Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Richelle Mead

Title: Blood Promise
Author: Richelle Mead (author website)
Release Date: May 18th 2010 by Penguin/Razorbill   
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 starhalf star

I don’t know how Richelle Mead’s done it, but the post-Frostbite Vampire Academy books keep getting better. Blood Promise is gripping, dark, and within its pages, it feels like VA, along with its incredible protagonist, Rose Hathaway, is growing up... and growing up ain’t easy.

From Goodreads:
The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters ... Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

SPOILER WARNING:This review contains spoilers for the last book in the series.

Roza:

The further I read into the Vampire Academy series, the more I’m convinced Rose is one the finest examples of a young adult protagonist I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. She’s strong, independent, confident, fiercely loyal, as well as straight-up fierce. She’s kind, innately good, and in possession of an inner core of blazing-hot strength. She’s never without a course of action, and certainly never lost for words, but, I mean, if she is? She’ll go down fighting.

In Blood Promise, we join Rose in a dark place. To say she’s been through a lot in the last few months would be an understatement. Mason's death, followed by Victor Dashkov's trial, followed by the Strigoi attack on St Vlad's would have enough... But then Dimitri. For the two to finally came together, only for him to be torn apart, is practically more than one person can handle (hell, it’s more than I can handle!). But Rose can't let the man she loved carry on as he is—he never would have wanted that—so she's travelling through Russia, searching for him, so she can drive a stake through his heart.

It's heartbreaking watching Rose carry out this final task for Dimitri. Not only is she grieving his loss with a crushing intensity, but she's missing Lissa, and dealing with an isolation she's never really experienced before. For me, Dimitri and Rose have come to complete each other and I, in turn, had come to see them as two halves of a whole. In another way, I've come to feel the same with Rose and Lissa. Rose feels off balance and incomplete without them, and it's deeply upsetting to see her this way.

Darker, Deeper:

Blood Promise has a different feel from previous instalments. It's darker, it's bleaker, and we leave behind the perceived safety net of St Vladimir's and it's small army of competent, knowing guardians and instructors. Rose is on her own, and back home at the academy, Lissa and the gang are alone and struggling with their own obstacles and difficulties..

Despite so much stuff happening—action, danger, intrigue! —a huge amount of what goes down in Blood Promise is on an emotional level: Rose dealing, grieving, and just trying to keep on keeping on. Nevertheless, we check back in on the crew at St V's through Rose and Lissa's bond—major props to Mead for an ingenious way of carrying on the Lissa/Political side of the story, and keeping us updated—and we meet a few very key new characters. Namely, Dimitri's family, who are warm, wonderful, and embrace Rose as one of their own, and someone far more mysterious from Rose and her mother's past.

Well, It Is Called 'Blood Promise':

The final showdown of Blood Promise is breathtaking. Heartbreaking, terrifying, edge-of-your-seat, hold your breath type stuff, and the book ends with a chilling promise that made my stomach flip with a mix of nausea and hopeful glee. I'm holding my breath and wishing and hoping on a fairy tale with Rose on this one.

The Verdict:

Possibly the most emotional charged, heartbreaking and key instalment for Rose yet, Blood Promise is another exceptionally good offering from Mead. Seeing characters I've come to love suffer so much in Blood Promise made it difficult to read, but that bittersweet edge made it that extra bit more rewarding. The last week I've been asking myself over and over why I waited so long to read this series... I still don’t have an answer. Thrilling and utterly riveting, Blood Promise is not to be missed.

Books in This Series:

  1. Vampire Academy
  2. Frostbite
  3. Shadow Kiss
  4. Blood Promise
  5. Spirit Bound
  6. Last Sacrifice

26 comments:

  1. God I loved this book... So much.
    First time we met Sydney! And Strigoi Dmitri! (still hot as an evil, creature of the night) Great review.
    Just saying; I harbour an undying, not-so secret love for Dmitri
    **Swooon**
    Great review :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe! You and half of the other girls I know... along with Adrian ^___^

      AND THANK YOU. Dimka is still SOO hot as Strigoi. Brodie doesn't agree with me :P

      Delete
  2. HELL TO THE YES. What you say about Rose is EXACTLY how I feel. She's one of my favourite ever heroines. I wish to wrap your first paragraph in a sexy black dress (I was going to snuggly blankey, but that didn't feel like Rose) and hug it. But now that sentence just sounds slightly weird. MOVING ON.

    Sarah. YES. For me, Dimitri and Rose have come to complete each other and I, in turn, had come to see them as two halves of a whole and ditto with Rose/Lissa.

    Also, it's weird reading you say 'this last week blah blah' when you read it 4 freaking months ago LOL.

    MAN. I want to go back and reread this entire series! This. Review. IS. LOVE. *points to fluffy hearts that are flying around the page* SEE? PROOF. *hearts start bleeding and grow menancing fangs and mangle each other* Okay. That's just twisted. Um. *runs away*

    _____

    "Why did you come here?"
    "Because you hit me on the head and dragged me here."

    Hehe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ADHFDKAJF! TY ♥
      Rose = perfect. Is she not just... she's AMAZING.

      Hehehehehe... OK... soo.... the last week... yes... ummm >___<

      And these hearts... umm... they scare me. And not in a cute way like Cornish Pixies O___O

      Delete
  3. Never read this book, but it sounds AWESOME. I'll definitely go check it out!! Adding it to my 'to reads' list on goodreads. Thanks, and nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jess, I LOVE this series! I so hope you love them to :)

      Delete
  4. Awesome review! :D I love Rose too, my heart was just breaking with all the stuff happening in BP. <//3 :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, Gianna! TY! My heart... oh... seriously. Cracked/pumelled/trampled. Exactly :'(

      Delete
  5. Ahh, I read this series SO long ago but now you're making me want to freaking re-read every single one of them all over again! Gah! There are NO WORDS to describe how much I adore Mead's books, she always manages to surprise me with a plot that leaves me in varying shades of heartbreak! D: Yet you've managed to capture everything that I loved in Blood Promise and more! Absolutely amazing review! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, Kim! Thank you!! You know, it feels like ages since *I* read it, but it's not the case at all. I read them in January. Thank you SO much! Your comment = makes my day ♥

      Delete
  6. Ugh, I wish I could read this but I still need to buy the series. I am being so lazy with buying books. But when I finally get to the series I will read your review cuz I always love what you have to say. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, I KNOOOOW. And then there's the whole problem of finding the time to actually read them? :D

      Delete
  7. Oh, I loved the Vampire Academy series but this is as far as I got with my reading - really must try and finish the series some time! I agree that this was a very emotional read although it was probably my least favourite of the series so far.

    I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the rest of the series :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CHRISSSSIIIIE! You HAVE to finish!
      Aw, I'm sorry this wasn't your fave. My BFF is reading it at the moment, and I wonder if it won't be her least fave, also. It feels VERY different from the other books in the series.

      Delete
  8. AAAAAAA!!! ME LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Strigoi Dimitri is super AWESOME. (I know how Brodie 'hates' him but I'm supporting you because I LOVE STRIGOI DIMITRI!) And aaaa Rose is seriously one of the best heroines out there! <3

    Your review made me want to re-read the VA series SO BADLY. AMAZING review as always, Sarah! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU CELINE! Strigoi Dimka is BADASS. Brodie's CLEARLY insane ^__^

      Roooooose. Rose is amazing... and YES! LET'S RE-READ!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Ahahaha! You basically just summed up the series, with the addition of a 'Mmmmm, Ivashkov ♥'

      Delete
  10. See now if I had the time....or a few more heads ( preferable) I would read this series again. I loved you really got ROSE/ROZA...I could hardly write anything for this book for my review at the time as I was just sad. It just made me feel sad, her heartache....sniff...*whispers* ...sad....but then I must finish with a happy thingy:D

    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, Michelllle! Thank yoooou!
      Hehehehehe! Oh, I got your comment yesterday afternoon when I was in a bad mood and your sad happy made me LITERALLY giggle out loud to myself ^__^

      Delete
    2. Awwwww...see we must always finish with a happy thingy:D even if we are sad:D:D:D

      p.s. This was a sad book...:D

      Mich

      Delete
  11. GAWD. The emotional aftermath of the third book really knocks you down in Blood Promise. It's as if we were cut off from TRULY and DEEPLY grieving in Shadow Kiss, but then are MADE to do so in Blood Promise, because Rose is at a breaking point we've never seen, we've never experienced. I love Richelle's ability to pull out that kind of emotion, and demand us to feel when she wants, right along with the other characters. This is one of my favorites of the series! I loved all the books apart from the fifth. Can't wait to see you finish the whole thing, especially with The Golden Lily releasing right around the corner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JAFHDJAF! ASHER! You make we want to seriously delete my ENTIRE REVIEW, and just replace it with your comment. This: "It's as if we were cut off from TRULY and DEEPLY grieving in Shadow Kiss, but then are MADE to do so in Blood Promise, because Rose is at a breaking point we've never seen, we've never experienced."

      You're some kind of freaky genius thing *pokes* I can has your brain??

      Delete
  12. This was one of my favourite books from the series! I adore Rose too. Her character has got to be one of the best female protagonists in YA books that I have ever come across. awesome review Sarah! You said it all beautifully. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This one was very emotional yes! I think my favorite of the series is the last one though. But this is easily my 2nd favorite. Rose is an awesome character! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  14. GAHH! Lady you are amazing, look at this review! I typed a review for book one but then I just flew through the rest that I haven't really taken the time to review each book, it's kind of one big meshed up blob. I was thinking of keeping my review which I did for book one and adding to it and making it a series review. What do you think? Yes/No/Fantastical/Never/Sounds fab/Sounds dreadful? Pick one and tweet your response at me. Tweet at me, hehe, sounds funny! <3 Sorry for asking a question through a comment..whoopsie. FAB review, it's BADASS just like Rose Hathaway!

    ReplyDelete

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