Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

13 Apr

Series: Vampire Academy, book #4

Published: August 25th 2009 by Razorbill

Details: Hardcover, 503 pages

My Rating: 5/5

My Summary:

Fourth book in the Vampire Academy series. Rose has dropped out of school and is traveling through Russia in order to hunt down the man she loves. I loved experiencing the world outside the VA gates with Rose! Amazing book!! Cannot wait to read Spirit Bound, next in the series.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few chapters in:

I just started reading this fourth installment of the Vampire Academy Series, and boy am I excited! As you know, if you’ve been following this blog, I wasn’t always a fan of the Vampire Academy. In fact, it was a gradual process, which by the way can be seen in the grades.

Vampire Academy started off on an enjoyable but not great 3.5 grade. Frostbite hit a higher mark (4/5) as it was a great entertaining read. Shadow Kiss with its devastating ending reached an almost perfect 4.5.

Question is now, will Blood Promise be the first Vampire Academy book (in my opinion) to score a perfect 5/5 mark? Only one way to find out!

And here is where I advise anyone who has not yet read Shadow Kiss to stop reading, because some serious spoilers are coming up!

Okay, so in Shadow Kiss things changed quite dramatically. For one, Rose has dropped out of the academy, only months prior to her graduation. Moreover, she has abandoned her plans to work as the guardian of Lissa. In fact she’s left Lissa to take care of herself. The reason for all of this?

She is on a mission. To kill the man she loves. Dimitri. Yep folks, I still have a hard time believing this, but in the last battle with the Strigoi in Shadow Kiss Dimitri was captured by the Strigoi and turned. Rose, who is heart-broken by this turn of events has decided to take matters in her own hand (as she always does), and go after Dimitri – or the new undead Dimitri – in order to kill him. Because she knows he would rather be dead than walk the earth as a soulless Strigoi.

Hence, at the start of this book we find Rose in Russia. She’s following a hunch that Dimitri might have returned to his birth town in Sibiria. Problem is, she has no idea where that is.

After lingering in St Petersburg for a while, staying close to other Moroi in the hopes of finding information, she runs into another girl. A human girl who, it turns out, is an alchemist; someone who helps the vampire world stay hidden from humans. This job includes disposing of dead Strigoi bodies before they’re discovered, and not surprisingly, she has been kept quite busy ever since Rose turned up in the city.

Upon questioning Sydney, as the girl is called, Rose learns that she knows where Dimitri’s Damphir town is. Problem is, she can’t tell Rose the location. Instead she’s ordered (by some mysterious superiors) to take Rose there herself.

Hence, the two of them end up on the Transibirian train heading towards that town, and this is where I am at now.

Needless to say, I am so excited. I always wanted to know more of world outside the walls of the Vampire Academy, and that’s exactly what’s happening now. Moreover, the descriptions of Russia are wonderful, and having traveled on that Transibirian myself, I can tell you this – Mead knows what she’s talking about! It’s as if I’m revisiting that train trip once again, that’s how real it feels.

In short, it’s starting great and I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

 


 

After finishing the book:

Holy freaking crap! That was an intense ride! Yep, you’ve guessed it, I just finished Blood Promise, the fourth installment of the VA series. A series that just keep getting better and better.

This installment was the best so far as Rose travels to Russia in search for Dimitri. And wow, how I love it! I loved learning about the outside world of the Vampire Academy, the alchemists, the unpromised, the Damphir towns and mobster Moroi, the feel of Russia and all the new characters.

Yet, we never lose touch with the group of people we’ve come to know (Lissa, Adrian and co) at the Vampire Academy, as Rose keeps visiting Lissa’s mind from time to time. As much as I liked those characters (Christian and Adrian especially), I have to admit though that to me, those visits where the weaker part of the story. I was far happier accompanying Rose on her adventures in Russia than following Lissa on her journey through the social intrigues of the Vampire Academy and Court World.

This may be because I’ve really come to love Rose. She is without a doubt one of the coolest heroines out there. Bad-ass, yet vulnerable, huge heart, tough, protective and of course witty. Essentially, she’s a heroine I could follow to the end of the world. Which is surprising considering what I thought of her in the beginning. Talk about character growth!

Now, as for the actual plot:

As I mentioned above, Sydney the alchemist, accompanies Rose to Baia, Dimitri’s birth town where Rose ends up staying with Dimitri’s family for a while. Some reviewers commented that this part was a bit of a filler as nothing much happened during this period. Me? I loved every second. I drank in every detail of Dimitris house, his wonderful family, scary witch granny included and everything that came with it.

Eventually though, it was time to move on, and I think we all knew this was bound to happen. Rose finds Dimitri. Now this was interesting. Or no, wrong word. Excruciating! Back was the lump in my throat, my pounding heart and chest pain. Dimitri is a Strigoi, and so he has lost his soul, or has he? I found myself being as confused as Rose. Evil or good? Good or evil? Along with Rose I’d change opinion every few paragraphs. Excruciating indeed.

The ending provided another couple of twists, that I didn’t see coming at all (well, apart from the Dimitri dilemma that I kind of guessed would happen). Question is now, what about Adrian? Will he ever get a chance? Should he? Geez, I’m torn, because he really grew in my eyes in this book.

All in all, I am SO loving this series now, and I cannot get enough of this world. Thank god there are two more books to delve into, Spirit Bound being the next!

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8 Responses to “Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead”

  1. patsy williams April 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    You need to get the next two and blow through the fifth one which is just awesome so you can get to the 6th which is pretty much perfect. You know how it seems pretty obvious what is gonna happen in the next two and you kind of think the next book might be filler. Nope. Mead doesnt play it safe and the end of the fifth book is such a cool game changer! I am jealous that you didnt have to wait a year in between for 4 years like I did.
    Oh and there is a spin off with six more books coming in August. Yay.

    Also have you read the next two in the Forest of Hands and Teeth? If not DO SO. The third book makes it. Zombies in the subway tunnels of New York with a love quadrangle that actually works.

    And lastly the new Mortal Instruments is actually worth a read. Last fifty pages were tense and fantastic.

    Anyway love the blog, its nice to read someone who just likes reading and writing real reviews and not all the blog filler that so many others do.
    Pats

    • tess April 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      Hi Pats,
      Thanks so much for your comment – I always love to hear your book recommendations! I heard Mead is writing a spin-off series – thank god for that – because I have feeling I will be experiencing a bit of a VA void when this series is finished. Cannot wait to go through the next two books now – I love the fact that Mead doesn’t play it safe – that’s what makes it so exciting!

      As for the Forest of Hands and Teeth series, I have actually been debating with myself whether I should get the next one or not. The first book left me with mixed feelings – basically I loved everything about it, except the heroine. I know the next book features a different heroine, so I might just give it a go now, especially if the third book is that good!

      And great to hear that the new Mortal Intruments is worth the read, I’ve been worrying that the new book would spoil the perfect ending of City of Glass. So good to hear that! Can’t wait to read it myself!

      Finally, thank you. I do love reading, and when I started this blog, I actually set out to keep it as clean as possible. That is, not post anything but reviews. So I’m glad to hear that you noticed, and like that too.
      Tess

  2. jenika November 26, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Hi Tess!
    I finished reading yesterday Shadow Kiss and I am reading now Blood Promise.
    Shadow kiss is for now the book I liked less (but still I enjoyed it a lot, I would give it a 3.8/5) especially for a few things (Rose e Dimitri romance finally blooming and him promising her he will never let anything happen to her) but sadly I already knew the ending of the book so this spoiled it a bit.
    Anyway I am reading now Blood Promise, I am a few chapters in (less then half book) and I am enjoying it veeeeeeeery much, it’s so sweet to see Rose in Dimitri’s family and how they talk about him… (I like the granmother especially… maybe she will be a bit more important in the future? It looks like she knows many things other people don’t…)
    But I want to see the real Dimitri! I know already they will meet because I read the plot of the fifth book but I tried not to read anything else (I don’t read yet also your review of the book so I don’t get any potential spoiler )(I will read once I finished the book).
    Will Dimitri be totally Strigoi? Or the real Dimitri will be still the same? AAARGHHHH!!! I want to know more!!!!
    So far I am LOVING this series, I never give it much thought before reading your comments on it because between bad covers and soooooo many vampire related stories I thought this was going to be nothing original.
    Instead is a beautiful story!!!! And I am liking it very much!!! thank you so much for making me discover it!!!
    🙂
    p.s. an interesting character is the alchemist Sidney. I don’t like Avery, the new friend of Lissa.
    More comments to come!

    • tess November 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      Oh that sounds great! I absolutely LOVED Blood Promise as well, for nearly the same reasons as you. The stay with his wonderful family, the introduction of Sydney, the hunt after Dimitri and not knowing what that’s going to be like, one she meets him. It’s all really heart-wrenching and exciting! I loved every second of it. I hope you do too.

      So glad you discovered this series as well! It really is easy to give it pass due to those cheesy covers, and like you said, there are so many shallow badly written vampire series out there, Vampires Diaries and Vampire Kisses to name a few. Vampire Academy definitely is something else entirely! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts as you read more!

  3. jenika November 28, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Hi Tess I just finished reading Blood Promise and I really really liked it.
    I loved the part when finally Rose finds Dimitri and I too was wondering “is Dimitri still himself? Is he too changed?” … but even if strigoi-bad-cold-ecc-ecc version I still liked Dimitri very much!
    In this book I was feeling a bit like New Moon by S. Meyer… I read very fast the first part when Edward was not more present in the story… and devoured the second part when we finally see Edward again. The same was for Blood Promise… even if I enjoyed all the book, I read everything very fast until I finally saw again Dimitri in the story. Anything related to him were my favorite parts of the book.
    I didn’t like Avery from the beginning and now I understand why.
    I wouldn’t like at all if Rose give a chance at romance to Adrian, she is in love with Dimitri and even if there is the issue of live-undead between them Rose and Dimitri are made to be together. Anybody else (Adrian or whoever else) would be a mistake.
    In the second book, Frostbite, while Rose and Dimitri are in the car together I thought “it would be sooooo nice if they could have a relaxed life and live their lives without thinking about protecting Lissa or anybody else but just concentrating on things they like to do and to each other… and when for a while Avery give the false illusion to Rose about a life together with Dimitri I hoped that could happen in the reality too! Doesn’t matter if Strigoi-dhampir or whatever… I really hope there is a happy ending to the series!!!
    Also another “surprise” was discover the identity of Rose’s father… I say “surprise” because I thought he was her father from the first time he appeared… and I was right
    🙂
    A very sweet moment also was when Rose remember she and Dimitri making snow angels…
    and also when she finally stakes him his last words made me jump… and I thought Dimitri, the real Dimitri, was never dead. Strigoi or Dhampir he was always himself.
    I really like Rose as heroine,
    I already started the first pages of spirit bound, more comments to come!!!
    🙂

  4. jenika November 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    i read on internet they are going to make a movie out of Vampire Academy saga… I thought the song “Pins and Needles” by Birthday Massacre would be a very good choice for the ending titles of the movie… what do you think?
    (if you don’t know the song you can listen it in youtube at this address:

    I am really loving this series! Today I was busy so I couldn’t read more but I kept thinking about it many many times… it really interested me.

    • tess December 2, 2011 at 9:10 am #

      Oh I so hope they will make a movie out of the Vampire Academy. They should! I mean, the series’s has got quite a following by now! Interesting song, I agree it’d make a good ending of the movie 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead « After Twilight… - September 4, 2011

    […] have gradually got drawn into, the more books I’ve read. I devoured the previous book Blood Promise, where Rose goes to Siberia in order to find Dimitri and kill him. She fails that mission and ends […]

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