Review – Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

POSTED ON May 5, 2011 BY Austine IN Book Review

Review – Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss
by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #3
Published on November 13, 2008 by Razorbill
Format: Paperback
Pages: 444
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Rose Hathaway 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...

But since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn’t been feeling right. Something dark has begun to grow in her mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. And now that Lissa and Rose’s sworn enemy, Victor Dashkov, is on trial for his freedom, tensions in the Moroi world are higher than ever.

Lying to Lissa about Dimitri is one thing but suddenly there’s way more than friendship at stake. The immortal undead are on the prowl, and they want vengeance for the lives that Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmare, 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?

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If a book was every going to break my heart, it’s this one.

I don’t cry when I read, nor when I watch movies, but I was tearing up at the end of Shadow Kiss. This book is everything I ever wanted and then suddenly it tore my heart into itty bitty pieces. I think if I hadn’t known there would be more books that I would’ve been even more shocked at the ending but I knew something big would happen. Just not how big.

After the events of Frostbite, I expected tensions to be high between Moroi and dhampirs. And finally, the Moroi get to show their stuff. What really worked for me with this book is that there’s a great balance between character development and action. One of the strengths of Mead’s books is her characters are fantastic. I may not like all of them but they’re multi-faceted.

Rose is probably one of my all-time favorite kickass heroines. She’s loud, sometimes obnoxiously so, stubborn, but loyal to a fault. Her whole life has been about her best friend Lissa but in Shadow Kiss she finally puts her foot down and does something for herself. Which brings me to Lissa. I liked the Dragomir princess in previous books but she’s always struck me as a spoiled brat to a degree and it really comes out in this book. I was definitely not a fan and I think some time apart will be good for their friendship.

But what about our favorite comrade?

Well Dimitri is…perfect. He and Rose are definitely my ultimate OTP and not just in the books. He’s finally recognizing what’s between them and though they aren’t making a HUGE deal about where things are going, there are prospects and I loved that it’s finally happening! After waiting all through Vampire Academy and Frostbite, they needed to be a thing. End of story.

But if I’m being honest, I really didn’t read this book for the story. I read it for the characters and the plot itself, save for a few memorable scenes, isn’t what sticks in my head. Some books are driven by the events, especially fantasy novels, but here I feel like I know Rose. I could go to St. Vladimir’s and be a student (except for the part where I”m not a (half) vamp). I feel immersed without reliving their lives. It’s an odd feeling but one that I’ve been finding applies to her other books as well.

The best/worst part of Shadow KissThe ending.

Gods, that ending.

It was an emotional train-wreck of a cliffhanger that seemed almost like punishment. Like, here, I’ll give you what you’ve been waiting for the past few books but oh wait, it’s not that easy. I mean I actually lost it a bit. If you are easily swept away by a book, be prepared.

I just adore these books (despite THAT ENDING). I have no doubt that Rose’s story is just beginning and I’ll be interested in seeing how this plays out in Blood Promise. 

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