Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Book Review - Shadow Kiss

Shadow Kiss
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #3
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 26 May 2009
Publishers: Razorbill (Penguin)
No. Pages: 464
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all.. might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line - and choose between the two people she loves most.

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

Well well well, wasn't Shadow Kiss an interesting read. I know what you're all thinking; 'ohmygollygosh did your heart break into a million pieces Amanda, did it? Did it?! DID IT?!' Erm, no, my heart didn't break, I didn't cry, I wasn't as distressed as I probably should have been and to be blunt, I wasn't impressed, with the entire read. During the time I read Shadow Kiss, I admit, I was in a complicated place, I was ill with an unidentified sickness, I was easily irritated and angered and was generally not in the most fantastic of places to be in, so my feelings and experience could be a reflection of that moment, but I cannot review this book without - lets just say things could get snarky and ranty and I might not be complimentary. Oh, and there will be spoilers, so don't read this review if you haven't read the novel.

Let me start by saying you all lied to me. You told me this book would be better than the previous and it was far by better. It was a whole different book from a completely different series. Honestly, you think I'm kidding? I spent the first 300 pages of the novel bored out of my brains, being irritated with the most trivial of areas and finding absolutely nothing entertaining other than actually realising that Adrian is much more than a flirtatious drunk and falling in love with Christian. I'm an open minded person, I understand that sometimes, novels have to set the scene, stage work for the next few installments, but there was nothing happening in this novel whatsoever. There were very few actions scenes, and I mean scenes were people were actually doing anything at all, it was all the same old, 'lets follow Christian here and make sure he doesn't burn that meatloaf' or 'lets keep lying to my best friend about being madly in love with my tutor', I mean honestly, Mead is a better author than that, Vampire Academy and Frostbite are proof of that, but I really have no idea what happened. It was dry, it was slow, I wasn't impressed, connected, or interested in any of the book at all and if it wasn't for the fact that Stacie would bury me alive and I already had the next two installments out of the library, I might have put it down forever.

I had issues with some characters as well as the invisible plot and pacing. Queen Tatiana, must you be such an old hag? She was so judgemental, convinced of herself and generally made me want to throttle her - receiving the news that she gets killed off is a joy to my ears, I can't wait to see her out of this series. Dimitri - er, in the kindest of manners, what on earth happened to you? He lost his darkness, his broodiness, his, well, he lost his appeal the moment he and Rose gave into temptation. There's definitely something about liking what you can't have and he just became insignificant and unimpressive. *gets killed my the fangirls* I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Lissa, oh where the hell do I start with her? She's self-centred around her needs, about her future, about her feelings, about her choices and doesn't consider how all of the above could affect other people. She's just- I really wouldn't have minded pushing her down a flight of stairs and seeing how much her 'spirit' bloody helps her then to be honest. However, on a brighter note, I did still very much enjoy Rose's character. She was the constant for me in this novel, when things were dry and non moving, her character, her development, he struggles with dealing about the Mason scenerio, her developing friendship with Adrian and Christian, her maturity and her growth as both a person and a protector was just really wonderful to see. It was great to see the expectations that were placed on her after Frostbite and it was a great lesson in how expectations really shouldn't be put on people after such a tragic turn of events, and her grief, her emotions and her making through the other side was really one of the highlights of this novel.

I did like a good amount of this novel; I enjoyed the actual change in Rose as a guardian and how she learnt just how difficult it was without her Shadow Kiss bond, I really liked the extra twists and relations between Lissa and Rose and Vladimir and Anna and I actually quite enjoyed the ending - well, the heartbreaking ending anyway - there were so many little hints, little pre-plans that really highlighted and showed where she was going and to be honest, I wasn't upset, I wasn't distressed. Did it surprise me? A little. Did it cut my feelings. No. Shadow Kiss was no-where near the standard that Vampire Academy was, and it really made me wonder how this series could redeem itself, but in all honesty, if any author could pick a series up and show me just how wrong I am, it'd be Richelle Mead. I really hope things improve from here on out, I really really do..

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