Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Shadow KissShadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Publication: November 13th 2008 by Razorbill

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires

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It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, 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. 

If you haven’t read any of the Vampire Academy books and you’ve been wanting to, let me give you the briefest of synopses:

Basically, the series put an interesting twist on vampires. We have the Moroi vampires, who can use elemental magic and we have the Strigoi vampires, they’re the bad vampires. We also have the dhampirs who are like bodyguards for the Moroi.

The series revolves around Rose Hathaway, a dhampir, and her best friend, Lissa Dragomir, a Moroi princess who is the last of her race and the many events that harm their very lives.

Since this is the third book in the series, spoilers are unavoidable and if you don’t want to be spoiled, I suggest not reading this review. I encourage you to pick up the series though, IT’S A VERY REFRESHING SERIES.

Good guacamole, that ending just teared me A P A R T.

I’ve heard many people who’ve read the series that after Shadow Kiss, the series really starts to pick up and gets even more exciting. So I instilled that on my mind the whole time I was reading. Those people were definitely right.

Into the first half of the book, I felt like the pacing was going from steady to slow-ish. Maybe because the events that were happening weren’t really exciting? But there were some things that intrigued and terrified me as well.

Like when Jesse’s gang forced Lissa to join the Hand – a secret elite group of Moroi – and to use her compulsion. Rose arrives to rescue Lissa and that’s when things start to get interesting. We’ve read that compulsion can be turned into something more dark and powerful like making people see their nightmares. It’s kind of like the Mist in the Percy Jackson series.

Anyway, Lissa uses compulsion to make Jesse see his greatest fear and I thought that was pretty scary especially coming from Lissa, who is calm and poised most of the time.

Throughout the book we see Rose struggle in coping up with Mason’s death (he died at the end of the second book, Frostbite). She sees his spirit multiple times and is distraught because of this. We then find out about Mason’s intentions midway through the book. He’s kind of like a warning sign to what’s to come. Like when a group of Strigoi attacks the school.

Mason appeared before Rose once again, this time to warn them – Rose was with Dimitri at that time – of Strigoi in the academy. A split second later, Mason was indeed correct and they are attack by Strigoi. After the surprise attack, they find out that the Strigoi took captives with them including Mason’s best friend, Eddie.

Janine Hathaway, Rose’s mom, arrives at the academy to assess the situation and Rose manages to convince the guardians to organize a search party for the kidnapped students. This was all thanks to Mason once again after he shows Rose the whereabouts of the Strigoi.

In the end, they manage to rescue the students but not without some casualties including Dimitri Belikov. The following day, they come back for the bodies of the fallen only to return without Dimitri’s and a Moroi named Molly’s body. This also seems to be the turning point for Rose as the next day she quits at the academy to set out to kill Dimitri, who supposedly turned Strigoi.

Shadow Kiss was full of surprises and I think this where the series really starts. The first two books are like appetizers before we are served the main course and I am stoked to read the next book.

Some side notes:

  • I really like Adrian Ivashkov’s character and his role in the series. Ever since he was introduced in Frostbite, I’m always happy to see his interaction with Rose.
  • Rose and Dimitri’s relationship growth went a little too fast for me in Shadow Kiss. I felt like they were rushing especially Dimitri if that makes any sense.

4 stars

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