Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead

It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn’t been feeling quite right. She’s having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all… might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose’s forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line – and choose between the two people she loves most.

 

Rating: 4/5

Man, I was not prepared for that when I started this book. I need to stop reading Richelle Mead at certain times of the month, if you catch my drift. She always manages a hell of an emotional roller coaster. Though not as intense as the Georgina Kincaid series was (for me at least), I’m still always impressed. Whenever I pick up one of Mead’s books, I walk away from it feeling like I’ve just accomplished something—that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from finishing a good book. But it’s also tinged with a heavy dose of melancholy because I feel so deeply for the characters in the novel.

Even more impressive is the fact that I don’t like Rose, and I still feel this deep of an emotional connection with her. And for some reason, even though I dislike her for most of the novel, I still always end up loving her by the end. This is officially becoming a trend in this series.

That emotion is something that makes being a good writer so hard. How do you elicit such a strong reaction from your reader simply by the words you put on the paper? A lot of it has to do with strength of character, but as I mentioned, I don’t actually like Rose, not yet anyway. This is evidence that it’s much more about believability. You have to make your readers believe in the characters, believe in the world they live in, and believe in the motivations of the entire plot. Without belief in all of those aspects, a tragic scene isn’t really all that moving. Tragedy alone does not an emotional scene make. Otherwise the world would be full of phenomenal writers.

I do think that this book will be a turning point in the series for me. I’ve been on the edge before with this series — I didn’t like the first book much at all, the second left me feeling, well, like there was potential but it hadn’t been realized yet. But not only is a turning point in Rose’s life, but the macro plot of the series has taken us deeper, and the world now has more definition than ever before. The tension between the Strigoi and Moroi seems more real now, and the concepts of these kinds of vampires is growing on me. Some of the supporting characters have gained new depths for me, and some of the characters that had been mentioned in the background but never really presented are finally real. I had a similar trend with the Georgina Kincaid series, which I now rank as one of my favorite overall series ever. Needless to say, I have high hopes for the rest of these books.

 

 

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Posted on July 13, 2014, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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