Title: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy > Paranormal
Synopsis: Is Rose’s fate to kill the person she loves most? It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason’s death, Rose hasn’t been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can’t concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even “bigger” secret . . . .She’s in love with Dimitri. And this time, it’s way more than a crush. Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever…
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So here’s the thing about this series: it’s entertaining as shit. I fly through these books even though I’m not getting anything of substance out of them. I read these four hundred pages in under a day while also working long work-hours, and that’s something I don’t usually manage to do. There is no denying the fact that these books are incredibly fast paced. They are incredibly enjoyable, and in this way, they’re incredible reads.
But there’s also something not right about this series, and I’m aware of this ‘wrongness’ as I read these books. The characters are very one-dimensional. I’m not as invested in these characters’ relationships as I should be after having read three books about them. The plot isn’t sucking me in as it should. I don’t care much about the world. And the writing style is mediocre.
So if there are so many things wrong with this series, why do I continue to give all the books three and a half stars? Because even the wrongness seems to work. Richelle Mead makes it all work, and I’ll be damned if I can figure out how she does that.
Shadow Kiss is perhaps the best out of the series so far for multiple reasons: it has a much darker tone as Rose, our protagonist, seems to be losing her sanity. She’s angrier in this, she’s darker in this, and that worked to the book’s favor. However, Rose is getting cockier and cockier as the novels progress, and her arrogance has started to bother me, even though I found it endearing initially. Some of the things she says earned her a major eye-roll from my side. For example, when she wonders why anyone would want to live in Siberia when the USA is the single greatest place in the world yada yada yada. For someone who thinks she knows everything, Rose sure is ignorant as hell.
While it’s true that I’m not super invested in Rose and Dimitri’s relationship as I would like to be, I still like them together. And as usual, whenever I feel like there’s a potential love triangle brewing, I’m forced to step back and analyze each character. My analysis resulted in the following conclusion: Dimitri is boring. I like him, but he doesn’t have the extra umph I require from my characters. As for the second potential love interest, Adrian does nothing for me. Yes, he’s a little bit more interesting than Dimitri, but he’s persistent to the degree of creepiness, and I’m not about that.
I like where Lissa’s storyline is going, and I like her much more than I like Rose. I like her relationship with Christian, and I like what Mead has done with getting more Moroi involved in the action. It makes it all the more interesting, so I’m looking forward to where the story goes from there.
As for the writing style, it was average but had a certain addictive quality to it, which is why I don’t care much about its… averageness.
This series, so far, has very little substance to it. But there is no denying the fact that it is enjoyable, and I have tons of fun while reading it. And I will continue to do so with no shame whatsoever.