Just finished reading SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead and boy am I SO glad I waited to read it until the fourth book was out. Let me tell you, it has one of those endings that leaves you screaming for more.
Actually, I think my reaction was something like this:
*Jen reading, knowing the pages are dwindling...two more pages...*aaargh*...one page...oh shiite, only a paragraph..last sentence...*
Yes, I am a'clamoring for more. In fact, did I not have the fourth novel in my hot little hands, I might've staked out Mead's front yard, refusing to leave until she let me peer over her shoulder while she wrote it. I think all of us should be extremely thankful this is NOT the situation. I do indeed have the book, and I will not go all stalker on anyone. Small miracle.
That said, I have no idea if I should read the next book because I have a gut feeling my reaction to the end of book 4 will only be...more intense. (g)
Okay -- I haven't reviewed any of the books in this series, so let me give you a quick overview of Mead's world.
Rose Hathaway is what's known as a dhamphir. A half-human, half-vampire. This makeup leaves her stronger and more resilient than full-vampires, the Moroi. Because of this difference, dhamphirs pretty much serve two purposes in life. They either go into intense training and become guardians to the physically inferior Moroi, or they become...hmmm, how shall we put this? Blood whores. *heh* Because the ONLY way for Moroi to reproduce is to do it with a dhamphir. (Is this twisted or what?) Dhamphir's are basically the second class citizens of the vampire world. Their motto: They come first. Meaning the Moroi.
But there are evil forces also at work in this world! The Stirgoi. Stirgoi are the BAD vampires. They're sort of a combination of the vampires we all love to lust after, and brainless zombies intent on eating brains. Only they want blood. They're evil, destructive, and hell-bent on taking out all the Moroi. Hence the need for Guardians (the trained arse-kicking dhampirs).
The Moroi DO have one advantage, tho. Magic. Only problem is that they've sort of lost it over the years. And those in power believe all the fighting should be left up to the Guardians.
This is a problem for Lissa Dragomir, who has the power of spirit. Rose and Lissa grew up together, and when in a tragic car accident that wiped out Lissa's entire family, it was Rose she came to the rescue of, saving her with her magic and creating a link between them known as being Shadow Kissed. You with me?
This shadow kiss allows Rose to feel Lissa's emotions--to even "become" her in order to see through her eyes, etc. This link is very strong, and of course, makes Rose the perfect guardian-in-training to protect Lissa. They attend the St. Vladimir's Academy -- a school for vamps and training dhamphirs.
They get into a lot of trouble. They chase after a lot of boys. Most importantly, they, or rather, Rose, chases Dmitri, the guardian assigned to train her for her future guardian role. Still with me?
MAYHEM ENSUES. LOTS OF MAYHEM.
I'm not going to go into the specifics about THIS book. Way too much to explain, and I'd spoil everything for you. What I will say is this:
YOU. NEED. TO. READ. THESE. BOOKS.
Book 1: VAMPIRE ACADEMY
Book 2: FROSTBITE
Book 3: SHADOW KISS
Book 4: BLOOD PROMISE (just released this year)
Book 5: SPIRIT BOUND (Slated to drop May 2010)
Book 6: TBA (sob--I believe it's the final one -- Slated to drop 2010)
If you've read BTPM and enjoyed it -- get these books. They will show what a truly talentless hack I am. But that's okay.