It’s always hard to talk about the latest installment in a series without spoiling things for those who haven’t even picked up the first book yet. And Richelle Mead will surely keep you guessing with her twists and turns throughout the four (of six) books.
Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy books follow the war between two races of vampires, living and undead. Rose Hathaway, a 17-year old half-vampire, is training to be a bodyguard for the living vampires and finds her life complicated by the constant danger. As well as an illicit romance with one of her teachers, Rose continually struggles to protect her best friend from the evils that surround them.
At least that’s what they tell you on the official VA website. But Vampire Academy is more than just another series of vampire novels, riding on the back of the recent vampire wave. Richelle Mead’s vampires are deeply rooted in Eastern European/Russian tradition, and much grittier than the recent fluff in sparkly vampiredom.
Throughout the series, our heroine Rose, who is neither a vampire, nor in love with one a century her senior, thank goodness, has to face tough moral choices of the kind we care about. Love or friendship? Duty or freedom? How many ways to kick that bad guy’s ass from here to sunrise?
That’s right, the best thing about Rose is she’s anything but a damsel in distress. She kicks butt and she knows it. As a guardian to “good” vampires, she has to. And the only one who could ever hope to be her equal is a guardian every bit as bad-ass as she is herself.
I had the chance to see Richelle live as part of her Australia tour (read all about it on her blog, although for some reason, she never mentions me. Probably because I didn’t have a chance to speak to her. But that’s okay, I forgive her.). She’s not only gorgeous (and pale!), but also very funny and engaging. She talked to a roomful of high school students about writing life, the series, and her editing processes, as well as her adult series.
My favourite part though were the students. A whole room packed with (mainly) girls with their noses stuck in books. Talking about their favourite characters. Comparing the merits of the (many) gorgeous guys in the VA series, claiming this one and that for themselves. I *love* readers. Readers are easily my favourite people in the whole world. And all these readers had come together to hear an author talk about her books. Much love was shared by all.
When was the last time you were at an event where more than 3/4 of the people were reading, like it’s the most natural and fun thing in the world?
No wonder Australia is the second-largest fan base for Vampire Academy. Clearly, we have excellent taste in books.
And to celebrate our absolute awesomeness, we’re going to give away the whole Vampire Academy series, signed by Richelle Mead during her tour, as well as one extra copy (sadly, unsigned) of her latest, Blood Promise.
To enter, leave a comment telling us your favourite public place to indulge in a good book. For extra entries, mention this contest (and let us know where you did it). Each mention gets you one extra entry. Oh yeah, and you don’t have to be in Australia to enter. Just somewhere the postal service can reach.
Entries close on September 30th at 1 am AEST.