Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (November 13, 2008)
By Brandie Moore, Courier Daily Editor
"‘There you are. What happened? You missed dinner.’ ‘I'd completely forgotten. Sorry...got carried away with some guardian stuff. It's a long story.’ She'd changed for dinner. Her hair was still pulled up, and she now wore a form-fitting dress made out of silver raw silk. She looked beautiful. She looked royal. I thought about Victor's words and wondered if she really could be the power for change he swore she was. Looking like she did now, so glamorous and self-composed, I could imagine people following her anywhere. I certainly would, but then, I was biased. ‘Why are you looking at me like that?’ she asked with a small smile. I couldn't tell her that I'd just seen the man who frightened her the most. I couldn't tell her that while she'd been out living it up, I'd been off watching her back in the shadows, like I would always do. Instead, I returned her smile. ‘I like the dress.’"
Richelle Mead came out with her third novel to the Vampire Academy series last month. In the latest addition, Shadow Kiss, Rose Hathaway, a teenage half-vampire half-human, has to make the biggest decision of her life: she has to choose between her best friend, Lissa, or the love of her life, Dimitri.
The book begins with Rose still struggling to stay out of Lissa’s mind while Lissa and her boyfriend, Christian, are getting intimate. Rose finds that she can keep out of Lissa’s head when she is awake. While outside in the cold winter morning, her forbidden boyfriend Dimitri meets up with Rose. When they hear Alberta coming Rose hides in the bushes, since she’s not supposed to be out of her room. When in the bushes, she overhears that Victor Dashkov (from the first book) has not been sentenced for his crimes and might even be set free. Rose is angered by the news; she and everyone else knows the truth and she thinks he should be imprisoned forever.
When Alberta leaves, Rose asks Dimitri if Lissa and he are going to the trial as well, and Dimitri says no. But to make Rose’s life even more complicated, when she walks back to her dorm, she sees a figure off to the distance, and the figure she makes out to be her dead friend, Mason.
Though Rose is mad at this fact she is also eager and excited about the day. All the soon-to-be guardians were about to be assigned a Moroi, a race of good vampires, as opposed to strigoi, or bad vampiers, to guard and protect for the next six weeks, and Rose knows that that mean six weeks with Lissa.
Rose meets Eddie, who has taken control of protecting her after the friend Mason’s tragic death. They go in and sit, but both Eddie and Rose are shocked frozen when Eddie is assigned to guard Lissa, a moroi and Rose is assigned to who else but Christian. Rose finds Dimitri and Alberta after the assembly and complains, but they explain that it’s just to train her to be able to protect a Moroi who she doesn’t have a bond with.
Though Rose is outraged she agrees to the challenge. While on duty protecting Christian, a teacher pops out and attacks and even though Rose is ready, she was not prepared for what was to happen. In the middle of the attack Rose sees Masons’ figure again. While dazed, the teacher strikes down the two Moroi behind Rose. The teacher calls Rose out.
As days pass, Rose decides to tell Lissa about her once loving uncle, Victor. Both Christian and Lissa are outraged. Adrian tells Rose that he might be able to get them to go to the trial. Rose doesn’t think that he could do it, so she begs Dimitri to get them in, and, if not both of them then, just Lissa.
Lissa comes to Rose a few days later and tells her they get to go. Rose gets packed and heads to the plane. On the plane she thanks Dimitri for getting them in, but Dimitri says he didn’t do it. Adrian admits that he did it.
While the plane takes off, Rose gets the worst headache ever and sees visions.
Victor is found guilty. After the trial, the queen asks Lissa to go to college there and Lissa says that she’ll think about it. As Lissa leaves, the queen asks her to send Rose in. When Rose walks in she notices the queen doesn’t look happy like she did when Lissa was there. The queen tells Rose to stay away from Adrian and that she has plans to marry Lissa to him. Rose tells the queen that Christian and Lissa won't be broken up easily and that Lissa doesn’t even like Adrian like that.
When they all got on the plane going back to the Academy, Rose’s headache comes back. The flight attendant tells them that they have to land the plane in a different town because the Academy is having a snow storm. When the plane lands, the real drama begins. All the things Rose was seeing become crystal clear. She sees Mason, Lissa’s parents, brother and other people, all of whom are dead. Though they don’t talk, Rose can’t hear or see anything but the ghosts. She starts screaming for them to go away and then faints.
When she wakes up she’s in the infirmary. Dimitri and Alberta ask for the truth and not the lies she has been telling. Rose tells them about the ghosts that she has seen. They all agree that it is stress and a reaction from seeing her best friend die right before her eyes. The doctor orders Rose to cut down her hours of looking after Christian and to go to see a counselor
What exactly are these ghosts trying to tell Rose? What does Adrian mean when he says that the darkness in Lissa’s aura jumps to Rose’s? Why is Rose always so depressed and mad lately? What are Jesse and his friends up to? And what will happen with Rose and Dimitri? You have to read this book to find out!
I’d have to say that this is the best Vampire Academy book so far. I feel so bad for Rose having to go though all this pain. I can’t wait for the next book because the ending in this book is a BIG cliff hanger that just makes you feel the need to know more.
There are indeed at least two more books in the series due. The bad news is that they won’t come out until 2009 and 2010. I guess we’ll just have to sit back and wait anxiously for them.
So if you have read the other two books in the series you must read this one. It will make you want the next one right when you finish.