Here’s a well known quote: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Here’s another: “Which words?”
This is the dilemma that I think any artist must face when converting a book into graphic novel format. Get it right and the words just flow from the pictures and the graphic novel of Vampire Academy comes very, very, very close to getting it right.
First of all, I love Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. Rose Hathaway is such a kick ass, young guardian dhampir and is a natural compliment to Lissa, the royal Moroi and mortal vampire whom she wants nothing more than to protect out of friendship and duty. Having been outside of St. Vladimir’s Academy for the past couple of years, they have both been found and are taken back to school wherein they should be safe. Should being the operative word when danger is much, much closer than they and the school realised.
I won’t review the story to Vampire Academy, suffice to say I’ve previously given it 5 out of 5 stars and that I loved it and that, by pure concidence, I’m sat writing this whilst wearing a St. Vlad hoodie!
Anyway, back to the graphic novel. When reading a book, we as readers build up pictures in our heads of how the author’s world looks. The difficulty when turning a book into a graphic novel or any other visual media is how close those images match those in our heads and whilst there are some differences, Emma Viecelli pretty much nailed most of it. The characters of Rose and Lissa are spot on and Mia has been rendered perfectly. I had a different picture of Dmitri and Natalie and thought Queen Tatiana was way off base.
The only other difficulty that I had is that it never properly conveyed some aspects such as when Lissa was in danger when the true villain of the piece was revealed. Likewise, the passion between Rose and Dmitri when she found that Lissa was in peril didn’t make it off the page like it did in the original book.
However, that said, it’s still an amazing conversion of a loved book and fans like me would not do themselves a disservice in getting hold of it. I look forward to the rest of the series getting the same treatment.