Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shadow Kiss - Review by Rissa

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


I honestly don't know where to start with this book, because more happens than I think any of us were expecting. As I said in my last review, the ending to Frostbite was not a cliffhanger, so coming in I didn't know what to expect, I had no idea how or where Richelle Mead was going to pick up the plot. Rose is recovering from the tragic events that unfolded in the end of Frostbite, but the reader may find her a different person. Her view on the world has changed, and she has been sobored (but not too much, she's still the edgy Rose we know and love!). It is the mark of a great author, I feel, when they can lead a character through the events of their lives and have them mature with the circumstances, while still maintaining the core characteristics that make them who they are. Rose may have grown up more, but she's still Rose. As far as plot originality, I give full credits because Shadow Kiss has an ending that took my breath away and left me utterly shell-shocked.


I, personally, love the cover of Shadow Kiss, but I might be slightly biased because my favorite color is deep purple! In all seriousness, the dark color reflects the stormy and unexpected themes that the book goes into, and the stormy sky in the background speaks volumes about the uncertain future for our heroine. This is the more recent cover, which I favor, but because I bought my copy a long time ago I have the earlier version of the book which has a cover featuring Lissa, Dimitri, and the phrase, "This time, Rose will have to choose between them." And choose, she will....


This story was not so much about introducing new characters, as it was about diving more into the ones we already know. As I mentioned before, Rose has been sobered, and is more mature, and people are starting to notice. She learns new things about her friendship with Lissa which may make or break her as a person and she is fighting with the inner darkness that is becoming more and more prevalent, as well as the visions which no one believes she is having. Her relationship with her mentor Dimitri takes a turn which will most definitely shape their futures.
Lissa and Christian are struggling to learn to control their powers, and who better to teach magic than the ever-reliable Adrian?
As our favorite characters struggle to learn more about themselves and battle their personal demons they must come together when they learn the scary truth that a great enemy has resurfaced, and a life or death decision will be made.
I truly liked the character developments that Shadow Kiss had to offer. I love how Rose is maturing from the rebellious teenager to an only-slightly-less rebellious guardian, as well as her illicit romance with Dimitri. They seem to be more on the same level now that Rose has experienced the pain that comes along with her duty, and Dimitri finally will have to deal with his feelings and make a choice from which there is no going back.
I've also completely changed my opinion about Lissa, especially now that she and Christian are together (yes, I know I'm a little slow, but I'm just now realizing how he brings her back down to earth). I love how she's trying to learn how to use her powers, and how she is willing to fight alongside Rose and defend herself.


The story opens rather innocently, with Rose sneaking out of her dorm to take a walk. She is caught by Dimitri, who, rather than sending her back, beings to talk with her. All is going well until Dimitri encounters another guardian and Rose hears news of a trial, for none other than the evil Victor Dashkov. Infuriated, Rose is prepared to move heaven and earth in order to ensure that Dashkov is thrown into jail until the end of time. On top of this, she begins to see someone from her past, and these impossible sightings begin to take a turn for worse when Rose realizes that no one else can see this mysterious, yet all-too-familiar appirition. Not only do people start questioning her sanity, but Rose herself starts to wonder if she is losing her mind. Add in a fortune teller and and extremely vague tarot cards, and Rose has found herself in a difficult situation with no clear way out.
Throughout the course of the book, Rose finds herself becoming closer to Christian, especially when circumstances force them to work as a team. This unlikely friendship proves to be extremely beneficial when an unexpected attack corners them and they have to trust each other to save not only themselves, but the ones they love.

The ending of Shadow there any just way of describing it? I think not. I was utterly unprepared for the curve ball plot twist that was thrown at me. I give it the highest rating possible, because in a million years I never expected the ending to be what it was, and I was so incredibly excited for the next book to come out, because I had to know what was going to happen! I really can't say anything, but this book will most definitely test fans of the series. Rose will have to make the biggest choice of her life, between duty and emotion, logic and love. True VA-a-holics will be dying to read more, if they can cope with the shock!

Because of the incredible amount of work and plots put into Shadow Kiss, along with an epic ending and some stellar scenes with our favorite couples, I give this book a rating of ♥♥♥♥♥.

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