Tuesday 23 August 2011

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Review: Vampire Academy: A Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy: A Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead, Adapted by Leigh Dragoon, Illustrated by Emma VieceliVampire Academy: A Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead, Adapted by Leigh Dragoon, Illustrated by Emma Vieceli (review copy) - This wonderfully tempting graphic novel perfectly brings to life all of the forbidden pleasures of Richelle Mead's phenomenal Vampire Academy series. Overseen by Richelle Mead, adapted by Leigh Dragoon and illustrated by acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli, this beautiful new format will be loved by fans old and new.

St Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school - hidden away, it's a place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them.

Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St Vladimir's where the girls must survive a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night time rituals. But most of all, they must stay alive.
From Amazon UK

I aboslutely love the Vampire Academy series, and found the Vampire Academy, the first book in the series so engrossing! So when I heard it was going to be made into a graphic novel, I was intrigued. I've never read a graphic novel before, I've always thought I'd prefer the images in my head, but as it's one of my favourite books, I thought I would give it a go.

I have to say I was quite impressed at how well the novel was adapted for the graphic novel. I'm not the fastest reader, so the novel would take me about two to three days to read. The graphic novel took me an hour to read, if that, yet still has the whole story. All the major events of the story are there, but I did miss the detail that comes with the novel - what Rose is thinking in depth, the emotion, the explainations that come with the magic. I wasn't as emotionally involved in the graphic novel as I was in the full length novel.

Although the illustrations are fantastic, I'm not the biggest fan of the manga style. And I found the facial expressions of the characters a little difficult to read, especially for those where there was no text or speech, when there was supposed to be a tense silence. I had to try and remember that part of the novel to remember what's gong on. This might just be because I'm not used to graphic novels, and something I would learn to pick up more on as I read more.

There was a certain scene in this book I was a little worried about. I'm not going to spoil it, in case there are those who have yet to read the novel, but I'm sure those who've read the book will know which I'm on about. I was intrigued but also worried about how a certain scene would be handled with illustartions - Vampire Academy is a young adult story, after all. I was actually quite impressed, yet again. It wasn't dragged out, it wasn't over the top, but it didn't hide away the fact that that scene happens. It was really good.

I don't think the graphic novel would have done it for me if I hadn't previously read the novel, I just don't think there was enough for me, but as a different way of experiencing the story, I think it worked really well. I would say I'd recommend it only if you've read the book, but I know there are those who only read graphic novels, in which case I think it's perfect for those readers. Hopefully they will enjoy it enough to pick up the full length novel.

Read my review of the full length novel of Vampire Academy.

Published: 23rd August 2011
Publisher: Razorbill UK
Buy on Amazon US
Richelle Mead's Website