Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
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It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, erectile and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn’t been feeling quite right. She’s having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all… might be seeing ghosts.
As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose’s forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line – and choose between the two people she loves most.
Note: This review will NOT contain spoilers for THIS novel, however there WILL most likely be spoilers for the first two novels of the series.
I think this is the book that finally sold me fully and completely on the Vampire Academy series. I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two novels, and have enjoyed them enough to continue to read them, especially since everyone keeps telling me to read them, and keeps applauding me the further that I venture into the series. However, I think that with the first two books, I was merely reading them and enjoying them, and marveling at the fact that I was so enjoying books about vampires (gasp!) but after this third book, I can say, officially that I’m converted.
I am a fan. I’m a fan of the Vampire Academy series and I haven’t even finished it yet. This book was incredible. From beginning to end, it had me hooked. There was SO much going on in this book and it was hard to keep track of what was going to happen, what could possibly happen. Richelle Mead has completely mastered the idea of a red herring. She has your attention for so long on something and then suddenly, wham! Something happens that you honestly would have never expected and it leaves you wanting to throw the book against the wall. Not in a bad way though, in the best way. I was left absolutely flabbergasted, unaware that this was the way the book was going to end. I am COMPLETELY broke right now and am unable to purchase the fourth book right now, and I hate that. I want to know what happens next!
I really like that in this book, you really start to see more of Rose’s personality outside of her duty. Because of the events that have taken place in previous novels, she’s kind of a wreck in this novel but she refuses to believe for a moment that she is. She continues to stand tall, and straight and she refuses to ever let anyone think something is wrong because of her duty. She doesn’t want Lissa to know because Lissa will feel anxiety and Rose is extremely protective of Lissa and is her future guardian and doesn’t want to cause burden on her. She doesn’t want to share it with Dimitri, I feel, because it makes her look weak and it makes her look maybe younger, and that’s the last she wants. She’s in the last stages of her guardian training and its so hard for her. But as she starts to sort sift through the things going on in her life, she starts to focus more on herself and less on everyone else. She starts to question all the things she’s been taught is 100% law her entire life.
And I really like that direction that she’s going in, even if I’m confused and scared and anxious about where it will take her. I appreciate that Rose is dhampir, a guardian and that she wants to protect Lissa, but I’ve always felt like everything in the world gets set aside for that, including her own personal choices and life. She doesn’t really get to choose where to go to school; she’ll go to school wherever Lissa goes to school. She can’t choose to be with the one she loves because of her duties as a guardian. There is a lot holding her back and I feel like there is a huge part of this novel where she starts to question that and I like that. I like that Rose is not stuck in her ways, but she questions and she changes and she challenges and its going to be interesting to find out where this goes in the next few books.
I don’t want to say too much more because I fear that I will spoil it all but I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. There was so much that Richelle Mead put into this novel. There was a TON of action, there was friendship and romance and there were loyalties tested, and there was the psychology of what was going on with Rose that causes a lot of tension and anxiety and there’s just a lot going on in this book. From page one to the very end, it had me absolutely hooked and I can’t wait to speed through the rest of it to find out what happens next to the characters. She has a beautiful world built and a wonderful, exciting and gripping story going on and I am already so addicted.
So call me a fan. I’m a bandwagon fan, but I’m here. These books are SO good so far.
5 out of 5 stars