Thursday, 2 January 2014

Shadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel - Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel
Richelle Mead, Emma Vieceli & Leigh Dragoon
Grade: YA
Rating: 4/5 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? (Description from Goodreads)

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I can't talk about this graphic novel without first talking about the moment I got it. A surprise package in the mail, ripping open the cardboard casing and running around the house screaming with excitement. I can't say it was for the graphic novel itself - not being a bit reader of GNs - but if any book could push me into them, it'd be Shadow Kiss. The best Vampire Academy book ever! I think that might be the real reason Penguin Teen Australia sent me a copy - they know how much I love this series, and it was the book that really started the Australian VA obsession! (Shadow Kiss book club of '09)

What I love most about this novel is that it's short and sharp, and allows the reader to experience the great story with visual aids. Sure, it's a condensed version of the story. You don't have every line written by Richelle, especially because the story is adapted by the amazing Leigh Dragoon, but you do get the over all feel of the story and having Emma Vieceli's skilful drawings brought the story to life in a whole new way for me. I've flicked through the first Vampire Academy graphic novel, but I don't own the previous two - so getting to read the entire GN from start to finish was a whole new experience for me. I'll admit I flicked to my favourite scenes first, because it's hard not to want to see how they've been represented in this edition, but I really enjoyed going back and just reading straight through.

I had a few issues wrapping my head around the set-up for the graphic novel. Not being used to the way the boxes and bubbles flow onto each other, I had a few moments where I was reading them out of order and missing speech boxes that were tucked around the corner. But I got the hang of it, and it all flowed really well. I did miss Richelle's original text. As such a big fan of the series, I sort of wanted every word and scene to be included. So much of the series is said and done internally, with Rose's thinking taking over; so I missed that part of it. But the beauty of a graphic novel is its ability to condense a story to its main parts.

I think this was a fabulous next step for the series. I know graphic novels have started to pick up in the YA scene, for the big stories, but I love that it gives reluctant readers, graphic novel fans and just fans of the series another chance to explore one of my favourite YA series.

Very impressed. And I'll definitely have to get my hands on the first two in the graphic novel series.

4/5 stars

(Also posted on Goodreads)

1 comment:

  1. I just put the reserve in for this at work. I am not a fan of graphic novels either, but I have read the other two for VA and I liked both of them so I look forward to this one too.