Title: Shadow Kiss
Author: Richelle Mead
Publication Year: 2008
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
Rose knows her love for Dimitri Belikov is forbidden. Her best friend, Lissa — the last Dragomir princess — must always come first. But a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose’s mind. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle, 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?
After reading the first two books in the series, I was really excited to read Shadow Kiss. I figured that it must be the point where Mead would hit her stride, and things would be high-octane and intense right through the novel. This didn’t quite turn out to be the case, though. Instead, it starts off slowly, as things go as much back to “normal” as they possibly could at the Academy, and as change begins to foment in their world. Plus, there’s the small matter of the trial and sentencing they’ve been waiting for since the end of Vampire Academy, which was more … slow-paced … than I would have expected.
Having said that, the speed and intensity really picked up about a third of the way into the book. Things started to happen to Rose and the others that indicated that something big was coming. And things finally started to heat up properly between Rose and Dimitri, which I’d been hoping for since the beginning of the series already. By the end, it was a full-out action story, and I just couldn’t read fast enough. I didn’t want to put the book down from about halfway through until the end; in fact, I don’t think I did put it down, except when absolutely necessary. I read almost the whole thing from cover to cover.
Even though I had an inkling of one of the big things that happens in the end, it was still kind of a shock to read it. Shadow Kiss definitely ends on a cliffhanger that I was glad to be reading long enough after its publication that I didn’t have to wait for the next installment. By now, if I hadn’t already thought this was a great series, just enough twisting and turning has happened that I’d definitely recommend reading it to just about anyone.