Well, all the frustration I went through with Rose in Frostbite was totally worth it to be able to get to this book. Everything feel into place and Shadow Kiss is easily the best of the first three Vampire Academy books, even as good as the first two were. Now I even understand WHY Rose can be so frustratingly hot-headed and overreact about so many things. And all the same, I love her character, which is perhaps why I had a tendency to get frustrated when she wouldn't behave the way I wanted her to.In addition to all of that, this book was action-packed, almost from the beginning. Mead has written a breathtaking story that will keep you turning the pages until you reach the end. And in the middle of all the action, we see that Rose's romance with Dimitri may finally be heading somewhere, for a change. Lissa also works with Adrian as the two of them try to develop their "spirit" powers, causing Christian (Lissa's boyfriend) some angst, but also bringing them to new levels of importance. In fact, we see more Moroi, in general, begin developing and using their powers more, and by the end it certainly comes in handy.But above all, the culminating battle against the Strigoi is heart-pounding and completely gripping. And while I had already realized what part of the outcome would be, it was another thing altogether to actually see it unfold. Part of me wished it could have turned out differently, but if it had, the story just wouldn't be the same. All I can say is that I cannot wait to read Blood Promise when it is out in August. Thank goodness I have so many other books to keep me occupied until then!