Monday, December 22, 2008

Review – “Shadow Kiss” by Richelle Mead

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 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?
Shadow Kiss is the third book in the Vampire Academy series for Young Adults (or young at heart adults). The final months of Rose’s novice training are drawing to a close at the Academy and she faces some difficult choices, how can she reconcile her desire for Dmitri and her obligations and loyalty to Lissa. A new wrinkle is introduced to further complicate Rose’s life when she begins to see ghosts. Are they real or is she suffering some form of PTSD from the events that happened in the previous book Frostbite (sorry no spoilers)?

Shadow Kiss spends a great deal of time on this mystery and a myriad of other smaller events at the Academy – the final practice assignments of the novices, Viktor Dashkov’s trial, another minor mystery about a secret school society, and the ongoing debate about whether Moroi society needs to change and participate in their own defence against the Strigoi. All of these things while interesting on there own merits, left me impatient for something more then ‘a day in the life’. I wanted to know where this was all leading.

But there is a madness to the authors method because the story explodes in the final quarter, bringing together all of the small themes and little clues dropped along the way. The concluding chapters are intense and emotional with a profound impact on key characters, the Academy and Rose in particular. Definitely a standout finish. Rose will undoubtedly face significant challenges and embark on the most important journey of her life in the sequel Blood Promise.

Read an excerpt of Chapter 1.

Penguin Group (USA)
Published: November 2008
ISBN #: 9781595141972
Format: Trade Paperback
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 444

Vampire Academy Series:

  1. Vampire Academy (2007)
  2. Frostbite (2008)
  3. Shadow Kiss (2008)
  4. Blood Promise (Aug 20, 2009)


  1. Man, this was a book that tore me up. I love Richelle Mead's writing, especially for the fact that she doesn't flinch from putting her characters through hell. Seriously, cannot wait for book 4!

  2. Thea I also found the ending unexpectedly emotional. The series just gets better and better.

    Prince Allie - ditto!

  3. I think I have to definitely echo the thoughts of others, and say this was probably the one in the series I got the msot excited about! :)

  4. I cannot wait for the 4th book to come out; i am so impatient, i want to know what is going to happen so badly ):

    It broke my heart when I found out Dimitri turned Strigoi.

    I really hope there is a way for Rose and him to still be together; hopefully his love for her will be so great, that it overpowers his monsterness. Surely, Rose couldn't kill him... :(

  5. This book is just a great masterpiece! Richelle Mead is one writer who can really put a story into words, and make her readers feel as though they were the characters themselves. I know I felt like that. Her stories never gets old, even when read again and again, like her Georgina Kincaid series. I can't wait! :>

  6. I was pleasently surprized with this series. I was not expecting it to be this good! I loved the entire Rose and Dimitri forbidden love thing and you can really feel sympathy for Rose when Dimitri turns. Honestly I was close to crying at the end. Richelle Mead is a great author.

  7. Great book! It was too short though and I can not wait for number 4! Rose and Dimitri are the perfect example of forbidden love. It was quite sad when he turned.

  8. Voxy Mead really set the stage with that ending. Totally unexpected.

    CC and I was so careful not to put a spoiler in my review LOL. I am not sure we are guaranteed a HEA but we can always hope...

    Anonymous Richelle definitely has the touch when it comes to connecting her readers with her characters.

    VampireFanatic139 I find many YA series surprising and often overlooked. Mead deserves the attention.

    Anonymous I always complain about the good books being too short too. I am sure we will surprised with the direction in the next book. It is not like Mead to just do the expected.

  9. girl wit da curlsMarch 1, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    I thought this book was so great!! I loved it! but then when i read the ending it was so devastating! i hated it! I actually CRIED! and it takes alot to make me cry. it was terrible. i just wanted to kill someone! why in the heck would the author do that?! she broke my heart, she literally broke my heart. in hopes that it gets better i want to read the 4th book.

  10. girl wit da curls I love you NICK! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This is a great series.

  11. I love this book. It tore me up too, just like the others. I was crying my eyes out! I was actually depressed for 3 days. haha...
    Yeah, sure, it was sad... but it was because it actually affected me so much that made me love it. Richelle Mead is a great author. ^^

  12. Ria Lize and unfortunately it is still over 3 months to wait for the Blood Promise. Sigh.

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