What I Loved:
I really enjoyed that this story was set in our everyday world, but dropped in vampires, shape-shifters, witches, and the humans that hunt them.
How I Felt:
Van Helsing Academy is like an alternative prison for supernatural beings that have broken the law but are not sentenced to death. I wasn’t quite sure about this, but it must also be for only young supernatural beings because it is a school too. There are dorm rooms and classes, and a principle.
Mina Van Helsing a descendant of the original Van Helsing, wakes up in the hospital after being lost for weeks and then in a coma. Her parents, at her hospital bedside, inform her that she was caught on video killing two vampires, but she doesn’t remember anything. Her dad asks her to plead guilty so that she can to into Van Helsing Academy to uncover what really happened.
Her sentencing goes as planned, and she’s given three years in the academy. Before her transfer, she runs into a vampire she recognizes. It turns out he compelled her to kill the two vampires because they were assassins trying to kill him. Mina had created the plan of getting them both placed in the Academy to uncover who is trying to kill him. Now, Mina is headed to the Academy with a mission from her father, and a promise to a vampire. She’s got a lot to do and soon realizes it’s going to be harder than she thought.
I loved the main character Mina. She’s full of confusing feelings about who she can trust, what she’s grown up being taught to think about her world, and how she feels about everything around her. She’s also strong, smart, and kind of awesome. She has trained her whole life as a hunter, so she’s kind of a bad-a##.
The romance in the story takes a while to get going, and I would have been okay without it, but it was a fun addition to the plot. I liked the two of them together, and I rooted for them.
The overall story was a lot of fun. It’s a short book and the author doesn’t waste a word. She jumps right into the story, and it moves at a fast pace. I also liked that she was able to provide world building while the story progressed, so I was never confused about what was going on.
I would position this book as a New Adult story. This is some sexual stuff and language that seems a bit mature for YA.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend Van Helsing Academy for readers that enjoy a paranormal story with a mixture of magical beings and a romance plot. If you like a strong female heroine, this one is a perfect!
Where to Find This Book:
Van Helsing Academy by Stacey O’Neale is available at these sites.
Welcome to the Van Helsing Academy: a rehabilitation center for vampires, shifters, and witches who don’t like to follow the rules.
Mina can’t remember anything about the night she was attacked. All she knows is what she’s been told: she got separated from her team during a mission and turned up two months later covered in cuts and bruises alongside two dead vampires.
After being blamed for their deaths, she is sentenced to three years at the supernatural rehabilitation center, the Van Helsing Academy.
As Mina searches for answers, lies are slowly unraveled and alliances forged. Soon she will uncover a secret plot that threatens to destroy her family legacy and ignite a war between the supernatural factions.
Van Helsing Academy is the first book in a new YA paranormal romance series. No harem. Perfect for fans of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, and Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep.
Just the Facts:
Van Helsing Academy by Stacey O’Neale
Series: Supernatural Rehab, Book 1
Page Count: 264 pages
Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing
Pub Date: April 28, 2020
Award-winning author, Stacey O’Neale, lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.
Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for Entangled Publishing. Stacey writes young adult fantasy and adult paranormal romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.
Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her at any of the below social outlets!
I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.