Home / Book Review / Book Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Book Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

This is the end of the line for me – Shadow Kiss marks the last book I’ll be reading in the Vampire Academy series.

Book Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Goodreads | Amazon | Richelle Mead’s Website

shadow kiss richelle mead

Title & Author: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3) by Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Vampires

Release Date: November 13, 2008

Series: Vampire Academy #3

Publisher: Razorbill

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.”

WARNING! This review contains spoilers for Frostbite!! Read with care!!

So, we’ve come to this. Shadow Kiss is the third book (of six) in the Vampire Academy series. And, I’m officially uninterested in finishing the books.

Let me explain…

There is this thing that sometimes happens in books with more than two sequels. It’s when there’s an enemy, bad guy, archenemies, and in every book as you think they’ve been defeated they pop up again like the literary version of Scream.

That is exactly what’s happening in Shadow Kiss. Although Rose and Lissa are dealing with different personal and academic problems, they seem to be facing the same enemy reinvented over and over.

Once a series continues to be a series of “kill the bad guy,” I immediately become bored. Add some depth!!

In defense of this novel, I will say that Rose and Lissa’s relationship definitely becomes more complicated and interesting – instead of the predictable-ness of Rose always protecting and guarding at her own risk.

Also, it’s clear that in storylines like this, the romance can’t develop too quickly because then…what is pushing the largely female audience to the end of the books? (I stop reading the Anne of Green Gables series at book 5 EVERY TIME I try to re-read it all. …Book 5 is when Anne and Gilbert get married).

So, knowing that, you can imagine what happens in Shadow Kiss. Well…I take that back. What Mead does at the end of this novel is truly shocking.

Yet, not shocking enough for me to want to continue reading the books.

Vampire Academy did not add anything new or exciting to the vampire mythology or to YA stories. I won’t deny that Mead weaves fast-paced stories filled with action and drama, but in a repetitive way that makes me push through pages to get to the meat of the story.


The brief novelty of the books has worn off. I’m frustrated that there’s nothing new that this book adds to the story – all the excitement is saved to the very end. I am definitely a rarity in my feelings – many reviewers rave about this series. If you’re looking for something new and inventive, this story is not for you. If you are hooked into the Vampire Academy world and just want to see where the story goes, read Shadow Kiss and the rest of the books at your own risk.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Lisa Schensted

    Sigh. I was worried about this. I think I’m going to give Shadow Kiss 50 more pages and then it’d donation time for the series. Womp womp.

    • I’m so glad I’m not alone. Reading the reviews on Goodreads, I started to feel crazy. Let me know what you think when it’s all over!!