Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: November 13, 2008
Pages: 443, Paperback
Goodreads Rating: 4.44 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
This book was definitely my favorite book in the Vampire Academy series so far. (I know, I'm behind - this series is already complete - still, I'm actually happy about that because it means that I don't have to WAIT to find out what happens next!)
In this book, the relationships between all of the major characters are tested. When Rose starts seeing ghosts, she is faced with the idea that she might be losing her mind and she has to decide who she can truly trust to confide in. Of course, in typical Rose fashion, she first determines that she can't talk to anyone about the strange things that are happening to her (this is one of my few issues with the book - it makes no sense to me that she doesn't confide in Lissa or Dimitri sooner, but it does seem to be the way that Rose consistently operates). Still, she eventually can't hide the darkness that surrounds her - and that's when the story gets really interesting. Rose starts to investigate her own feelings and beliefs and determine whether she is truly living the life that she is meant to (or wants to live). The book jacket cover (at least the cover of the book that I read) says that Rose will have to choose between Dimitri and Lissa. She did, ultimately, have to make that decision, but it wasn't forced on her in the way that I was expecting. To Mead's credit, the mysteries in the book weren't all tied up easily or in the most obvious ways. Everything was foreshadowed nicely and I did figure out some things before the characters did, but I still found myself enjoying the ride. And the ending definitely caught me by surprise.