Shadow Kiss: A Vampire Academy Novel – Richelle Mead

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The heat is on. Rose is entering the final stages of her guardian training and before she can graduate into a fully qualified guardian, she is required to undergo six weeks of field experience first. After spending two years of her life guarding Lissa from real attacks, Rose thinks that the field experience will be a piece of cake. But the Academy throws her a curve ball and assigns her to guard Christian – Lissa’s boyfriend and the very same Christian that Rose doesn’t exactly like. Rose finds herself suddenly confronted with a whole stack of new challenges that have absolutely nothing to do with guarding and protecting the life of a royal.

As if spending six days a week with Christian isn’t enough drama for Rose to deal with, something weird is going on with her. She’s been seeing Mason, like really seeing him, and she thinks that maybe she’s going a little crazy. But Mason died, she saw him slip away with her own two eyes. So what, or who, is she seeing now? Ghosts aren’t real, right? Maybe not, but maybe they are… Rose desperately wants to talk to someone about ghost-Mason, or whatever it is that she is seeing, but she knows that sharing her story would lead to no good. No good at all.

Then there is Dimitri. Even though she’s tried, Rose just can’t shake her feelings for him. How could she, when he’s everything she’s ever wanted? How many girls can say they found their dream guy, their soul mate, during their adolescence? Not too many, I would assume. Rose however, has found her soul mate, it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out – she just can’t have him. It’s a cruel twist of fate, but soul mates or not, Dimitri and Rose know that guardian/guardian relationships are strictly forbidden. Will that be enough to keep them away from each other, or can love really conquer all? Loving Dimitri is the scariest thing in Rose’s life, and she knows that if anyone found out, both their lives could be ruined forever. Rose and Dimitri face some very interesting challenges indeed. Will they walk away from their guardian destiny to be with each other, or will they continue to deny themselves, deny each other?

Just when Rose thinks that her life couldn’t possibly get anymore complicated, the Strigoi launch a surprise attack on the Academy and suddenly everyone Rose ever cared about is unsafe. This time, the Strigoi fight dirtier than ever before and take something of Rose’s that will change her life forever.

“I ran. I didn’t look back. I didn’t ask what he was going to do because I already knew. He was going to stop as many Strigoi as he could so that I could get help. And a moment later I heard grunts and hits that told me he’d found another. For only a heartbeat, I let myself worry about him. If he died, I was certain I would too.”

Prepare yourself for a monstrous cliffhanger ending that will leave you gasping for breath.

Rose learns a lot in this installment and watching her develop as a person is a humbling experience. In all the loss, through all her trials, Rose never loses sight of who she is, or what she stands for. She is stubborn and fierce but she’s also selfless and loyal – qualities that are a rarity in today’s society.

Richelle Mead has outdone herself with this installment. Fabulously written, full of action and nail-biting suspense, Shadow Kiss is an unputdownable read.

Rating:[rating:5]

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