Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Vampire Academy #3
Pages: 443
Genre: paranormal
Release Date: November 13, 2008
How Received: Library

Summary: Rose Hathaway knows it is forbidden to leave another guardian. Her best friend, Lissa—the last Dragomir princess—must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to the 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? 

My Thoughts:
Can I start off my review with a holy shit without offending anyone? I can? Okay. HOLY SHIT. That’s all. I’m actually unsure how I can review this without spoiling something, but I’ll try my best.

This series continually gets better and better the more I read it. Each book is even more amazing, more action-packed, more suspenseful, and more epic than the last. Shadow Kiss made me fall in love, HARD, with this series all over again! I didn’t think it was possible, after Frostbite became one of my favorite books.

Shadow Kiss’s entire plot spans only 31 days, but a lot occurs in those 31 days. The novice guardians are taking their field experience with different Moroi. Rose, who is still dealing with death, gets assigned to Christian instead of Lissa.

Rose, as always, steadily matures from the out-of-control girl she was into a controlled, rational (well, at times) young woman. She’s also dealing with grief on top of all of the secrets she’s forced to keep from the two people she trusts the most. However, she starts to crack under the strain of pushing her feelings aside for Lissa’s mental well-being – she starts to resent Lissa. But she’s still bad-ass. She kills so many Strigoi in this series that she earns a special molnija mark signifying that she killed too many to count.

I enjoyed the progression of Rose and Christian’s friendship in this novel. While Rose is maturing and becoming increasingly sadder, Christian remains his usual snarky self – reminiscent of Rose from the first book. Christian’s a primary source of humor, and seeing how sad the events turn, it’s a welcome relief. I loved how the two were able to come together yet again at the end. Lissa downright annoyed me in the novel, and we were doing so well in Frostbite. I felt sorry for Adrian – he was always taken for granted. And Eddie, poor, poor Eddie. Everything happens to Eddie. It’s like he’s Richelle’s toy to beat up!

The romance in this book finally picks up, and when it does, it’s downright electrifying. After two books of them having to keep away from each other, I was almost bursting from giddiness at their coming together!

But at the same time, as soon as the romance culminated into Dimitri’s decision to leave Lissa and re-assign somewhere else, I knew something was going to happen. I knew it. I didn’t know that he’d turn into a Strigoi (though I did think about it), but something was just so foreboding about that moment. Everything was going too well. And it was too far away from the end of the book. So when I found out Dimitri turned, my shock was lessened a bit because I thought he was going to die, but holy shit did I not expect him to turn into a Strigoi (which is pretty much death in itself)!

There’s a surplus of emotion in this book: grief, despair, guilt, loneliness, suspense, happiness, anger, etc. I was on sensory overload, going from happy to sad in a matter of a chapter. I love Rose so much, but I think her decision at the end was a little premature and hasty, and that she didn’t think of the consequences. She let her emotions guide her, which is what she’s been learning not to do for the past six months or so.

Cover Musings: The edition I had had Lissa and Christian on the cover. Where’s my Rose-model?! Why are Lissa and Christian on the cover?! (I’m assuming that’s Christian). They aren’t even really main characters anymore! It's called shadow kiss, and Lissa is NOT shadow kissed. Go away I want my Rose-model. D:

I like THIS rendition of the cover a lot better. ->
And WOW does it make a foreshadowing statement.

Memorable Quotes:
"I can’t wait until this show gets on the road,’ he said. ‘You and me are going to have so much fun, Rose. Picking out curtains, doing each other’s hair, telling ghost stories..." (pg. 41)
"If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you just defended Christian’s honor. Isn’t he a pain in the ass?"
"Yes," I said, licking icing off my fingers. "He is. But for the next six weeks, he’s my pain in the ass." (pg. 44)
One of the guardians distracted Ryan while the other—Dimitri, I now saw—grabbed Camille. She screamed, not faking her fear. She apparently didn’t find being in Dimitri’s arms as thrilling as I did. (pg. 47)
"I’m always crazy around you, Rose. Here, I’m going to write an impromptu poem for you." He tipped his head back and shouted to the sky:
"Rose is in red
But never in blue
Sharp as a thorn
Fights like one too." (pg. 91)
"Was it weird having a witch grandma? Scary? Was she always, like, threatening to cast spells if you were bad?"
"Most of the time she just threatened to send me to my room." (pg. 240)
I told Adrian goodbye and cut through the cafeteria with Christian. "What’s up?" I asked.
"You tell me," he said. "You were the one about ready to start making out with Adrian."
"It was an experiment," I said. "It was part of my therapy."
"What the hell kind of therapy are you in?" (293)
"If you’re too eager to fight the undead, you may find yourselves joining them. Then you’d never see us again, and we’d be very sad."
"Yes," said Christian. "I’d cry into my pillow every night." (297)

Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: The Vampire Academy series is, without a doubt, my newest favorite series, right behind Harry Potter. Yes, it moved up past all my guilty pleasures and books that I thought were fabulous. This book is full of surprises, twists and turns, and an ending that will leave you shocked. It’s addicting, with a main character that bleeds bad-assery, and will have you screaming for more. I know I am!

Rating: 5/5 (++++++++)


Angela Tolsma said...

good point on the cover! The one you posted is so much better!! I love this series!

brandileigh2003 said...

This is one of my favorite series ever and it does get better as it goes. There are always plot twists I don't expect and I love the characters in new ways.

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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