When I first found these books at a local bookstore, I knew I had to read them. I wanted something similar to Twilight--vampires and romance and theses promised just that. I loved this series! Maybe even more than Twilight! I'm not going to give a complete synopsis for each book since that's too hard to do without giving anything away. So here's an overview of the series:
Rose is a dhampir, a half-human half-vampire. Her best friend Lissa is the good kind of vampire, a moroi. Dhampirs are the protectors of the moroi. They go to private vampire schools with the moroi and learn how to fight and protect them against the bad vampires, the strigoi. All moroi vampires posses some kind of elemental magic. Lissa is different. She possesses a type of magic never before heard of--spirit. When Lissa and Rose are in a car accident with Lissa's family, Lissa unintentionally uses her spirit power to bring Rose back from the dead. Now Rose is what they call shadow-kissed--she's psychically connected to Lissa. Rose can feel Lissa's emotions and even see what she sees. This serves them well when Rose finds out that someone is trying to kill Lissa. Rose convinces Lissa to run away with her and live among the humans until the threat is gone. Rose is able to keep the two of them under the radar until Dimitri shows up. He is one of the fiercest dhampirs there is. He takes Rose down and gets her and Lissa back to Vampire Academy. There the two girls have to face the consequences of leaving and Rose has to catch up on her training so she can graduate and be chosen to protect Lissa. In the meantime, Rose can't help but fall for her calm, in control and also super hot dhampir mentor, Dimitri. When the worst happens and strigoi attack the campus, Rose loses someone very important to her. This person is turned into a strigoi. Rose takes off across the world on an impossible mission to save the person she lost by killing them. Along the way she's kidnapped, escapes, meets an Alchemist (people who help conceal vampires) and even learns who her father is. In the end, will she be able to kill this person she loves so that they don't have to immortally live out the life of a strigoi? Or will she try to find another way to save them?
**Richelle Mead is an awesome storyteller. While some writers will create a main character that they say is strong and can kick butt, Mead does more than just say this about Rose. She shows it time and time again by constantly putting Rose into situations she has to fight her way out of. Rose's arc from a bratty, disobedient teen to a mature adult is so much fun to read. She's sassy and sexy and tough yet somehow also very relatable. Lissa and Rose's complications from Lissa's spirit use and Rose's being shadow-kissed is interesting. The threats that keep coming whether it be from the strigoi or from inside enemies will keep you turning the pages. But most of all, Rose's relationship and love for Dimitri will have your at turns crying and rejoicing. This is a must read series that gives a different take on vampires. It's actually more of a story of friendship and love and the lengths we'll go to to protect those we care about. And even better: they're making a movie due to come out sometime next year!!
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