Published: August 23rd 2011 by Penguin
Format: Paperback, 144 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Paranormal
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After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It’s filled with intrigue, danger—and even romance.
Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.
I love graphic novels: I think they’re beautiful and give us a lovely visual adaptation of a novel that’s different from a movie. The first Vampire Academy graphic novel tells introduces Rose and Lissa perfectly, and accurately tells the story of the first book.
Rose is a damphir – half vampire (Moroi) and half human. She’s training to become a Guardian one day for her best friend Lissa, who is a Moroi princess. They had to leave their school because Lissa felt threatened, but have recently been tracked down by fully-trained Guardians, including Dmitri Belikov, who volunteers to train Rose so that she can catch up on what she missed while she was away. Rose and Lissa navigate the social structure of their school while figuring out Lissa’s strange powers and their telepathic bond.
Rose and Lissa’s friendship is portrayed really well, and although they fought a little and had a few disagreements, the depth of their bond was clear from the very beginning. Lissa’s secrets are hinted at and slowly revealed, which I also liked. I enjoyed getting to experience what Rose and Lissa were feeling through the graphic novel, in the way I never got to while reading the original book. And Dimitri is totally awesome and hot, even as a drawing.
I love the illustrations! They’re emotive and clever, and tell the story brilliantly. There’s almost no need for the accompanying text. I love the text too, though, because most of it is taken straight from the book. I’d thought that the setting would suffer because there aren’t many words used to describe things, but the illustrations only enhanced the sense of place of the novel. The atmosphere at St. Vladimir’s school and the church was conveyed very well, as was the nature of Rose’s extra training.
I think this graphic novel makes the perfect accompaniment to the full-length novels, and every fan of the Vampire Academy world should read them! I can’t wait to read through the second and third instalments.