Being a guardian to her best friend Lissa Dragomir, after graduation, is all Rose Hathaway ever wanted. The psychic bond between them, gained when Lissa brought Rose back
from the dead, might be the perfect tool to protect her, but at what
cost? Torn between the forbidden love for her tutor Dimitri Belikov and the
role of protecting her best friend, Rose might be forced to choose
between them. When the unthinkable happens and undead vampires invade the Academy,
Rose goes above and beyond the call of duty and fights with everything
she has in her. Will it be enough to save those she loves the most?
Shadow Kiss has a much darker feel to it than the first two books in the Vampire Academy series. A natural and necessary progression I think, due to the way book two finished. It was great to be able to start straight in on this novel and I felt it was all the more poignant for it.
Rose is once again the focal character and I have to say I absolutely love her. She matures rapidly throughout this book due to both her experiences in Frostbite, and the trials she has to go through in this one. She kicks butt with the best of them but I did fear she was starting to come apart at the seams. I couldn’t help but feel for her as she tries to cope with her guilt, desire, responsibilities and dedication to Lissa on top of being in her final year as a novice guardian.
There are some interesting revelations about Lissa’s abilities and their bond, and Rose learns more about what it means to be shadow kissed and its repercussions. Lissa is dealing with her own feelings, of being in an adult relationship, being the last living Dragomir and having to be wary of the schemes the Queen seems to be cooking up for her. They both grow a little distant from each other which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with their bond you know they will never truly be apart.
From their group of friends, characters are starting to stand out on their own; Lissa’s boyfriend Christian, Adrian who makes no bones about wanting Rose, and Eddie, steadfast, loyal and dependable. All of them play a huge role in making this series as good as it is. Then there is the forbidden and gorgeous Dimitri. I can’t help it, I love him too!
The pace felt a little different in Shadow Kiss, starting almost slowly and then as certain events happened, it got kicked up a gear until the end. And by the end, wow.
The story, complemented by that exciting pace, was just amazing. Emotional, compelling, passionate and painful, you felt every ounce of it in the writing. As crisp, clear and easy to read as the first two, but with two very intense scenes that just blew me away, each for very different reasons. I was in tears for one of them, make of that what you will!