Lissa's Reviews > Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
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Jul 14, 2012

bookshelves: 2012, hey-that-s-my-name, kick-ass-heroine, love-this-boy
Read in July, 2012

This review doesn’t follow my five basic points of writing, plot, character, worldbuilding and X Factor for two reasons. The first reason is because this is my first graphic novel and it’s different to reviewing books. You take into account more than just those points: there’s also the illustration, the colouring, the flow of action on the page and how it leaps to life in your head.

The second reason is because this is an adaptation of novel by the same name, and even though it’s adapted and written by one person and illustrated and drawn by others, my five points relate to the imagination and talent of the writer. When you adapt an idea that belongs to someone else I can’t judge the writing, the plot, the characters, and the worldbuilding. Those things all relate to the original writer, not the adapter and the illustrator. It’d be different if it was an original comic, like Kick-Ass or V for Vendetta. Those points would all belong to the writer, or the team of writers.

Instead, here I am reviewing a graphic novel based on a novel I already loved.

So how did it perform?

I thought it was wonderful. I really loved seeing the characters from a novel I loved come to life like that. I still have issues with Rose: I think she’s vain and too self-important, but her dedication to Lissa (lol) is really sweet. I love their friendship.

For the most part I loved how the characters were drawn. The illustration by Emma Vieceli was really beautiful. She’s a very talented artist. I’ve wanted these graphic novels since I saw teasers posted on the internet way back in 2010. I think Rose is pretty with just the right amount of sass. I finally see how Dimitri is hot (more on that below).

The problems I do have are with the vampires. Like the covers to the Bloodlines series, I think the problem with representing something so unearthly and perfect is actually representing it – by that specifically I mean on Bloodlines they clearly use human models (because you know, vampires don’t exist) to represent vampires and they just don’t look as good as they do in my head. I think Lissa was drawn too plain to be the beautiful Moroi princess I read about. I think something was off about Christian, too. He didn’t seem as edgy as he was in my head.

But that moment when Rose goes to Dimitri about Lissa and he’s just stepped out of the shower?


That was the noise of my jaw dropping.

(sorry baby, I do love you, you know that.)

But seriously girls, my imagination is not as good as Vieceli’s drawing. He was HOT.

I like them tall, you know.

Unlike the novel, I didn’t get the romantic aspect between Rose and Dimitri. There’s too much of it going on in Rose’s head. It needs more text to convey her feelings, those glances, the heat. It didn’t translate too well to the page. So when they finally succumb to the charm, I thought that is was way too fast and unexpected.

It was much the same about Lissa and Christian’s relationship. A few panels can’t convey a relationship it takes and entire book to develop. Good thing I’ve already read the novels.

The other thing I didn’t like was Lissa’s rescue. The action was all over in a single page. That included summaries from Rose’s narration and the action. It was over too quick. It could have been drawn out over another page. But hey, I don’t know anything about writing graphic novels and maybe there was limited room. Whatever.

Other than that, the action flowed well for the most part. I was pretty into reading it and skimmed over a few parts, forcing myself to go back and read it more carefully. It absorbed me and it was pretty thrilling to see someone else’s interpretation on the page like that.

I think this graphic novel is an enhancement for readers who have already enjoyed (or not enjoyed, but read) the novel by Richelle Mead.
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message 1: by Jenna (new) - added it

Jenna Great review! I wasn't sure if I was going to read it but this convinced me:

"But that moment when Rose goes to Dimitri about Lissa and he’s just stepped out of the shower?


That was the noise of my jaw dropping."

message 2: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa LOL that panel! It was amazing.

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