is a reader you can't stand. And, for a long time, I was in camp three with this audiobook. I found the way the reader - Stephanie Wolf - read Rose was just wrong. I think after an hour of listening to it the first time, I had to stop or I would have attacked my iPod. But, once I got into the flow of the story, I grew to like the way she read Rose, though there were moments I suddenly went "Oh God!" over a few things.
So, the story itself. How did I feel about it, even though vampires are no longer seen as "in"? It was ok. It was a first novel in the series so, basically, it felt like there was information overload. But once all the information was given to you, it seemed to make sense and you could go with it.
Though, I do have some problems with the main character Rose. There were times I thought she was... well, a cow. She acts on impulse (and to hell with the consequences!), is arrogant and did things that I felt were... well, cruel. I didn't really like Rose in these moments. I suppose these moments had to happen to show that she wasn't perfect, but there was one thing she did that I got angry over her for and thought "Why is Lissa even friends with you?! You're horrible!"
However, by the end of the story, I kinda like her. She's loyal, bold and is courageous.
Maybe I'm being too hard on Rose and the whole story. I might read/listen to the sequel, Frostbite, expect that they change reader (for Frostbite, it's Kristine Hvam) and I kinda hate it when they change readers in the audiobook series. Also, I can't understand why Vampire Academy audiobook is £7.95 and yet Frostbite is £10.95. What weird logic is that?!
This is the first in a series so it has to lay down the fountains for this series, hence my unsureness about it. Maybe Frostbite will put me on if I like it or not. But I feel in the middle-ground. It was ok, but there were a few things that bothered me and, if I do go read/audiobook Frostbite, I hope these things are sorted out...