Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), Richelle Mead

Title: Shadow Kiss
Author: Richelle Mead (author website)
Release Date: Nov. 13th 2008 by Razorbill
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 starhalf star

OH. MY. WORD.
I’m stunned.
Breathless.
Heartbroken.
... and... well, not speechless, obviously—I’m writing this—but struggling to find words. Shadow Kiss is shocking, exciting, and completely and utterly brilliant. Lots of people have said Vampire Academy really hits its stride come book 3. They were right.

From Goodreads:
Is Rose's fate to kill the person she loves most? It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason's death, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can't concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even bigger secret .... She's in love with Dimitri. And this time, it's way more than a crush. Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever...

My Thoughts Proclamation Of Adoration:

Wow oh wow. Whatever I was expecting from Shadow Kiss, it wasn’t this. Rarely is fiction THIS. GOOD. It delivers in so many ways I don’t quite know where to start. So maybe the beginning: we join Rose and co. back at St Vlad’s, trying to come to terms with the loss of a close friend. For all intents and purposes, life has returned to normal... but Rose doesn’t feel normal. She’s seeing ghosts, and even in this world, it’s not normal. Also, despite her normal brashness, her dark moods don’t quite seem her own...

We get to see bond Lissa and Rose share explored more deeply, and start to understand the repercussions this will have for Rose’s future—much like we explored the effects of Lissa’s power in Vampire Academy. Despite Rose being the protagonist of the series, this really felt like her book to me. She’s finally starting to question her future, and acknowledge what being a Guardian will cost her: basically, a life of her own. This stirs previously unconfronted feelings, and, while they clearly still love each other, the friendship between Rose and Lissa seems to shift a little in Shadow Kiss, soured by a little resentment. And I just have to add: Christian? Kicks ass. Well, Rose and Christian kick ass.

The political machinations deepen in Shadow Kiss, and we once again encounter the Ice Queen, who is taking an interest in Lissa’s future...and an altogether different interest in Rose. The power is shifting in the world of Vampire Academy, and instability and threats are now coming from more than just the Strigoi. Tensions are rising as some Moroi acknowledge they need to defend themselves... and others turn ugly to protect their power and the status quo. I love this aspect of the books. They’re deeply political, and while, yes, it provides intrigue, it adds interest and depth to this world. I loved watching Mead explore the class inequality and political games being played in the world she’s created.

And Dimitri. Oh, Dimitri. I almost don’t know what to say... the feelings Rose and Dimitri share grow to a point so vast they ache, and we finally see the two openly acknowledge—to each other—exactly how they feel about each other. There’s real hope for a future for them, but... Just but. It’s all I’m saying. I love Dimitri. I love Dimitri and Rose. And I love the deepening of their relationship in this book as they learn to truly trust and confide in one another. Rose openly acknowledges that she sees Dimitri as invincible—he can fix and do anything—and I adored watching them draw even closer as he shows a more vulnerable side to himself. These two just get each other on a level that is so poignant and satisfying, you can’t help but fall in love along with them.

The Verdict

I liked Vampire Academy. I really liked Frostbite. Words fail me when it comes to describing Shadow Kiss. The final quarter of this book is some of the best fiction I’ve ever read—utterly gripping and compelling, exciting, breathtaking, and, in the end, so overwhelmingly heartbreakingly. In Shadow Kiss, the Vampire Academy series really hits its stride, and I am officially a rabid fan. Sign me up to the club—I’m already making arrangements for my team t-shirt. Shadow Kiss delivers in every way—romance, action, intrigue, danger, sacrifice and loss. I’m sure I could write more, but Blood Promise is calling me. Just do yourself a favour: if you haven’t started VA yet, do so. You NEED to read this book.

Books in This Series:

  1. Vampire Academy
  2. Frostbite
  3. Shadow Kiss
  4. Blood Promise
  5. Spirit Bound
  6. Last Sacrifice

29 comments:

  1. Oh, Vampire Academy, I love you so much! Shadow Kiss was definitely an awesome installment in the series. Glad to hear you completely adored it! :)
    - Lauren

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    Replies
    1. Shadow Kiss is my favorite. I swear. So perfect, and SO heartbreaking *runs away crying*
      ♥♥♥

      Delete
  2. Oh, my gosh!! I can't wait to continue this series now. I wasn't impressed with book one, but now I so need to see if I'll find it just as good by book three! Ahh *rushes to pick up book two* Awesome review.

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca! Eee! You should.
      OK, so I *liked* the first one. I liked the second. Come book 3, I was blown away... that's when the series got that life-consuming level?

      Just reading 1 and 2, I wouldn't have understood what the buzz was about, but wow... seriously O___O

      Thank you! ♥♥♥

      Delete
  3. Hey there,
    Just wanted to let you know, I tagged you on my blog :D
    Hope you're doing well,
    Ninja Girl

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  4. ahaha after a lot of "I WILL READ THIS SERIES!" I actually finished the series this weekend! I have thoughts about it! IDK, I feel like such a curmudgeon though because everyone seems to love this series and I liked it enough but wasn't living for it. I'm impressed by how it doesn't hold back though, if I remember correctly this book has that interesting ending! With more to come!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EEEEE! You did? I finally read them over the Christmas break--I've just been sitting on the reviews.

      Noooo, you're not a curmudgeon! You're an awesome XD
      I really understand where you're coming from... the 'living for it' thing? That's EXACTLY how I felt about book 1 and 2... books 3 through 6, though? I didn't want to breathe/eat/sleep till I finished.

      YES. The ending of this one? :OOO

      Delete
  5. Woo-hoo!!!! SARAH!!! So glad you loved this--amazing review. This still remains as the most shocking, heart-breaking cliffhanger I've ever read! Good lord you're lucky you don 't have to wait for the next book. I swear the wait for Bloodpromise back then was pure torture!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RACHEL! I EFFING LOVE IT!
      Yes yes and yesssss! The cliffhanger is just :OOO
      I cried so bad... I mean, I LIKE book 1 and 2 a lot. Shadow Kiss SLAYED me.

      Delete
  6. ROSE AND CHRISTIAN <3 Staking hearts and burning heads stince... well I don't know what year this was, so I'll just say book 3 :D You know I love your review for this, RIGHT?? I'm still seriously awed that you could even WRITE this so soon after finishing! Especially with that heart-shredding ending! I think Shadow Kiss still remains my favourite in the series. I always change my mind, but it's the one that always tears at me the most and gets a reaction and OH that ending!!! Just when... and then..... :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *cries* Oh my goodness, that ending, right? *more sobbing* and right after... and then... and he was so close to getting out! :'(

      Seriously, when I back-to-back series, I think reviews are easier to write, somehow? Weirdness :/

      Delete
  7. HOHOHOHOHOOHO!!! ShadowKiss is the best YA Vampire book ever written!! OHOHOHOHOHO!!! My dear, dear friend. Once you finish the whole series you will understand my obsession and my constant daydreaming fantasy of me being Belikov's wife. XD Excellent review you DO justice to such FREAKING KICK-ASS BOOK!!

    Keep reading my dear, devour those books! enjoy them, dream of them!! Get married to Christian, Adrian, even Rose if you play on that side, but do not touch my Dimitri!! XDDDDDDD LOL

    Have a great Vampiric week! muah!

    Dazzling Reads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mwaha! Nooo, it's OK. Dimka is yours. Ooooh, I love him, but I love my husband more. PLUS, Rose + Dimka? They're MADE for each other *swoons*

      I EFFING LOVE THE SERIES. I've kind of been sitting on the reviews for a while now (since Christmas), but haven't had time to publish. XD

      Delete
  8. Ooh this is the one where Dimitri... at the end right!? haha. I really enjoyed this series and this ending really broke my heart! I can't wait to see what you think of the rest. Book 4 was the weakest IMO, but the last one especially is awesomesauce!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YESSSSSS! Oh the ending = </3
      *cries*

      I LOVE the series. I read them over Christmas, but I've been sitting on the reviews for a while XD

      Hmmm... Blood Promise (bk4)... you have an interesting point... it didn't really do much to further the overall story? I mean, what happened in it needed to happen, and I lvoe the character development, but yes. THIS is my fave. And LS! YESSSSSS!

      Delete
  9. Shadow Kiss is definitely my favorite of all the books as well. Blood Promise and Spirit Bound were decent, but they just weren't as good, in my opinion. I still have yet to read Last Sacrifice...guess I should get on that, huh? Lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YESSSSS! Despite my poor, broken, trampled heart, Shadow Kiss is my fave in the series. LOVE IT.
      AND YES! OMFG YOU SHOULD SO READ LS!

      I love LS because Rose and Dimka are a team again, and that's when the series SHINES. When the two work together. It's what I LOVED about SK...

      Delete
  10. This is one of those series that gets better and better with each book. So all I can say is ... keep going!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ahhh, the ending of this one! I think I sat there with my mouth open for a while after it was over. Richelle Mead really knows how to render her readers speechless!

    Blood Promise is when my opinions on characters began changing A LOT so I'll be curious to see how you continue on with the following books. Looking forward to your reviews! :D

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  12. Shadow Kiss was my one of my favourite books I think? Muahaha, I forgot since I've read it a while ago but I LOVE Rose and Dimitri A LOT here. Their relationship was just pure AWESOME! <3 Awesome review, Sarah! Can't wait for your next review of Blood Promise! ;)

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  13. I always love coming across someone who hasn't read this entire series and seeing their reaction once they reach this book. I didn't know how to react once I'd finished reading it either! Be thankful the series is all written and that you don't have to months for the next one. I was almost pulling my hair out wanting the next one to come!

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  14. It's about time you reviewed this one! I still can't believe how long it took you to get into this series! I didn't think Frostbite could be beaten but Shadow Kiss did it. I can reread all the books in the series but that one.

    The crap thing was though, when I finished SK the others weren't out for months. I just wandered around the house in complete and utter shock. I couldn't even talk to people when they asked me what was wrong.

    That book is seriously, like, WOW.

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  15. Sarah, I am so so happy that liked it!! Shadow kiss was amazing for me. God, how much I cried <3 And I needed to wait 4 days to get Blood Promise - OMG I tought I would die, literally. I was so nervous and I couldn't stop thinking about Dimitri. And the last dialog between Rose and Lissa? PRICELESS! I really really love this book! I've read it so so many times that I think I know it by heart :)

    Awesome, awesome review Sarah!! :) <3 <3

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  16. YAY! I'm so happy you are loving this series. I love Rose so much, and I agree--fiction is rarely as good as this. :) Can't wait to see what you think of the next one. Which you DO have waiting, right? RIGHT? :D

    Wendy ♥ The Midnight Garden

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  17. Yay for VA-love! I discovered this series when the first 3 books were out and I read through them so quickly, Richelle is such a great author.

    I'm looking forward to the rest of your VA reviews :)

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  18. I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU! Gah, this book is so full of epic and I'm ecstatic that you loved it too <3 WOO!

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  19. OMG.I still need to buy this series. I didn't read the review cuz I don't want to ruin it with any spoilers, but I read your verdict. I am so freakin' excited to read this series. And you loving it this much gets me all giggly with joy. I can't WAIT!!

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  20. SARAH!! <3 Oh my gosh, sometimes I think we might be one and the same -- as much as Frostbite rocked my socks off, I think this one was my favourite too! Except even though I'll never stop rooting for Rose and Dimitri to be together because they're PERFECT as a couple, I'll always be Team Adrian LOL! x) (Have you read Bloodlines yet? I LOVED it! Sydney isn't as bland as most people originally thought!)

    Absolutely AMAZING review as always, Sarah-bara! <3 You make me want to go back and re-read all of these books now -- I can't wait to read the rest of your reviews! :)

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  21. YES!!!!! *high five* Your review rocks all the socks in the world! I am a die hard VA fan and I'm so glad you're liking the series more and more. I agree with your verdicts 100 percent, I liked VA, Frostbite I liked even more, and SHadow Kiss is when VA really unstoppable and unputdownable. I love the relationship between Dimitri and Rose.. they get each other and I think they're among my fav couples in fiction, it's like they are two pieces of a puzzle that just belong together!

    I can't wait until you finish the series and move on to Bloodlines, I'm so curious as to what you'll think :D

    *dances* VA, VA, VA! Welcome to the club!! *dances more*

    <33 April @ My Shelf Confessions

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