Review Blog

Oct 25 2011

Vampire Academy: a graphic novel text by Richelle Mead

cover image

Adapted by Leigh Dragoon. Ill. by Emma Vieceli. Penguin, 2011.
(Senior students) This is a graphic adaptation of the first of six books in the popular young adult Vampire Academy series introducing Lissa, the blonde Moroi vampire princess with special powers and Rose, her Dhampir best friend and guardian. The story opens with the two runaways from the academy for young vampires being captured and returned to school where most of the action is centred. Evil forces there are trying to capture Lissa to use her special powers and turn her into one of the Strigoi, vampires that never die. Not being familiar with the original series I had some difficulty following some parts of the story and recognising some of the characters, but it is clear that friendship, loyalty, intimacy and sexual tension are at its heart. I was surprised by the language in the episode where some boys claim to have had sex with Rose who they describe as a 'blood whore' and by the graphic almost-sex scene between Rose and Dimitri. This manga style graphic adaptation, featuring many close-ups, suits the moody characters and the story moves along at a good pace while text, mainly direct speech, is kept to a minimum.
'As an introduction to the series, or an extra dimension for those already addicted, this is bound to be a popular choice but the content, (including Lissa's self-harming) puts this book firmly in the older reader category.
Sue Speck

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