I read this series about a year ago and LOVED THEM. They are some of the best paranormal romance I have ever read.
The characters are alive and real; you will fall in love with them. The romance is passionate, heart-wrenching, tragic and powerful. The good/evil conflicts (especially in the later books) will make you question your own morals. Richelle Mead’s plots are intense and captivating and the entire series links together well.
However, Richelle Mead’s real strength lies in world building. This isn’t just some vampire novel. She created an entire culture around vampires with different types of vampires, royal families and their feuds, and tiny details that makes their society feel real, such as the concept of blood whores. She expanded on the drive-a-stake-through-their-hearts method of killing to involve complex magic and years of training. The hierarchy between the different types of vampires and the royals is easy to understand but rich in plot points and depth.
These novels took thought. They are well planned out and powerful. Richelle Mead did an amazing job.
A side note on the movie:
The trailer they released makes it look like it’s Mean Girls with vampires (mainly because it has the same director as Mean Girls). These books ARE NOT. They are dark and violent and intense and in no way the flippant, romantic Twilight-esque stories the trailer paints it as. The school uniforms that the actresses wear on the official movie poster make them look like slutty preppy girls, when in fact the main characters is a BAMF fighter and her best friend is a magician and royal heir. Also, in a different movie poster my twin found online, the main character, who is supposed to be a badass fighter, is holding the wimpiest (and blatantly wrong) fighting stance possible (and my sister is taking Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, so she knows what it is supposed to look like). The actress they hired to play the protagonist, Zoey Deutch, is a dancer, not a martial artist. Why they couldn’t follow Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s example and hire an actress who is actually a black belt, I don’t know.
(It seems like the first Percy Jackson movie, which was related to the books by barely anything more than character names and setting.)
I’m not seeing the movie. I love these books. I’m not letting any movie change my perceptions of the series.