Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vampire Academy (graphic novel) based on the series by Richelle Mead, adapted by Leigh Dragoon, illustrated by Emma Vieceli

Vampire Academy started off as a YA paranormal novel with a hint of romance. This graphic novel is based on that. I bought it at a used bookstore.

I'm not including any read-alikes in this post. Take a look at my post for the original novel if you'd like some.

Review:

This is a graphic novel adaptation of the entire first Vampire Academy novel. While I thought the original book was better, this wasn't all that bad.

My favorite thing about this adaptation was the artwork, which, other than a few odd-looking panels, usually looked really good - Vieceli's character designs were nice. Surprisingly, this adaptation was less shy about mentioning sex and showing skin than some adaptations of novels for adults I've seen (for example, the OEL manga adaption of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters series). The scene with Jesse on the couch and the scene with Dimitri and the necklace were both included. I actually liked the scene with Dimitri even better in the graphic novel than in the original book, because it was clearer that something fishy was going on and that Rose's brain hadn't suddenly been overridden by her hormones.

While nothing was changed in this adaptation (as far as I can remember), a few things were definitely left out. For example, although the scene with Rose and Jesse on the couch was included, Rose's partying and drinking was completely cut. I didn't mind this, because I thought it made her seem more focused and dedicated to her goal of becoming Lissa's guardian.

However, the cuts did make for some confusing moments. At one point in the graphic novel, Rose is “exiled” in her dorm room. I'm pretty sure that, in the original book, Rose got in trouble and was told to stay in her room, but in the graphic novel there was no evidence of this. In fact, the one who'd just gotten in trouble was Christian. Another odd moment: the flashback to the scene with Lissa, Rose, Ms. Karp, and the bird was basically just stuck into the story – the scene in which the bird was brought back to life was left out, so the extent of Lissa and Ms. Karp's powers wasn't as clear as it should have been.

Also, it bugged me that the graphic novel never mentioned why Lissa and Rose decided to run away from the Academy. The closest thing to an explanation that readers get is that Ms. Karp told Rose they needed to run away – that's it.

In short, the artwork was nice, but the story was a little choppy and lacked a few necessary explanations. Fans of the original book might enjoy it, if they can get past the things that were cut. Vampire Academy newbies might be a little confused, but would at least get a taste of what to expect.

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