Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead

Read and Reviewed for Vampire Book Club's Vampire Academy Re-Read Challenge

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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. An adrenaline-laced episode of the teen pop favorite Shadow Academy.
My Thoughts: I equal parts love this book and hate it.  No, that's not true.  The love outweighs the hate.  By a lot.  I do hate that just as Rose seems to be getting the things she wants and the answers she needs, her life falls apart.

Things that I really enjoyed this time around:
  • How the relationship between Vladimir and Anna is revealed a piece at a time.  Anna's Shadow-Kissed status is so pivotal.  Yet it's also so tragic.  Without her, there would have been no St Vladimir, there would have just been kooky Vlad who likes to bang his head on the walls and talk to himself.  Maybe he'd occasionally lock himself in a basement and make friends with the spiders and other assorted crawlies.  The point is that without Anna, Vladimir wouldn't have existed.  Once again, Richelle Mead does an outstanding job giving you bits and pieces of their story, allowing the parallels between Lissa and Rose's relationship to be drawn naturally instead of dumping it all on you in a big slushy pile.
  • I liked the look into the lives of the Dhampirs who choose not to become Guardians.  The female Dhampirs are so often looked down upon, but then you have men like Ambrose who didn't want to be a Guardian and who found a way to make it work for them.  He's still part of the Moroi world, he takes a lot of crap for his choices, but he made the choice for himself.  In the end, isn't that what it's all about?
  • Victor Dashkov.  The guy is chilling.  Even behind bars, locked away from others, you still get the feeling that he has his fingers in all the pies.  Not only does he know what's going on out in the world, somehow he'll find a way to influence it.  I'm not saying he actually did that, mind you, but that's the way he comes across.  He's the drug kingpin who's still running his empire from the middle of a high security prison.
This book is simply outstanding.  Richelle Mead has such an excellent sense of pacing that you never feel like you're wandering along waiting for the next thing to happen.  Oh, no.  You're barreling toward it and your breaks have been tampered with and you're going to hit it, dammit.  Whether you want to or not.

Yes, I did enjoy this re-read.  I'm glad you noticed.

Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: Vampire Academy
Book 2: Frostbite

More books by Richelle Mead

1 comment:

  1. This one I believe was my favorite out of the whole series just because of all the growth within each character and how Rode shines with more and more that you read about her.