If I were to rate this book exclusively in terms of simple and pure enjoyment, I would give it 4 or 5 stars. Because I have to admit it: I couldn't put in down. I was so into it I always found myself needing to read the following chapter immediately. But, at the same time, I have to be honest: it wasn't the best book in the series. As much as I loved the events that take place in it (let's say there were 3 main events), the first of them, as exciting as it was, left me with a voice in my head telling me it was just TOO easy. Seriously, I know Rose is the badassest badass ever and Lissa has super compulsion powers, but I was expecting much more from a High-High-security prison.
I actually liked how Dimitri was turned back by Lissa, yet I believe it happened too fast. It should had taken more time from Lissa to master, if not the charming of the stake, the act of staking. One day she couldn't even stake a pillow, and the next she was ready to stake a powerful Strigoi in the middle of flames. Besides, while I do think Dimitri's post-Strigoi guilt and trauma makes sense and feels realistic, after a couple of chapters I found all the drama being too much. I felt like the author just wanted to avoid getting Dimitri and Rose back together before the last book.
What I did love was the unexpected turn of things nearby the end. It makes me doubt between giving the book its fourth star or keeping them at three. However, at the same time, I think Rose is too great of a character to be spending Adrian's money like he was her own personal trust fund, again. I was ok with Adrian funding her trip to Russia, but Rose still using his money carelessly after getting back and starting to formally date him didn't feel right.
So, in the end, it's 3.5 stars.