November 13th 2008
Rose Hathaway 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...
But since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn’t been feeling right. Something dark has begun to grow in her mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. And now that Lissa and Rose’s sworn enemy, Victor Dashkov, is on trial for his freedom, tensions in the Moroi world are higher than ever.
Lying to Lissa about Dimitri is one thing but suddenly there’s way more than friendship at stake. The immortal undead are on the prowl, and they want vengeance for the lives that Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmare, 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?
* I cannot guarantee that there won't be spoilers in this review, though I'll try to be careful. Also, I'm pretty sure you could replace every word in this 'review' with angst and it would come to have the same effect. Just warning you.
Richelle Mead is evil. She must be. Only she would end a book the way that Shadow Kiss ended, especially after all of the things that happened between Rose and Dimitri in this book. I've decided that she obviously lives in a palace made of her readers torment, and she drinks our tears as wine. That must be the only reason that she does this to us! It's cliffhangers like this, though, that make me glad I waited until all of the books are out to start reading them.
But I really never thought I would love this series as much as I do. Every time someone talked about Vampire Academy, I would sit there being all 'how can books that look like that be GOOD? They're just Twilight only longer' but then I gave in and started reading them, and how I wish I'd just thrown a copy of it into past me's face, because I UNDERSTAND now. I get it. I literally just cannot put them down! They just keep on getting better and better.
Rose kind of annoyed me in this book, though. It wasn't really her fault, I guess, and I liked the reasoning for her pretty erratic behaviour, but I'm definitely looking forward to a bit more stability in her character in the next book, if she's going to be away from Lissa for a while. But Dimitri really came into the story a lot more. Not like he hadn't already, obviously, but the romance was turned up a notch and the tension between them was stronger than ever. The only problem I really have with their relationship is that it's so intense, you know? They're so deeply in 'love' with each other because they never really get to see each other romantically that often, and there isn't really much light to their relationship as a couple. I don't really like the romance scenes between them as I do the more friendly scenes between them. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I've made my point about super-duper intense relationships before and they irk me a little bit, is all.
I really, really liked Adrian in this book too, but still not as a love interest. Though I think as a character, I like him more than Dimitri, but I just don't buy him and Rose. Yes, I have very contradicting opinions about this series and who should be with who, but I just think that they work so much better as friends, because you can see that if they got together all of the funny banter would be gone because underneath Adrian's arrogant exterior is a delicate soul (I think this is meant to be sarcastic, but I'm still a little screwed up from reading this so I'm not really sure). Anyway, they make better friends then they would a couple. Yeah.
My favourite part of this book, though, was probably Christian. I'm pretty sure that even if he turned Strigoi (which I'm fairly sure he won't, but Richelle IS evil...) he'd still be my favourite character. There's just something about him! Plus, he was a bad ass in this book, and I loved getting to know him better, and not just through the eyes of Lissa. I'm glad that Rose and him became better friends in this book, too, because it would've sucked if they just hated each other the whole time.
But the ending! WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! I would've rather he died because at least then he wouldn't have become the last thing he ever wanted to be! Though I guess technically he DID die, but still! Just leave me over here to angst myself to death or something.