Shadow Kiss

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!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Frostbite

With the vampire community horrified and on full alert after a vicious and deadly attack on one of the royal families, St. Vladimir’s Academy is relocated for the holidays to a secure ski resort.  Rose is glad to be away from the school and with Lissa, but trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes.  Her feelings for her Guardian tutor may be mutual but can never be acted on, a close friend confesses his own feelings for her and when the amusing and aristocratic Adrian enters the scene, she is more confused than ever.  After a terrible lapse in judgement sends people she cares about into danger, Rose feels responsible and falls back on the training she has had for most of her life.  Protect at all costs.

It was good being able to dive straight into book two of the Vampire Academy series.  I enjoyed the first book a great deal and it left me wanting more.

Rose is the focal character once more and picks up where the first novel ended.  Just as an aside before I get into it, I thought the Prologue was nicely done, a recap of the previous book but entertaining enough to read even if you had already read Vampire Academy.

It was really interesting how both main characters developed throughout this story.  I admire the way Richelle Mead has taken teenagers around seventeen, with hormones and angst, and merged it with great responsibility and peril.  Maturity can and often does go out the window but I loved the reasoning behind it and thought it quite clever.

Rose and Lissa’s friendship gets more complicated and conflicted as more is revealed about Lissa’s abilities and what her bond with Rose means.  Rose has a unique perspective on life and it can cause amusing results as she uses sarcastic wit almost as a weapon to get out of awkward situations.  As her extra Guardian training with her tutor, the lovely Dimitri progresses, she certainly starts to kick some serious butt and becomes even more formidable.

The two main characters are supported by a group of friends and their relationships play a big part throughout the story.  Even with unrequited and forbidden love, they definitely make the book well rounded and enjoyable.

Mead’s writing was once again clean, crisp and easy to read but spared nothing with the emotional and action scenes.  They had a lot of impact and one scene in particular was very shocking and brought tears to my eyes.

Any book that grips me enough to be able to do that is definitely recommended!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)