Friday, 18 November 2011

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

3 Stars. {Paranormal YA}

no major spoilers below - although for those who don't know what happened to Dimitri at the end of book 3, you may not want to read on - although I mention nothing explicitly.

Not my favourite of the series, but a necessary part of the story as a whole!

I still can't decide if part of my disappointment with Blood Promise lies in the fact that I hadn't picked up a Vampire Academy book in months or if it really was just a disappointing part of the series. I think in a way it was both.
The series is written young, I knew that from the beginning, the action takes over the plot, but it suits the books considering the characters and Rose herself, who is a tough cookie and will always step out to protect her loved ones. Blood Promise though felt written very young. It circle around itself so often that I got bored at points.
Rose sets off to find Dimitri and after several days of aimless wondering is brought to the Belikov house to meet his mother and siblings. Rose cannot stop thinking about Dimitri, however. Because we only really get things from Rose's perspective, through her eyes as she narrates the story, the excessive pinning for Dimitri started to grate on my nerves. I'd usually be all for it, but her pining felt empty and didn't really hit me emotionally. She's hurting, yes. She's grieving, yes. But did I feel any of that? Not really, I saw it through Rose's actions and her determination to find Dimitri, but I got annoyed because every time she mentioned Dimitri it was as if she was doing the obligatory - I miss him, I love him, my life is incomplete without him. Got tiring to read let me tell you.

I also missed being at the Academy. From other reviews I read, I know this was a big let down for readers. I thought going in that I would be fine with it, but then as we learn what is happening back at the Academy in Rose's absence, I thought the storyline there much more interesting to the one I was following with Rose. Her's felt repetitive and at a standstill for much of the book, while Lisa and Adrian and the rest were all in movement, their story progressing each time. I wanted Rose to get herself together and get back to the Academy as quick as possible.

Now, Dimitri. Oh the heart breaker - for one, he wasn't in the book (unless you count how many times he was mentioned) until about 200 pages in. When he did show up though, I felt like the action started to pick up. He was dark and dangerous and not the Dimitri I was used to, but like Rose, I couldn't bear the thought of her having to kill him. He was still Dimitri in some small way. I enjoyed the push and pull between the couple. The way neither could really let go of the other. It was very much like an abusive relationship at points - with Rose losing all of her strength and everything that makes her Rose, and Dimitri the cause of her retreat. I thought this was well played, but also hard to read given that I love Rose and wanted her to thrive.

The ending was perfect, I guessed some of the revelations, but the main one which will be the key in the coming books was a surprise and I am now anxious to see how all this information will play into the final books of the series. Some heavy duty drama is on the way.

Ultimately, this book was a necessary step in the series, although I did think it was dragged out much longer than it really needed to be. All the stuff we get at the beginning while Rose is staying with Dimitri's family could have bee hugely condensed, likewise with some of the action after she finds him. The book was really just too long and didn't need to be, which made me all the more anxious to just finish it.
We do find out some pertinent information by the end, so it is an important part of the series and must be read. We also meet several new characters in this book - Jill (Jail bait - loved that), Sydney, Abe, the list goes on, but I have a feeling these are the prominent characters in books to come.

All in all and okay read, by no means my favourite, but now that it's done I can move onto Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice ! Yay!

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