This is the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series. This is a series that has consistently blown me away; I just love it. This book was a good addition to the series; although I didn’t think it was as good as previous ones.
This book finds Rose in Russia on her quest to track down, and kill, Dimitri. We still see glimpses of Lissa’s day to day life through Rose’s eyes, as Rose visits her thoughts quite often throughout the book. Rose struggles with what she will do if/when she finds Dimitri. Lissa struggles with Rose’s absence and finds herself spiraling into erratic behavior with no Rose around to shoulder the darkness for her. You learn quite a bit more about what it means for Rose/Lissa to be bonded and what the effects of Rose being shadow-kissed are.
It was interesting to learn more about Dimitri. I also liked the plot that enveloped Lissa. It was refreshing to see Rose out acting on her own and having to make decisions with maturity; without Lissa constantly driving her decisions. Like Mead’s previous Vampire Academy books this book was an emotional roller-coaster; will Rose kill the love of her life Dimitri, will she join him, will Lissa make it without Rose around. The strongest point of the novel was the wonderful characters and characterization. There were ample fight scenes and those were also very well done. It was also fascinating to meet the Alchemists; a new part of the vampire society that has previously been a mystery. Unfortunately unlike the previous novels, there were a couple things that bothered me about this one.
Rose spends an awful lot of the beginning of the book wandering around and not making much progress. Gone is the hot headed, rashly decisive Rose of the previous books. She is replaced with a indecisive Rose, who questions her every decision and at times makes no progress at all towards her goals. I know that in a way this shows Rose developing a bit of maturity. At the same time though I thought some of this could’ve been omitted and the book would have been better for it. For me the first half of the book was very slow at parts and didn’t grab me with the intensity of the rest of the book. At times it seemed that this book was just working to get things set up for the next book. That bothered me a bit because usually the Vampire Academy books are flawless in there pacing.
Despite that complaint; this was a very good book. The ending was especially thrilling. The way that all the pieces came together was exquisite and makes me desperately want to read the next book. Even with the small complaint above; I read this book in a couple sittings and had trouble pulling myself away from it. Overall another good book in what has been a fabulous series.