This is going to be a spoiler free review of the third instalment in the Vampire Academy series, but you will get spoiled for the first 2 books if you read this review.
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy (#3)
Publication: November 13th 2008 by Razorbill
WHAT IF FOLLOWING HER HEART MEANS ROSE COULD LOSE HER BEST FRIEND FOREVER?
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
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?
The foreshadowing was wonderful but the turns in this novel were unbelievable. I had so many thoughts and feelings running through my head all through the novel. I loved all the action and adrenaline filled scenes. Also the ghost subplot was so interesting and it definitely gives a different aspect to the vampire world that we know. I don’t want so say much, wary of spoiling, but it’s good.
Something I really appreciate in these Vampire Academy books are the quick and brief reminders of the prior novel’s events because I’m one of those people who reads and forgets. The ending was epic and absolutely devastating though – a typical Richelle Mead tragic ending. Beware of cliffhangers.
I enjoyed reading about the growing intensity in vampire court politics and I loved its greater place in the novel. However the events in this novel predominantly take place at St. Vladimir’s, and unlike a lot of people I know, I don’t mind the school environment and its drama. Except probably the jealousy part – not usually a fan.
- Rose: I love Rose as a character and narrator. It’s great to see how much she’s matured and taken on responsibilities, but she’s not perfect and she occasionally allows emotion to make decisions. And I do admit she can be a brat when she doesn’t get what she wants. I’m glad that her snark and humour was still intact in the novel.
- Lissa: I guess a lot of the decisions she makes and her selfishness are due to this world of prejudice where Moroi are always put above others.I just don’t see her as a very good best friend for Rose.
- Adrian: the bad boy of the group. I still unsure about him – his presence felt unnecessary and irritating a lot of the time, and personally I find his flirting not as much playful as annoying.
Funnily enough, I don’t have much to say or I can’t think of what to say about Dimitri and Christian. Dimitri still the strong and silent type and Christian is less of a troublemaker.
I’m glad that the minor characters weren’t neglected. Eddie was great. Jesse and his followers are still douches. Not a surprise.
I’m very conflicted about the romance between Rose and Dimitri. I like them together, yet it makes me uncomfortable.Sometimes I’m rooting for forbidden romance and other times I don’t. I’m still indecisive about this one. Since Dimitri is her mentor, Rose looks up to him as an authoritative figure, but her constant need for approval is sort of strange. They are adorable together though. I want to ship them, but at the same time, it kind of feels wrong. As I said, can’t decide. Also, I was constantly scared that their relationship would be revealed every time they decided to kiss because ANYONE can walk past.
A large part of this novel explores Rose and Lissa’s bond and it was intriguing to see the theories surrounding Rose’s “special abilities”. The subject of being shadow kissed is such a fascinating topic and I’m super happy that more of it was revealed in this novel.
Speaking of relationships, I enjoyed the development of some type of friendship between Rose and Christian, or perhaps mere it’s tolerance. But they respect each other and work well with each other. Always a fun duo to be around. A great dynamic.
I thought the pacing was good and Richelle Mead’s writing is so addicting. There’s a darker and heavier set of events happening in this series now, though the witty dialogue was still strong.
I can officially say that this series has got be hooked. This was such a heartbreaking read and the anticipation towards the end killed me. We’re finally going to leave the familiar environment and I’m kind of nervous for the next installment. There’s bound to be new characters and I’m sure the atmosphere will be very different. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I have a spoilery version of this review on my Goodreads, which can be found HERE. Let me know you thoughts on this book or series. I know I’m late to the party.
Who’s one of your favourite YA heroines? What do you think of school settings? All the thoughts. Comment below!
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