SHOW BOOK DETAILS
THE BOOK -Shadow Kiss
by Richelle Mead
Bk. #3 of Vampire Academy
First published in 2008 by Razorbill
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Avg. Rating: 4/5 stars
EDITION I PURCHASED -Paperback, 443 pages
Published in 2008 by Razorbill
My Rating: 5/5 stars
THE PLOT -Rose knows it is forbidden to love another guardian. Her best friend, Lissa - the last Dragomir princess - must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Belikov, some rules are meant to be broken.
Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose's mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy's iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between life, love, and the two people who matter most... but will her choice mean that only one can survive?
I didn't think there was an author out there who could make me feel every emotion under the sun with just one sentence, but Richelle Mead managed it and blew my mind completely in the process. The last sentence of this novel broke me in a way that nothing else ever could, and while I can't go into detail because of obvious spoilers, know that this entire series thus far has been leading up to what is coming next. I knew things wouldn't be easy for Rose, but what Mead did was beyond unexpected. There was a much darker tone to this novel that what we've experienced thus far and it definitely added to the plot in a positive way. Following the events of this novel, however, it's clear that it's just going to get darker and more serious from here on out.
But enough of that, it's time to start talking about the plot of this novel - the darkness that has started taking over Rose's mind. I think we've all been so worried about Lissa's mental health that none of us have thought about the effect the bond could have on Rose. I can't go into detail because spoilers, but I actually was quite worried about Rose throughout this entire book, and when she sees someone known to be dead, everything we thought we knew about the world Mead has created was changed in an instant. Following Mason's death and her first two Strigoi kills, Rose's mind becomes fragile and her moods unpredictable. There were hints towards what was happening but it took Adrian Ivashkov of all people to finally uncover one of the few remaining pieces of the puzzle.
Speaking of Adrian, my gosh do I love him. He tries so hard to act as though nothing in the world phases him, but it's easy to see through the façade and glimpse the vulnerability behind the mask. The last conversation he had with Rose in this book nearly brought a tear to my eye. His genuine words and actions hadn't been witnessed before that moment, and I can't wait to see what comes next for the Ivashkov playboy. He's just such a fascinating character, and it's strange how much he connects with both Lissa and Rose though on very different levels. I imagine he and Lissa are going to be spending much more time together after graduation as they train with their spirit magic. As for Rose... well, who can ever really know what Rose is going to do?
The romance in this novel hit a turning point and while I do think that Rose and Dimitri are made for each other, I did find myself hoping that she and Adrian would give it a shot. Though the whole Mason-Rose-Dimitri fiasco could have been classed as a love triangle, I was actually hoping that Adrian would take control of the situation and become a solid corner of the triangle. Yes, you read that right, I was actually hoping for a love triangle. I just think Mead has done a fantastic job with everything else she's created, and if anyone could make the dreaded love triangle work, it's her. I have no idea what's coming in the following novels, however, so we'll just have to see if a love triangle is remotely within the realms of possibility.
As I said before, Mead has nailed every element of this series, so it was no surprise to me that she could write epic fight scenes. The magnitude of the battle at the end of this novel was much larger than anything that Mead has attempted thus far and I was completely enthralled by her writing. Definitely some of the best action I've ever read.
Overall, Shadow Kiss is an absolutely fantastic turning point of this series. I have no idea what to expect from the next novel but I'm definitely excited to find out what happens. Believe me when I say that this is fast becoming one of my all time favourite series of books!