3rd book in the Vampire Academy series
For Rose Hathaway, everything seems out of kilter. Ever since she made her first Strigoi kills, a dark shadow has been creeping over her. Looming in the background, too, is another realization: If she follows her forbidden love for guardian Dimitri Belikov, she might lose her best friend forever. And these sleep-shaking worries couldn't have come at a worse time. The immortal unloving are prowling everywhere, famished for vengeance against her.
HOLY CRAP. I literally just finished this book less than 10 minutes ago & that is my reaction. I immediately jumped on here to write this review because I needed to jot down my thoughts pronto! Richelle Mead has a knack for writing books that build up to phenomenal climaxes. And the best part: there's still 3 more books to read in this series! The build in this book was a bit slower for me than in the previous two, but WOW did it pack a punch at the end! I promise to write this review as spoiler free as possible. But keep in mind, if you have not read these books yet - some of this may be spoiler-ish for you? But I will do my best to leave out the "oh my god!" moments.
Shadow Kiss begins after the tragedies that occurred at the end of Frostbite. Having destroyed the Strigoi, Rose has been marked with a molnija which symbolizes her courage & bravery. Something of which is very rare for a guardian-in-training to receive. The end of her time at the Academy is coming to a close, but the most important task lies before her - the field experience test. Each novice (guardian-to-be) is placed with a Moroi classmate to watch over 24/7 while staged strigoi attacks may occur on campus. Rose assumes this test will be easy, since she'll be paired with Lissa - her best friend she's connected with through their bond & will ultimately be Lissa's guardian when they graduate. However, don't expect Richelle Mead to write anything predictable! Because a curve ball is thrown at us...
As the story continues, so do the questions. Rose is starting to wonder if becoming a Guardian is what she's meant for. It is something she has been told her entire life, so she doesn't know anything different. However, her testament to this omen begins to falter, and this is when we start to see the more vulnerable side of Rose. She is learning her place in the bond shared between her & Lissa, as well. Rose begins to see the ugly side of what being "shadow kissed" really means. Her future begins to look very uncertain to her.
One thing remains constant though. Dimitri. Their feelings begin to intensify (& without giving too much away - lets just say, if you were waiting for an epic moment - this book brings it!). We start to see that this romance is not some school girl crush. It has a lot of depth, and is definitely two-sided. I loved seeing the tenderness of Dimitri through Rose's eyes. And I really enjoyed seeing Rose let down her guard a little & allow Dimitri to see inside. However, they must continue to keep their relationship in secrets, but not for long because plans are being made & ideas are being considered, on both their futures.
The build up to the end of this book was amazing. I will not write about the facts that occurred because I do not want to spoil it for anyone who has not read this series yet. But let me just say - my jaw is STILL on the table! I am shocked & heartbroken.. yet determined & willed. Richelle Mead closed this book with so much hanging from the edge. I am so, so grateful for having the next few books in the series. I seriously do not know what I'd do if I had to wait for the next one! If this little insight to the ending of this book doesn't make you jump up & grab this book, then I don't know what will! It's that good. Look out for Blood Promise. The saga of Rose, Lissa, & Dimitri continues.... or does it?