Shadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead

January 29, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Shadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel by Richelle MeadShadow Kiss (Vampire Academy Graphic Novels #3) by Emma Vieceli, Leigh Dragoon, Richelle Mead
Published: 1st January 2014 by Penguin
Format: Paperback, 160 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Paranormal
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

What if following her heart means Rose could lose her best friend forever?

Rose Hathaway 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...

But since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling right. Something dark has begun to grow in her mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy's iron gates. And now that Lissa and Rose's sworn enemy, Victor Dashkov, is on trial for his freedom, tensions in the Moroi world are higher than ever.

Lying to Lissa about Dimitri is one thing, but suddenly there's way more than friendship at stake. The immortal undead are on the prowl, and they want vengeance for the lives that 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?

Shadow Kiss is the third graphic novel adaptation of Vampire Academy, and follows the gang as they get back to school after winter break. The books are getting darker and the stakes (ha!) are higher.

As usual, I absolutely love Vieceli’s illustrations, they have a depth to them that never fails to awe me. The images are brilliant and perfectly capture all the emotion in the book – and there is so much going on in this one! I think the colour palette of this book has changed from the first: there are definitely fewer light and bright colours and darker, bolder colours are more abundant. Which I think is fitting. Again I found the Strigoi a little silly – they simply don’t have the gravitas they did in the book, and their brutality isn’t fully captured in the illustrations. But perhaps the next book, featuring a certain Russian Strigoi, will convey how horrifying the creatures are.

I can’t review Shadow Kiss without mentioning the cabin scene. It’s handled tastefully, but is still intensely emotional and carries the weight of the original. The end of the novel is similarly raw and doesn’t hold back.

Because Shadow Kiss is my favourite of all the Vampire Academy novels, I have to admit that I felt a little weird reading the graphic novel – which is necessarily a condensed version. Although Dragoon has again masterfully adapted the full-length novel into this new format, I wanted to read everything Richelle had originally written. Which probably just means that a VA re-read is on the cards.

Another brilliant instalment in the series of Vampire Academy graphic novels, Shadow Kiss brings darkness and action in abundance and is sure to impress. Just like at the end of the original Shadow Kiss novel, I’m left desperate for the next one, Blood Promise!

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