I have one word for you: Amazing. Shadow Kiss was such a thrill ride that I read all 440 pages in one night... I just couldn't stop. Now after that one amazing word, I think I may have a few other words for Richelle Mead because of how she made me feel at the end of this heart breaker. I'm only joking, Shadow Kiss has further put me in awe of Mead's talented storytelling and superb writing. I know I normally do spoiler free reviews and I can assure you I will not be giving away any huge plot twists, but be cautious in reading this review as I feel like I need to get some things off my chest that may spoil some mystery to the series.
Shadow Kiss starts with our characters cooping with the events of the past and they must deal with the death of their friend. As this semester begins, the senior novices must begin their field training and they are each assigned a Moroi to protect. Rose believes everything is goign according to her plan: Lissa will be her Moroi, she's trying to make peace with her nonexistent relationship with Dimitri and she's coming to terms with her interaction with the Strigoi, but of course when things seem to be going their best, it's the the calm before the storm.
Now as I said before, I went and saw Richelle Mead speak at her launch party for The Golden Lily and I had not read any of her books yet. She sympathized with her readers, not quite apologizing, for the ending of book three and in my head, I thought wow, these people are nuts. With all their whining and grumbling you'd think Mead had gone and kicked everyone's puppy. Now, I feel like she really did kick my puppy.
This lady has a special way of ripping your heart out and stepping on it, while you still appreciate her writing and her big plot twist. Obviously I won't be giving away what happened at the end, but while I was beyond devastated (I may or may not have cried in my bed for a little bit at 1 am) I appreciated what she did. I've been reading a great deal of paranormal romances lately and they all end the same, something bad happens but then things right themselves and the couple snuggle but look forward to further evil in the next installment. While this makes me happy (obviously) it doesn't make for a very interesting story. In Shadow Kiss, I felt as though Mead turned my world upside down, which while sad, is a good thing! It kept things interesting and I am scrambling to get my hands on book 4.
The story was actually longer than the other two in the series but i found it much easier to get through and I really enjoyed the story. After the devastation that occurred on their ski trip, our main characters have changed. They are more cautious, wiser and have a different out look on life than their fellow students at St. Vladimir's. I welcomed this change in personalities and it made fore a much more interesting read.
Rose has a lot to deal with in this book as she finds out more about her relationship with Lissa and she has to come to terms with what's really inside of her. Is being a guardian and putting her Moroi's every need before hers something she wants? Rose questions a lot of her deeprooted beliefs in this story and she has to make the hard decisions, which is one of the things I love most about Rose. I said in a previous reveiw that she's working her way up to one of my favorite heroines in YA fiction and I think she made it up to the top five. She is kick ass and I love her.
We also get to see more of her relationship with Dimitri. While I won't talk about this too much for fear of more heartbreak, I love him, plain and simple. I sense that Adrian is going to be moving into the spotlight a little more and I can't decide if I like him or not. While I love his charming whit and the bad ass air he exudes, I'm still stuck on Dimitri and I don't know if I'll be able to give Adrian a chance. Are you listening to me right now? What did Richelle Mead do to me?! On to book four...
9 out of 10
Happy Reading (keep tissues handy)