REVIEW: ‘Shadow Kiss’ by Richelle Mead

Paperback: 448 pages

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: November 13, 2008

Series: Vampire Academy

WHAT IF FOLLOWING HER HEART MEANS ROSE COULD LOSE HER BEST FRIEND FOREVER?

“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?”

My Thoughts

As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t like talking about what happens in a novel during my review cause I don’t want to spoil the fun for other readers. I remember that I DEVOURED the whole Vampire Academy series within 6-7 days and as practically all books, I had parts I loved and parts I didn’t like quite so much.

I loved that Rose’s character developed a lot in this installment and she shows us her more softer and vulnerable sides. The events that happened in the first two books are starting to take their toll on our ‘little Dhampir’ and she needs help from the two people she cares about most, Lissa and Dimitri. Rose never loses sight of who she is or what she stands for though! Each book shows us another side of hers and it gives us the same experience as getting to know another living being.

The third book in the series is my second favorite from the whole Vampire Academy saga with the last one, ‘The Last Sacrifice’, picking up the number one spot! Why isn’t this book better than the last one? Well, it depends on what you like and how you see everything. I personally like happy endings and with the regret of spoiling your fun, the ending of this book disappointed me a lot. Maybe not exactly disappointment, but I was literally shocked that Richelle Mead could do such a thing!!!

It gets better during the next few books, but I would have probably written just four books instead of six. VA fans will probably want to choke me, but I would have changed the ending in book #3 and did something similar to ‘Last Sacrifice’ in book #4. If you haven’t read any of the books from the series, then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. All I can tell you is: read the whole series, cause it’s worth it!

As a reviewer I also have to talk about the parts I disliked and even though some people may not always agree with me, I hope there will be no hard feelings. Just to make myself clear: I am not saying this is a bad book, on the contrary, it’s an amazing novel and I would recommend it to anyone who asked me if they should read it. I personally couldn’t put the book down and read the whole series twice.

 So all in all, I think Richelle Mead has outdone herself with this book and it’s far better than the first two books in the series. I kept thinking all day what rating I should give this book and I really have to stomp on my foot and go over my pride and give it a 5-star rating! Read it, it’s worth it!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ – 5 hearts!

Additional Info
Follow Richelle Mead on Twitter (@RichelleMead) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/richellemeadfanpage) to hear all the latest news from Richelle herself.

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REVIEW: ‘Frostbite’ by Richelle Mead

Paperback: 336 pages

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: April 10, 2008

Series: Vampire Academy

WHEN LOVE AND JEALOUSY COLLIDE ON THE SLOPES, WINTER BREAK TURN DEADLY…

“Rose has serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor, Dimitri, has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian.
Then a nearby Strigoi attack puts St. Vladimir’s on high alert, and the Academy whisks its students away on a mandatory holiday ski trip. But the glittering winter landscape and posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose – and her heart – are in more danger than she ever could have imagined…”

My opinion

‘Frostbite’ is the second book in the Vampire Academy series and with it, Rose’s situation gets more complicated.  The first books of a series always start slower cause introductions have to be made and you have to get the feeling of the story world you are going to experience. The sequel is always more action-packed and that is also the case with ‘Frostbite’. I love how Richelle Mead managed to introduce new characters like Tasha and Adrian and increase the love tension between Rose and Dimitri. Lissa at least gets a break and I find her relationship with Christian totally adorable. Because being a vampire is not only about falling in love with guys you shouldn’t, we also have some baddies showing their ugly faces, but alas, what would a book be without its own personal baddies?

I always find myself laughing at all the funny lines Rose manages to deliver and I can certainly imagine myself when she’s near Dimitri…argh, men are sometimes so annoying!! (no offence ^.^)
You could never mistake a line from Rose with a line from any other character from this book simply because Rose has such a strong voice that no one would be able to imitate her good enough.
All in all, it’s a good book, of course, and the ending really makes you want to read the next book. It sort of leaves your mouth dry, but in a good kind of way, cause it leaves you thirsty for more and that’s what a good author has to do!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥½ – 4.5 hearts!

Additional Info

Follow Richelle Mead on Twitter (@RichelleMead) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/richellemeadfanpage) to hear all the latest news from Richelle herself.

REVIEW: ‘Vampire Academy’ by Richelle Mead

Paperback: 336 pages

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 16, 2007

Series: Vampire Academy

ONLY A TRUE BEST FRIEND CAN PROTECT YOU FROM YOUR IMMORTAL ENEMIES…

“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.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by. Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…”

Other short reviews

“Unique and mesmerizing…Readers will bite on this series for some time to come” – VOYA
“Absorbing…” – Booklist
“Truly engaging…” – SLJ
“The obvious heir to the Twilight throne” – The Daily Beast

 My opinion

I got this book as a birthday present from a really good friend of mine from the university I attend (thank you Sabine) and I was so excited when I read the description you can also read above.
Right from the beginning, the book hooks you up and I remember being really excited when Dimitri, a.k.a the Russian God, captured Lissa and Rose. I could already form plots inside my head and I can assure you that if you buy this book you will not be disappointed. You don’t get bored at the beginning and it keeps you guessing during the whole book. I found it really difficult to figure out who the baddie was and it took me by surprise when it was finally revealed.
If I love a book, I usually need about 7 to 8 hours to finish it. This book was so good that I had to force myself to stop reading cause I wanted to have the other 5 parts ready and waiting.

The best part, however, was the characters. A character driven novel is usually really good, because the characters create the world they live in and they take their own decisions that form their future. Rose Hathaway is AH-MA-ZING! There really isn’t any other word to describe her. She’s stubborn and she’s not afraid to fight for what she wants. She can be reckless and impulsive sometimes, but hey, who isn’t like that sometimes? Readers can totally identify with Rose and I also found myself enjoying and rooting for other characters as well.

This series is a must-read for all paranormal romance lovers out there. You won’t be disappointed!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥½ – 4 and a half hearts!

Additional Info

Follow Richelle Mead on Twitter (@RichelleMead) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/richellemeadfanpage) to hear all the latest news from Richelle herself.