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.
About the Author
Leigh Dragoon lives in Northern California. Her credits include work on the Fraggle Rock comics (Archaia Comics), The Faerie Path Mangas (TokyoPop) and The Timeline Series (Rubicon Publishing / Scholastic Canada).
Richelle Mead lives in Seattle and is the author of the international bestselling Vampire Academy series. When not writing, she can be found watching bad movies, inventing recipes, and buying far too many dresses.
Read an Excerpt
I felt her fear before I heard her screams.
Her nightmare pulsed into me, shaking me out of my own dream, which had had something to do with a beach and Orlando Bloom rubbing suntan oil on me. Images—hers, not mine—tumbled through my mind: fire and blood, the smell of smoke, the twisted metal of a car. The pictures wrapped around me, suffocating me, until some rational part of my brain reminded me that this wasn’t my dream.
I woke up, strands of long, dark hair sticking to my forehead.
Lissa lay in her bed, thrashing and screaming. I bolted out of mine, quickly crossing the few feet that separated us.
“Liss,” I said, shaking her. “Liss, wake up.”
Her screams dropped off, replaced by soft whimpers. “Andre,” she moaned. “Oh God.”
I helped her sit up. “Liss, you aren’t there anymore. Wake up.”
After a few moments, her eyes fluttered open, and in the dim lighting, I could see a flicker of consciousness start to take over. Her frantic breathing slowed, and she leaned into me, resting her head against my shoulder. I put an arm around her and ran a hand over her hair.
“It’s okay,” I told her gently. “Everything’s okay.”
“I had that dream.”
“Yeah. I know.”
We sat like that for several minutes, not saying anything else. When I felt her emotions calm down, I leaned over to the nightstand between our beds and turned on the lamp. It glowed dimly, but neither of us really needed much to see by. Attracted by the light, our housemate’s cat Oscar leapt up into the open window.
He gave me a wide berth—animals don’t like dhampirs, for whatever reason—but jumped up on the bed and rubbed his head against Lissa, purring softly. Animals didn’t have a problem with Moroi, and they all loved Lissa in particular. Smiling, she scratched his chin, and I felt her calm further.
“When did we last do a feeding?” I asked, studying her face. Her fair skin was paler than usual. Dark circles hung under her eyes, and there was an air of frailty about her. School had been hectic this week, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d given her blood. “It’s been like . . . over two days, hasn’t it? Three? Why didn’t you say anything?”
She shrugged and wouldn’t meet my eyes. “You were busy. I didn’t want to—;”
“Screw that,” I said, shifting into a better position. No wonder she seemed so weak. Oscar, not wanting me any closer, leapt down and returned to the window, where he could watch at a safe distance. “Come on. Let’s do this.”
“Come on. It’ll make you feel better.”
I tilted my head and tossed my hair back, baring my neck. I saw her hesitate, but the sight of my neck and what it offered proved too powerful. A hungry expression crossed her face, and her lips parted slightly, exposing the fangs she normally kept hidden while living among humans. Those fangs contrasted oddly with the rest of her features. With her pretty face and pale blond hair, she looked more like an angel than a vampire.
As her teeth neared my bare skin, I felt my heart race with a mix of fear and anticipation. I always hated feeling the latter, but it was nothing I could help, a weakness I couldn’t shake.
Her fangs bit into me, hard, and I cried out at the brief flare of pain. Then it faded, replaced by a wonderful, golden joy that spread through my body. It was better than any of the times I’d been drunk or high. Better than sex—or so I imagined, since I’d never done it. It was a blanket of pure, refined pleasure, wrapping me up and promising everything would be right in the world. On and on it went. The chemicals in her saliva triggered an endorphin rush, and I lost track of the world, lost track of who I was.
Then, regretfully, it was over. It had taken less than a minute.
She pulled back, wiping her hand across her lips as she studied me. “You okay?”
“I . . . yeah.” I lay back on the bed, dizzy from the blood loss. “I just need to sleep it off. I’m fine.”
Her pale, jade-green eyes watched me with concern. She stood up. “I’m going to get you something to eat.”
My protests came awkwardly to my lips, and she left before I could get out a sentence. The buzz from her bite had lessened as soon as she broke the connection, but some of it still lingered in my veins, and I felt a goofy smile cross my lips. Turning my head, I glanced up at Oscar, still sitting in the window.
“You don’t know what you’re missing,” I told him.
His attention was on something outside. Hunkering down into a crouch, he puffed out his jet-black fur. His tail started twitching.
My smile faded, and I forced myself to sit up. The world spun, and I waited for it to right itself before trying to stand. When I managed it, the dizziness set in again and this time refused to leave. Still, I felt okay enough to stumble to the window and peer out with Oscar. He eyed me warily, scooted over a little, and then returned to whatever had held his attention.
A warm breeze—unseasonably warm for a Portland fall—played with my hair as I leaned out. The street was dark and relatively quiet. It was three in the morning, just about the only time a college campus settled down, at least somewhat. The house in which we’d rented a room for the past eight months sat on a residential street with old, mismatched houses. Across the road, a streetlight flickered, nearly ready to burn out. It still cast enough light for me to make out the shapes of cars and buildings. In our own yard, I could see the silhouettes of trees and bushes.
And a man watching me.
I jerked back in surprise. A figure stood by a tree in the yard, about thirty feet away, where he could easily see through the window. He was close enough that I probably could have thrown something and hit him. He was certainly close enough that he could have seen what Lissa and I had just done.
The shadows covered him so well that even with my heightened sight, I couldn’t make out any of his features, save for his height. He was tall. Really tall. He stood there for just a moment, barely discernible, and then stepped back, disappearing into the shadows cast by the trees on the far side of the yard. I was pretty sure I saw someone else move nearby and join him before the blackness swallowed them both.
Whoever these figures were, Oscar didn’t like them. Not counting me, he usually got along with most people, growing upset only when someone posed an immediate danger. The guy outside hadn’t done anything threatening to Oscar, but the cat had sensed something, something that put him on edge.
Something similar to what he always sensed in me.
Icy fear raced through me, almost—but not quite—eradicating the lovely bliss of Lissa’s bite. Backing up from the window, I jerked on a pair of jeans that I found on the floor, nearly falling over in the process. Once they were on, I grabbed my coat and Lissa’s, along with our wallets. Shoving my feet into the first shoes I saw, I headed out the door.
Downstairs, I found her in the cramped kitchen, rummaging through the refrigerator. One of our housemates, Jeremy, sat at the table, hand on his forehead as he stared sadly at a calculus book. Lissa regarded me with surprise.
“You shouldn’t be up.”
“We have to go. Now.”
Her eyes widened, and then a moment later, understanding clicked in. “Are you . . . really? Are you sure?”
I nodded. I couldn’t explain how I knew for sure. I just did.
Jeremy watched us curiously. “What’s wrong?”
An idea came to mind. “Liss, get his car keys.”
He looked back and forth between us. “What are you—”
Lissa unhesitatingly walked over to him. Her fear poured into me through our psychic bond, but there was something else too: her complete faith that I would take care of everything, that we would be safe. Like always, I hoped I was worthy of that kind of trust.
She smiled broadly and gazed directly into his eyes. For a moment, Jeremy just stared, still confused, and then I saw the thrall seize him. His eyes glazed over, and he regarded her adoringly.
“We need to borrow your car,” she said in a gentle voice. “Where are your keys?”
He smiled, and I shivered. I had a high resistance to compulsion, but I could still feel its effects when it was directed at another person. That, and I’d been taught my entire life that using it was wrong. Reaching into his pocket, Jeremy handed over a set of keys hanging on a large red key chain.
“Thank you,” said Lissa. “And where is it parked?”
“Down the street,” he said dreamily. “At the corner. By Brown.” Four blocks away.
“Thank you,” she repeated, backing up. “As soon as we leave, I want you to go back to studying. Forget you ever saw us tonight.”
He nodded obligingly. I got the impression he would have walked off a cliff for her right then if she’d asked. All humans were susceptible to compulsion, but Jeremy appeared weaker than most. That came in handy right now.
“Come on,” I told her. “We’ve got to move.”
We stepped outside, heading toward the corner he’d named. I was still dizzy from the bite and kept stumbling, unable to move as quickly as I wanted. Lissa had to catch hold of me a few times to stop me from falling. All the time, that anxiety rushed into me from her mind. I tried my best to ignore it; I had my own fears to deal with.
“Rose . . . what are we going to do if they catch us?” she whispered.
“They won’t,” I said fiercely. “I won’t let them.”
“But if they’ve found us—”
“They found us before. They didn’t catch us then. We’ll just drive over to the train station and go to L.A. They’ll lose the trail.”
I made it sound simple. I always did, even though there was nothing simple about being on the run from the people we’d grown up with. We’d been doing it for two years, hiding wherever we could and just trying to finish high school. Our senior year had just started, and living on a college campus had seemed safe. We were so close to freedom.
She said nothing more, and I felt her faith in me surge up once more. This was the way it had always been between us. I was the one who took action, who made sure things happened—sometimes recklessly so. She was the more reasonable one, the one who thought things out and researched them extensively before acting. Both styles had their uses, but at the moment, recklessness was called for. We didn’t have time to hesitate.
Lissa and I had been best friends ever since kindergarten, when our teacher had paired us together for writing lessons. Forcing five-year-olds to spell Vasilisa Dragomir and Rosemarie Hathaway was beyond cruel, and we’d—or rather, I’d—responded appropriately. I’d chucked my book at our teacher and called her a fascist bastard. I hadn’t known what those words meant, but I’d known how to hit a moving target.
Lissa and I had been inseparable ever since.
“Do you hear that?” she asked suddenly.
It took me a few seconds to pick up what her sharper senses already had. Footsteps, moving fast. I grimaced. We had two more blocks to go.
“We’ve got to run for it,” I said, catching hold of her arm.
“But you can’t—”
It took every ounce of my willpower not to pass out on the sidewalk. My body didn’t want to run after losing blood or while still metabolizing the effects of her saliva. But I ordered my muscles to stop their bitching and clung to Lissa as our feet pounded against the concrete. Normally I could have outrun her without any extra effort—particularly since she was barefoot—but tonight, she was all that held me upright.
The pursuing footsteps grew louder, closer. Black stars danced before my eyes. Ahead of us, I could make out Jeremy’s green Honda. Oh God, if we could just make it—
Ten feet from the car, a man stepped directly into our path. We came to a screeching halt, and I jerked Lissa back by her arm. It was him, the guy I’d seen across the street watching me. He was older than us, maybe mid-twenties, and as tall as I’d figured, probably six-six or six-seven. And under different circumstances—say, when he wasn’t holding up our desperate escape—I would have thought he was hot. Shoulder-length brown hair, tied back into a short ponytail. Dark brown eyes. A long brown coat like horse riders wore, not quite a trench coat. A duster, I thought it was called.
But his hotness was irrelevant now. He was only an obstacle keeping Lissa and me away from the car and our freedom. The footsteps behind us slowed, and I knew our pursuers had caught up. Off to the sides, I detected more movement, more people closing in. God. They’d sent almost a dozen guardians to retrieve us. I couldn’t believe it. The queen herself didn’t travel with that many.
Panicked and not entirely in control of my higher reasoning, I acted out of instinct. I pressed up to Lissa, keeping her behind me and away from the man who appeared to be the leader.
“Leave her alone,” I growled. “Don’t touch her.”
His face was unreadable, but he held out his hands in what was apparently supposed to be some sort of calming gesture, like I was a rabid animal he was planning to sedate.
“I’m not going to—”
He took a step forward. Too close.
I attacked him, leaping out in an offensive maneuver I hadn’t used in two years, not since Lissa and I had run away. The move was stupid, another reaction born of instinct and fear. And it was hopeless. He was a skilled guardian, not a novice who hadn’t finished his training. He also wasn’t weak and on the verge of passing out.And man, was he fast. I’d forgotten how fast guardians could be, how they could move and strike like cobras. He knocked me off as though brushing away a fly, and his hands slammed into me and sent me backwards. I don’t think he meant to strike that hard—probably just intended to keep me away—but my lack of coordination interfered with my ability to respond. Unable to catch my footing, I started to fall, heading straight toward the sidewalk at a twisted angle, hip-first. It was going to hurt. A t
Only it didn’t.
Just as quickly as he’d blocked me, the man reached out and caught my arm, keeping me upright. When I’d steadied myself, I noticed he was staring at me—or, more precisely, at my neck. Still disoriented, I didn’t get it right away. Then, slowly, my free hand reached up to the side of my throat and lightly touched the wound Lissa had made earlier.
When I pulled my fingers back, I saw slick, dark blood on my skin. Embarrassed, I shook my hair so that it fell forward around my face. It was thick and long and completely covered my neck. I’d grown it out for precisely this reason.
The guy’s dark eyes lingered on the now-covered bite a moment longer and then met mine. I returned his look defiantly and quickly jerked out of his hold. He let me go, though I knew he could have restrained me all night if he’d wanted. Fighting the nauseating dizziness, I backed toward Lissa again, bracing myself for another attack. Suddenly, her hand caught hold of mine. “Rose,” she said quietly. “Don’t.”
Her words had no effect on me at first, but calming thoughts gradually began to settle in my mind, coming across through the bond. It wasn’t exactly compulsion—she wouldn’t use that on me—but it was effectual, as was the fact that we were hopelessly outnumbered and outclassed. Even I knew this would be pointless. The tension left my body, and I sagged in defeat.
Sensing my resignation, the man stepped forward, turning his attention to Lissa. His face was calm. He swept her a bow and managed to look graceful doing it, which surprised me considering his height. “My name is Dimitri Belikov,” he said. I could hear a faint Russian accent. “I’ve come to take you back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, Princess.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
i personally think Mead did a fantastic job writing all the images for us (in our heads). but based on the cover...i like Lissa, but rose and Dimitri look...bleh. i don't know, they look to cartoony to be the passioante, action-packed characters we've come to know and adore. i'm just nervous about the other images...
Well, it's not what I expected, but it's not too bad. I didn't picture Rose that way, but I suppose everyone pictures her their own way. I did picture her with that body but her face just..isn't right for her cocky tones and bad-ass moments. Dimitri...could have been drawn way hotter. But, it really isn't that bad. I liked the book, overall. Just, the drawing could have been a bit better, more in tune with the actual characters.
Judging by the cover-and yes, I realize that's bad-I'm sad to say this book looks like it might paint a horrid picture that overshadows the lovely characters Richelle Mead successfully placed in my head. Not one of the people drawn here looks even remotely like i'd imagine them. I'm too scared to open the rest of it to be honest. No, thank you.
I have heard plenty of good things about the Vampire Academy novels. I've had the first one on my TBR list for quite sometime, but I never actually got around to reading. Part of me thinks this may have to do with the fact that the model on the cover looks like Angelina Jolie. But that's just my hangup. Also, I'm not to keen on the idea of starting a series that's six books long and finished. I feel like if I were to commit to that, I'd need to start back when the book first came out in 2007. But again, that's just me. So when I saw that the first book in the series had been turned into a graphic novel I thought "Great! I can do that! It won't be as fulfilling as reading the novels, but at least I'll get to read the series." Well that backfired. I don't know if something got lost in translation between the novel and the graphic novel, but the plot wasn't the least bit interesting. I'm not really sure what was going on, even. I mean, I was able to grasp the plot, but it was very basic. Almost as if it was the outline Rachel and used before she starting putting the meat into her novel. The drawings weren't bad, it's obvious that Emma is a talent illustrator, but the drawings themselves were bare bones. There wasn't much detail put into the background and the some of the characters looked similar, just with different hair color. I'm not a big graphic novel reader, but Joe (who is), says the layouts were too similar as well. That there wasn't enough variety to be eye catching. He used some technical jargon, but I can't remember it for the life of me. Something about paneling and what not. This graphic novel is not something I'd recommend in place of the novel. It might be a fun addition to read if you have read Vampire Academy, but for a newbie like me, all it did was turn me off of the series. Have you read the series in it's whole (or are currently in the mists of it)? Should I not allow my poor experience with the graphic novel deter me from reading the actual novel?
After reading the original books, I was interested to see hot the book would look as a graphic novel. It was fun to read, but I have to admit, I did not like the drawing style. That's why it only gets 4 stars.
For what I have come to know of graphic novels this version does not have much on the side of "novel". I have read the book, the first in the very well known Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and was very much looking forward to see how it was interpreted into graphic novel form.The first thing I noticed was the format of this particular book, it's glossy full colored pages are very detailed and eye catching I think the artist did a great job. What I was surprised to see was the lack of dialogue and "novel". The story has been shortened so much it just includes the basic points that drive the story, lots of drama and huge emotional scenes, and then it's over.What this does lead to is a very fast paced action packed story. All key points are hit on and a great re-cap of book one of the series. It's a very short book at 144 pages it can be easily read through in one sitting. There is just enough intrigue and romantic influence that the reader can get a feel to the characters and the world.
This made me want to read the original books to see what happens but I have a sneaking suspicion that this isn't far from the original. It's an interesting story and an interesting premise. Lissa Dragomir is a mortal vampire, part of the royal family and has to be protected from evil vampires, she has powers that she's cagy about using because they backlash. Rose Hathaway is Lissa's best friend, bodyguard and occasional blood source, their relationship is complicated and intense. They can sense each other. It's not a bad book, I'm looking forward to more in this series.
Since I have read all of the Vampire Academy novels, and I really enjoyed them, and since my daughter has recently got me into reading Graphic Novels on occasion, I decided to check this series out from my library. I really enjoyed the artist's work on the illustrations and I like that the story was basically the same. I do think that graphic novels such as this one, don't get as much into the story as the actual novel. But I do enjoy seeing the parts that they leave in. Of course, much of what is left out is descriptive language that is rendered unnecessary by the drawings. If you liked the Vampire Academy books and enjoy illustrated work or graphic novels, you will enjoy this book. If you are a big graphic novel reader and enjoy paranormal romance, or vampire books, you will also enjoy this book. If you are a big fan of the vampire genre and lore, you will probably also enjoy this book.
Dont judge this book by its cover! The characters are much better drawn in the inside! Only giving it 4 stars cause it left out/cur short some of my favorite scenes. (Wheres the scene wgere Dimitri gives Rose lip gloss?! They also left it out in the movie.) Overall, very good. Please buy or thet wont make a fourth!
I first saw this, before finally reading the series and was like, wait is that Lissa, is that Rose, whose that, oh is that Dimitri? Huh, well, the art is a little weird. Some of the characters, well, all the characters seemed to not look like themselves, age wise mostly. I mean Dimitri looks way older than he should. Basically its VA but in graphic novel form. Still the art wasn't bad or anything.
I've been collecting books of any form for the upcoming movie Vampire academy based on the series by Richelle Mead, and I'm loving the story of Rose. I recommend this graphic novel for the fans of this series, including Frostbite and Shadow-Kissed.
did anyone else get this book on their nook? because i did, and i wound up with the ORIGINAL book, in which i already own. idk if i just messed up or something, but im unhappy. can anyone help me?
For what I have come to know of graphic novels this version does not have much on the side of "novel". I have read the book, the first in the very well known Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and was very much looking forward to see how it was interpreted into graphic novel form. The first thing I noticed was the format of this particular book, it's glossy full colored pages are very detailed and eye catching I think the artist did a great job. What I was surprised to see was the lack of dialogue and "novel". The story has been shortened so much it just includes the basic points that drive the story, lots of drama and huge emotional scenes, and then it's over. What this does lead to is a very fast paced action packed story. All key points are hit on and a great re-cap of book one of the series. It's a very short book at 144 pages it can be easily read through in one sitting. There is just enough intrigue and romantic influence that the reader can get a feel to the characters and the world.
I was surprised with this edition of Vampire Academy.The best thing about this was that Rose was portrayed perfectly as the books.The features of Moroi and Dhampir were good too and I wished that they made Lissa more feminine.I wanted to see more development of Christian and her relationship but sadly no, I think I have to cut the artist some slack, there only so much you can squeeze into 200 pages but the charm scene with Rose and Dimitri was definitely in and I was very impressed by that so romance was not left out so much after all. I felt that Dimitri could have been less bulkier too but that's really just my opinion so i hope no one takes this too hard. It was a good graphic novel nonetheless,entertaining and intriguing but it could have been better. I wonder if they will do a GN for Frostbite...
It says that it will be released on 8/23/11, however I saw and purchased this book today, which is 8/21/11. Oh well. Just thought the world might like to know that it's already available. I haven't read it yet, but based on skimming through, it looks like it's going to be pretty average for a graphic novel. Then whole thing is in color and the graphics are.... eh. I'm not a big fan of the adaptions. But it looks like it follows true to the plot line of the first book, Vampire Academy, so hopefully they did well with it. I anticipate to be about a 3 1/2 or 4 for a rating.
I really don't care about the cover I mean sure it's not the best Rose and Dimitri, but at least we have somewhat of an image as to how they look. I loved the books and if people don't like the graphic novel well then it's just too bad.