Shadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel Review – See VA come to life

January 22, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Shadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel Review – See VA come to lifeShadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel #3
Published by Penguin Australia on January 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Genres: Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Young Adult
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What if following her heart means Rose could lose her best friend forever?

A strange darkness begins to grow in Rose's mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy's iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between love, life, and the two people who matter the most . . . but will her choice mean that only one can survive?

If Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry weren’t the Rose and Lissa you expected, the graphic novel is the next best thing – provided you’ve read the novels already.

The VA graphic novel illustrations are spot on with accurate depictions of the characters as per the novel’s description. Rose is curvy, sexy and fiesty, and Lissa is regal, beautiful and demure. Illustrations are delivered in a bright, colourful format with a serious art style that isn’t too cartoony.

If you haven’t read the series yet, you’d find the graphic novels to be difficult to follow without reading Rose’s perspective on the happenings of St Vladimir Academy. The selection of dialogue was more focused on moving the plot along instead of offering the characters’ thoughts, so it may seem to jump around quite a bit. Much has been truncated in this graphic novel, which seems to be delivered more as a fan service than attracting new readers to the series.

It’s been a few years since I read this series but I remember Shadow Kiss to be the most dramatic of the lot, and the graphic novel bought back the key moments perfectly. Much of what the characters are experiencing is delivered well through their facial expressions, actions and background images, and surprisingly even that hot bedroom scene with our favourite couple is dedicated to a full colour page.

I did have trouble remember who some of the side characters were though, especially when they popped up without an introduction and were only given brief dialogues. It’s clear the writer of the novel expects the reader to have followed the graphic novels from the start.

The VA graphic novels are the perfect way to experience an illustrated version of the series with accurate depictions of the characters and their actions. The art style and dialogue captures the mood of VA perfectly, a witty vampire story set in an Academy with a fiesty dhampir at its core. Although slightly difficult to follow, it’s worth seeing the scenes and characters come to life in this beautiful format.

Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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34 responses to “Shadow Kiss: The Graphic Novel Review – See VA come to life

  1. I've never read a graphic novel, but this one looks pretty good. Most of the books we read, we probably have specific images of the characters in mind, must be surreal to see them come to life in comic book form. Great review Jeann. Might check this one out.
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  2. I haven't read any VA graphic novels despite being a huge fan of the series but your review kind of makes me want to read it. I am not the least bit interested in watching the movie because I am pretty sure they'll ruin it. I've heard some people say that the trailer makes it look like some version of mean girls. :/

    Great Review, Jeann! 🙂

    • Yes, I think you will love the graphic novels especially if you're a big fan! Lol I kind of know what you mean about the movie, hope they don't ruin it because it's totally different to what we expected. All I know is I'm glad they're not going the Twilight route. Thanks Rashika!

  3. LOL! Thanks for reminding me I need to read this series as soon as possible (especially with the movie in the works). I've read so much love for Richelle Mead, and I did like her Age of X series, so I bought the first book of this one and didn't like the writing much :/ Then again Mead was younger here, and I do hear it gets better so I'll have to read it soon so I can read this one without being confused. I just love comics~

    • Hmmm, yes this one is a very young sort of book but it evolves over the course of the series. Age of X was very different to her other stuff, I'm not a fan of that one. But I really enjoyed her Georgina Kincaid series, one of my favourite PNRs 🙂

  4. I was actually a little disappointed when I watched the VA trailer – hopefully the movie would be better. Like you, I read the books a few years ago. Thanks for sharing how much you enjoyed reading the graphic novel – I've been hesitant to look these ones up but now that I know the mood of VA is captured in the illustration, I think I'll have to get them. 😀
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  5. I still have to read the original VA series so I can catch myself up for the upcoming movie, but I'm not sure if I want to watch the movie just yet anyway. However, I'm glad that you really enjoyed this graphic novel, I've also heard that Shadow Kiss is the most dramatic book out of all the VA novel so yay for recreating that feeling in illustrations. Fantastic review, Jeann! <33
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    • Yes, Shadow Kiss was the most dramatic book and I'm glad this one bought it all back perfectly! I hope you do continue to read the VA series, it is pretty awesome plus you'll get to see what all the hype is about, especially with the movie. Thanks Eileen!

  6. I think Shadow Kiss was always my favorite book of the VA series. I haven't read the last book of that series yet, because I'm so much on Team Adrian that it hurts. But, I will have to get to it eventually, haha. I'm not really looking forward to the movie, but I may just see if I can pick up the graphic novel series; it'll be the next best thing 🙂

    • I know, mind blown when I read the book even the end left things unexpected! I can't believe you haven't read the last book yet! Read it now, and then read Bloodlines and you'll get your Adrian fix, I promise.

  7. I haven't touched this series yet so I might need to start with the novel (which really is boring for me) before I delve into this one, but I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels. I have City of Bones, and I did not finish that one. Great review, Jeann, as usual!

    • Ah, sad to hear the novel was boring for you, especially when there's so much hype about them. I've only read the first 3 for City of Bones but have the rest on my shelf. Thanks Dre!

  8. Excellent review, Jeann! I am not really into graphic novels (I haven't even read one) but this review makes me want to try reading one. I love the VA series so I am not really worried about not the following the story.

    It's good that the illustrators really made a fantastic job in painting the cast of characters really well. Sometimes, I really have a hard time picturing how the book characters really looks like so illustrations would certainly help. I don't really trust the movie equivalent of the said characters because sometimes, the film makers would choose actors and actresses that do not fit the role. And that sort of destroys the character images in my head.
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    • Oh graphic novels are so much fun, and the advantage is they are quick, visual reads too! I think you're right, sometimes the movie just wasn't what we expected in our head but I'm glad the graphic novel has stayed true to the series.

  9. Oh Jeann, what an awesome review! You may just have sold me on a graphic novel, and that's quite a feat! Usually, I have such vivid views of the characters and their surroundings in my head that a movie can never do them justice – but if the characters look the way they were described in the books, that's a huge plus.

    And I think I'll be OK with the story and dialogs, VA is one of my favorite series, and even if it's been a whiles since I read Shadow Kiss, I think I'll be able to follow everything.

    Have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂

    • Yay, glad to hear that VA is one of your favourite series too! Shadow Kiss was intense and this novel delivered it powerfully. Especially with the pictures and choice dialogue to go with it. I know what you mean about a movie not being what you expected and I do think graphic novels can fill the gap nicely. You too Lexxie!