Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) Graphic Novel
Richelle Mead (creator), Leigh Dragoon (adapter) & Emma Vieceli (illustrator)
Penguin Books Aus
Copy courtesy of the publisher
I’m not much a reader of graphic novels – in fact until last year I’d never read one. I thrive on words and like to paint my own picture in my head what the characters look like. Graphic novels always seemed like they’d be far too quick for me to bother with. And although they are quick, since I waded in last year, I’ve come to really appreciate their qualities. It’s nice to have a visual, especially for some scenes.
Shadow Kiss is the third novel of six in the Vampire Academy series and the third to be adapted into a graphic novel. I read the first two last year, Vampire Academy and Frostbite after I read the series in its entirety because I was desperate for more and my local library had them both. Vampire Academy was only the second graphic novel I’ve ever read and although the illustrations aren’t exactly the style I prefer, I think that they’re very well done. Emma Vieceli does an awful lot of capture not just the physical appearance of the various characters in this series, but also their personality. As I mentioned, there are very few words that make it from the book to the graphic novel. The pictures have to tell the story – the bonds between characters or the animosity. They have to showcase a range of emotions and put the extra words the reader needs into their head.
Shadow Kiss is probably my favourite book of the Vampire Academy series – what’s not to like? Rose is Rose. She’s feisty and fun and she’s not afraid to seriously get up in anyone’s business. That’s made pretty obvious when she doesn’t receive Lissa as her charge for the field experience exercise that is part of their training to become guardians. She’s forced to work with Christian, Lissa’s boyfriend which makes things super interesting. Things are also hotting up with Dimitri, her instructor who is seven years older than her and Rose thinks she might be going insane when she begins seeing the ghost of someone dear to her who recently died violently, a death that she’s still really dealing with. Shadow Kiss is the book where stuff happens. Lots of stuff.
Good stuff and bad stuff. For me, it’s the book that defines the series, the one where Rose’s divide between love and loyalty has never been more important. All her life she’s been raised to do one thing, to be one thing, to give her life for that of Lissa or any other Moroi. But what happens in this book changes everything for her and she realises that first, before she can do that and be good at it, she must first do something else. Rose was always enjoyable to read in the first two books (and most of this one) but I think she kind of comes into her own here. She matures a lot at the end of this book, given what she sees. There is so much that happens here that it’s impossible to include it all, especially the way that all of the scenes unfold for the field experience. Some things obviously need to get cut out but this book does a pretty good job at picking out the important bits and constructing the story using them. A lot of people who read this are going to know the story very well – but if you don’t, there’s probably enough here for it not to matter so much. I did find a couple of the fight scenes a bit confusing because they unfold a little differently. But the Romitri moments are done seriously well:
For the fans out there who are obsessing over the trailer and rereading the books and counting down the days until the movie hits the big screen, this graphic novel is definitely a must have to help get you through! Richelle Mead has a great post on her blog about 10 reasons why you should buy it, not least being if no one does, they won’t adapt the fourth book, Blood Promise as a graphic novel. And I find myself really wanting to see that one in a visual format. I think it would be spectacular.
Oh yes, it would be remiss of me not to include this one as well…..
Book #1 of 2014