Shadow Kiss – Richelle Mead

Release date: 2 January 2008
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ – 10/10
Goodreads link
Book Depository link

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) blurb:

WHAT IF FOLLOWING HER HEART MEANS ROSE COULD LOSE HER BEST FRIEND FOREVER?

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

Rose 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…

Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose’s mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives 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?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Why would she do this???? I don’t understand!!!!

If you’ve read this book, then I’m sure you feel my pain. If you haven’t, please let me apologise and start again…

Shadow Kiss was amazing — my favourite of the series so far. In fact, possibly the very best vampire/paranormal fiction book I have ever read. I highly recommend this series based on this book alone, although please read the two books beforehand, otherwise I’m not entirely sure you’ll understand what is happening… Although Mead does do a great job recapping events to date.

I really can’t comment on world-building more that I already have with this series, and I promise not to mention it again in later reviews. It’s good!

Plot — well, apart from feeling a little bit broken at the end of this book, I also can’t fault it (although I am feeling particularly gushy at the moment), and I loved all the little bits and pieces in here. But that ending, man. Don’t get overly attached to any characters. That’s all I will say.

In terms of characters (mostly I just want to cry right now), Rose starts to learn more and more about her new attributes as a shadow-kissed individual. Her relationships all undergo a significant change, from Dimitri to Christian to Jesse, and we see Rose mature (yes, even more) and really figure out what and who counts. And pretty boys just seem to not cut it any more (YAY!!).

Lissa also undergoes some changes, not quite as deep-seated as Rose’s, but she is definitely making progress as well.

I really liked this book. It’s possibly even ‘special-shelf’ worthy… yes, even after that ending (possibly because of that ending… I am a sucker for pain and I don’t know why!). But wow, I think I will be tearing through book 4 just to see what happens (thank god I don’t need to wait for release dates!).

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