Shadow Kiss - Vampire Academy, Bk 3 Author:Richelle Mead Is Rose's fate to kill the person she loves most? It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason's death, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can't concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Ro... more »se has an even bigger secret... She's in love with Dimitri. And this time, it's way more than a crush.
Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever...« less
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I'm thoroughly impressed by this series. To say it's better than "Twilight" is an understatement.
The main character, Rose, has to deal with death and growing up fast in a society where, as a dhampir, she is more-or-less a second-class citizen. Her future is set from birth - to be a guardian of pure-blood, "royal" living vampires. She's never questioned it. It's a pretty sweet gig since she likes to fight, has a strong moral code, and well, she's pretty much guarenteed a spot guarding her best friend since childhood, Lissa.
But things change, and her values, wants and needs are thrown into flux.
There's a lot of character development - and none of it easy - in these books. That's why I like them. The only other YA Vampire series I see this quality in is the "Morganville" series, by Rachel Caine. Both have unique twists on the vampire mythos, well developed worlds, and realistic characters who think about their actions and don't just throw themselves on the alter of sacrifice or love *cough* Bella & Edward *cough* like two-dimensional archetypes.
Romance is part of these worlds, but not the main point. It's about growing up and facing hard choices, with consequences.
Eh, I may be a harsh critic, but being an 'elder goth' (and a future librarian) who cut teeth on heavier lit, my compliments for this series are genuine.
Vampire Academy should probably be suffering from some kind of mid-series slump by its third book, Shadow Kiss. However, I guess someone failed to tell author Richelle Mead. Because there is nothing "filler" about this incredible, fast-paced continuation.
In Shadow Kiss, Mead does answer many of the questions readers have puzzled over throughout the series. She provides some satisfying progress in the central romantic relationships in the novel, and gives her characters lots of opportunities for (painful) growth. If anything, I think Vampire Academy is ramping up -- this is by far my favorite book in the series thus far.
Rose and her friends are still recovering from the loss they were dealt at the end of Frostbite, and Rose, especially is having a hard time recovering. She feels guilt and regret over her choices and their consequences, and some of those feelings seem to be playing out in hallucinations. Either that, or Rose really is seeing ghosts.
She doesn't have much time to ponder the issue, though, because Rose and her fellow senior dhampirs have just begun their in-field training exercise. For the next six weeks, they will shadow their assigned Moroi and gain a glimpse of what their lives will be like in the future, protecting and guarding the lives of others at all times. However, Rose is most looking forward to the excuse to hang out with her best friend, Dragomir princess, Lissa, in the name of the exercise.
However, nothings is as easy as it could be at Vampire Academy. Rose is assigned another Moroi to guard - not one of her favorite classmates. Royals on campus are showing up in classes with strange signs of violence that none will talk about. And Adrian, the older, royal Spirit-user that's set his sights on Rose, is making life complicated for both her and Lissa.
The book's plot covers a lot of territory, but Mead makes each section of the story significant and interesting to readers. Every time I thought, "Wow, this has to be the high point," Ms. Mead would take the story in a new (devastating) direction. To say the end was unexpected would be an understatement -- I absolutely didn't see it coming, and wouldn't dream of spoiling the twist here. However, it's a good thing I have Blood Promise sitting on my shelf waiting for me. I don't think I can stand the suspense much longer.
The psychic connection between Rose and Lissa is causing Rose to have a darkness about her. She is becoming overly violent even with her classmates. There are lots of things going on in this installment, Victor Dashkov is on trial, the dhampirs are doing a six week training exercise, Rose is seeing ghosts, Dimitri and Rose may finally do it, there are strigoi attacks, and there is a new guy on campus, Adrian but who is he interested in, Rose or Lissa?
This is a well put together story with many surprises and disappointments. The ending will truly leave you breathless.
Cute and fun. Rose is seeing ghosts and everyone thinks she nuts. She's also acting extra cray-cray getting nuclear angry all the time (wait, is that new?). She has some self-revelations about her relationship with Dmitri and they both realize it's lurrrrve. She also realizes maybe she's finding the constant sacrifice of her own wants/needs to conflict with her raison d'etre "take care of Moroi". The "true love he sees my soul" stuff seems a little weird since they've had like four conversations in three books but whatever, this is teen romance and it's sweet.