Vampire Academy: The Untold Stories, Richelle Mead – Book Review

Hello humans! I very rarely read books about vampires anymore, despite having been the perfect age to be completely obsessed during the height of the Twilight hype (we all live with our past selves somehow). But, a few years ago, when I was suffering from second-degree burns caused by dropping a cup of tea on myself (be warned), I binge read the entire Vampire Academy series while a little bit high on Codeine. I think that, of all the teen vampire novels, they are some of the best, dealing with issues of depression, of grief and so many more. I was therefore tempted by this collection of short stories on my library ebook service. This will be a speedy review, just to let you know what I thought, but if you’re still not quite out of the Vampire phase you might enjoy…

Vampire academy the untold tales richelle mead

Goodreads Summary:

An exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the Vampire Academy world and its players:

The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty . . .

From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life . . .

The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes . . .

Hello My Name Is Rose Hathaway reveals the chaos that ensues when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt . . .

Find Vampire Academy: The Untold Stories on Goodreads

Content warning: Self-harm

What I liked about this collection of stories is that it gives you deeper insight into some of the characters you know and love from the books. Since the books are told from Rose’s perspective it is nice to read stories that focus more of Lissa or on the Ozeras. There is still some Rose in there, don’t you worry, and her voice is as amusing as ever.

Possibly the most powerful story of this collection was that which, from the perspective of Lissa’s diary, details the events leading up to the start of the first book. I’m not a huge fan of prequel novellas as sometimes they feel a little too ‘tidy’ when they are written after the fact. But the short story format works here as it is snappy and engaging. This story does contain self-harm which some readers may find disturbing. I liked reading Lissa’s perspective on events and seeing her work through one year of grief for her family, which is an aspect you don’t get to the same extent in the books.

The other stories are equally good snapshots of aspects of the story not included in the books. Ever wondered what it was like when Christian’s parents turned Strigoi? Ever wondered what happened when the world wasn’t ending between books one and two? Ever wanted to get inside Dimitri’s head? These are very short stories, easy to read and digest, but they do give a glimpse of the world beyond the main storyline.

I have read quite a few similar short story collections which are connected to a wider series and this has been one of my favourites, I think because it takes different characters and perspectives as the focus, that and it isn’t too long!

My rating: 4/5 stars

All opinions are my own.

What say you? Which vampire novels were you obsessed with as a teenager? (or did you escape the hype?) let me know in the comments below!

J

4 thoughts on “Vampire Academy: The Untold Stories, Richelle Mead – Book Review

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  1. I adore VA. I’ve read them so many times and they’re still just as funny, devastating, swoon worthy and exciting as the first time. I actually haven’t read these short stories though which is odd considering how much I love the series. I might have to check them out, it’d be interesting reading the Lissa short you mentioned.

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  2. I’ve just finished reading the VA series for the second time (and I loved it just as much as I did the first time), and am part way through reading all of the short stories before I dive into the Bloodlines series. I just finished reading The Turn and The Flame about 10 minutes ago and… wow. Just… wow. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Tasha as a character but never particularly liked her, given her role as the main rival for Dimitri’s affections (I’m a Romitri fan all the way). But having read her story and seen how tragedy transformed her from a girl struggling to conform to a flawed society into a strong woman who is no longer afraid to stand up against those flaws and injustices, gave me a newfound appreciation and sympathy for her character that I never expected to have. And while occasional moments of foreshadowing and some character introductions seemed to try a little too hard to force a connection between this story and the VA series, the insights they provided into Tasha’s mentality and motivations for her future actions really helped me to see another side to her, one that is driven by love and loss rather than bitterness and desire. It is well, well worth the read, and I would highly recommend it to any fans of the series. And now, I’m onto the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir…

    Liked by 1 person

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