Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book Review: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead

WARNING: The contents of this review may give away some of the major plotlines within the series. Do not continue reading if you want to be pleasantly surprised by the book.

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) - Richelle Mead

St Vladmir’s Academy is still in shock after the horrifying Strigoi attack that claimed so many lives and destroyed any illusions of safety that the Moroi and Dhampirs once held.
But for Rose Hathaway, the attack has changed her outlook on life forever.
The man that she loves, guardian Dimitri Belikov, has been unwillingly turned into a Strigoi, and Rose knows that the only way that she can deal with his ‘death’ is to hunt him down and destroy him, just as they promised one another they would do in the event that something like this happened. But in leaving America and travelling to Russia to find Dimitri, Rose must leave behind her best friend Lissa Dragomir, whose life is quickly becoming unstable. Along with her new friend Avery, and against the wishes of her boyfriend Christian, Lissa starts to participate in reckless and unusual behaviour as a way of coping with her sudden abandonment, especially as the side effects of using her magical power, spirit, grow.
As Lissa’s wayward activities start to get out of control, Rose travels through unfamiliar country and meets many new people- some who are willing to help, some who have no choice but to help, and some who hold an ulterior motive for helping Rose achieve her goals.
But when Rose finally finds Dimitri, will she be able to carry out her plans and find closure? And what if Dimtri doesn’t want to be ‘saved’?

What I gained from reading this book:
This novel deals primarily with grief and highlights people’s ways of coping with the sudden loss of a loved one (even if that loved one isn’t necessarily ‘dead’, as in Rose and Dimitri’s case).
Rose knows that Dimitri is an evil Strigoi, and that his previously good demeanour is now destroyed, but she can’t help but remember him as he once was. After seeing him as a Strigoi, she manages to convince herself that there is still good inside him, and that he still loves her in the same way that he did as a Dhampir. These assumptions soften her resolve to kill him, as she originally set out to do.
Dimitri uses Rose’s grief to manipulate her into not fighting back, and attempts to convince her that her life will be changed for the better if she joins him as a Strigoi.
Furthermore, her lingering memories, and her realisation that killing the man she loves will be harder on her heart than she previously thought, make Rose’s task of destroying Dimitri even more difficult. Despite their promises to one another that they would rather be dead than a Strigoi, Rose discovers that the reality is difficult to cope with, and finds herself straying from her suicidal vendetta in the hope of recovering the love she has lost.
People cope with their grief in different ways, and the characters in Blood Promise are no different. While Rose’s mother deals with the deaths in the strong dry-eyed manner that is expected of her, her daughter is unable to shake away the memories that remain. She feels that she must destroy Dimitri so he can finally rest in peace, and so that she can find a sense of closure. While most people wouldn’t have to deal with this scenario, it just goes to show that coping with grief and finding closure can come in many different forms.

The inner turmoil that Rose faces among the Dhampirs is perfectly juxtaposed with the outer turmoil that Lissa portrays to the other Moroi, as both struggle with their issues. Although this doesn’t sound especially positive, it shows how the girls act when they are apart from each other and have to deal with their difficulties alone, which further enhances the plot.

We are introduced to many new characters in this novel; but unfortunately, do not get to fully explore their personalities and capabilities. Hopefully they will reappear further on in the series, otherwise I’ll be quite disappointed. Their presence adds a new dimension to the storylines.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Genre: Teenage Fiction

Recommended for: People who read the previous book, who are looking forward to finding out how Rose will cope with facing her worst nightmare.

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy)

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