REVIEW: “Shadow Kiss,” Richelle Mead
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Title: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: November, 2008 by Razorbill
Thanks: Penguin, AU
Pages: 443
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

Rose knows it is forbidden to love another guardian. Her best friend, Lissa – the last Dragomir princess – must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Belikov, some rules are meant to be broken…

Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose’s mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, 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?

Final Thoughts:
It’s hard to really settle on one feeling for this series. They can be thrilling, sending you speeding through the pages, but that only seems to happen once you reach the fourth quarter of the book. The majority of it just seemed to drag on, with little to no action in the plot to keep it interesting. I spent over a month trying to get through this book. It was more of the same—academy drama, Rose keeping things from Lissa in order to ‘protect her’, and the Rose/Dimitri forbidden-relationship tension.

Maybe if you loved the characters it might be more gripping, but as it stands, I’m a bit so-so towards Rose. She’s tough, but doesn’t really think things through. Pretty much, what she was like in book one. With all that has happened in the series, I would have expected her to realise that she’s the one causing the problems and to change her actions. Still, I’ve liked the Strigoi plot enough to make it three books into the series. I’ll keep going, but I certainly need a break.

Recommended to:
Fans of this series will enjoy this, but if you’ve been feeling like me, maybe not so much.