Author: Richelle Mead
Published: November 13, 2008
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Source: Personal Copy
For Rose Hathaway, everything seems out of kilter. Ever since she made her first Strigoi kills, a dark shadow has been creeping over her. Looming in the background, too, is another realization: If she follows her forbidden love for guardian Dimitri Belikov, she might lose her best friend forever.
And these sleep-shaking worries couldn't have come at a worse time. The immortal unloving are prowling everywhere, famished for vengeance against her.
Rose is destined for greatness as Lissa's guardian, and as Lissa is the last of the Dragomir line, it's all the more important. Things are changing though. Rose is finding herself plagued by shadows of those who shouldn't be around anymore, and it's scaring her. To keep control, she begins to keep secrets from those who matter most to her, including Lissa and Dimitri, who might just be the only ones who can help her now. Can she realize that she needs them as much as they need her in time, or will it be too late? There are some things one can't come back from.
I feel this is an appropriate time for me to apologize to all Vampire Academy fans out there for the snide little remarks I made about the series because of the vampire plotline. Colour me nuts, but I'm officially obsessed, and I never in a gazillion-billion-trillian years thought I'd have to concede that. Shadow Kiss is book three in the six book series, and has effectively built the suspense to a fever pitch making it a serious page-turner. Alternating action, drama, suspense and terror on every page, Shadow Kiss is a true triumph for author, Richelle Mead.
I felt the series was a little shaky with book one, I'll admit. I understand why it was the way it was now though. Shadow Kiss doesn't need excessive backstory now because the prior books elaborated and detailed everything one needs to know, so we get dropped right into the action. Rose and Lissa, though close, still have separate lives and turmoil to deal with. For Rose, she's not only trying to come to terms with seeing things, but also trying to hide her love for Dimitri, and it gets harder all the time. I will admit, I found her a bit whiny because of this at times, but it kind of went hand-in-hand with her age. Honestly, Lissa annoyed me at times, too, because she had this total "holier-than-thou," everything is about me attitude. Dimitri, however exudes utter sexiness and power from every page, and let's just say there were several moments during Shadow Kiss that I'm pretty sure my heart fell right out of my body.
Despite aggravating immaturity at times, Shadow Kiss was a fantastic, riveting read that I couldn't put down. I definitely think it's the best of the series thus far. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal stories and those involving vampires.