Zoë is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house. Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoë's brooding thoughts of her dying mother. Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before. Does Simon dare ask Zoë to help free him from this lifeless chase and its insufferable loneliness?
The 2009 reissue of the novel included two new short stories, "The Summer of Love" and "The Christmas Cat", respectively set before and after the novel's events.
The Silver Kiss contains examples of:
- Bittersweet Ending: Simon and Zoë kill Christopher, ending his reign of terror and avenging Simon's mother. However, Zoë realises she just isn't cut out to be a vampire, whilst Simon realises he cannot stomach continuing to live the way he has for centuries. He ultimately decides to commit Suicide by Sunlight, finally achieving inner peace, whilst Zoë comes to terms with her mother's death and becomes Older and Wiser.
- Character Development: From apathetic and angsty teen to... well... a less apathetic teen who has learned to "let go", in Zoë's case, thanks to having Simon around to sympathize with over the fact that they have a very close relationship with death.
- Chekhov's Gun: Zoë, we know that crucifix with the big red ribbon is fugly, but it's a really nice thing to have around, and not only for your Halloween disguise.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Remember those guys Simon stole his leather jacket from? Yes, they do show up again, in the least appropriate moment.
- Curse That Cures: Deconstructed. Zoë suggests to Simon that they could theoretically save her dying mother by turning her into a vampire. However, Simon reveals that it wouldn't properly cure Anne - it would simply prevent her from dying, leaving her in a permanent state of pain and suffering.
- Did Not Get The Guy: Zoë and Simon don't stay together in the end, on account of him choosing to die and thus free himself from his stunted existence.
- Femme Fatale: Lorraine, since she's not young enough to qualify as a Fille Fatale anymore. Either way, she flirts with Harry, Zoë's father.
- Indy Ploy: Zoë taking Christopher's teddy bear to lure him to the trap, because he stopped her too far from it.
- Interspecies Romance: A very bittersweet one between Zoë (a human) and Simon (a vampire).
- MacGuffin: Christopher's teddy bear has the dirt from his homeland that he needs to live.
- Meaningful Name: Zoë can be taken to mean life, which would bring her into contrast with Simon, and vampires in general. It can also be taken to mean eternal life, which brings her closer to them.
- Not Using The V Word: Used once and never again. As with most Vampire Fiction, they use euphemisms most of the time.
- Older than They Look: The vampires, obviously, but Christopher stands out because he's Simon's older brother.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Just like Twilight's, they sparkle... but only under the moonlight, because they become silvery with age. Otherwise, they appear to be common vampires that die with the sunlight and fear religious symbols and keep the hell away from running water. There's also the "dirt from home" issue...
- The Reveal: That baby in the old painting? Simon. And the older kid? Christopher!
- Spell My Name with an S: It's Zoë, not Zoe, not Zoey; Zoë!
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Simon spoils the whole plan to kill Christopher with Zoë's aid. It doesn't work as planned in the end, duh!
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Vampires can transform into mist and into some animals too.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Simon is not very happy with his immortality. He gets to chastise Zoë on it, when she suggests he could turn her mother into a vampire so she gets to live on in spite of her cancer.
- Wicked Stepmother: How Zoë and Lorraine view the latter's stepmother, Diane. Arguably, they're not too far off...