Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Book Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead




Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)Title: Blood Promise (Book #4 in the Vampire Academy series)
Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: 25 August 2009
Publisher: Razorbill Publishing
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Razorbill Publishing, Amazon, Book Depository US, Book Depository UK, Kindle Store

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: After the massacre at Vampire Academy, Rose Hathaway faces the most task of her life and she knows that she must do it alone. With Mason departed for the other world, Rose must hunt down and kill Dimitri Belikov, the man she most loves.

The fourth nail-biting episode of Richelle Mead's popular vampire series dramatically shows the fatal power of a promise.

My Thoughts: I found Book #3 (Shadow Kiss) completely mindblowing and didn't think the next book Blood Promise could make me feel as many emotions (angst, frustration, joy, heartache) just as vividly, but I was wrong. Blood Promise is just as intense and emotionally deep, so beware this is not a light and fluffy read.

*sorry for my disjointed rambling the memories and impressions are stil so vivid I don't know where to start*

I have to admit I found the beginning a bit slow and dragging, but I understand that Richelle Mead had to give an introduction to the story and show us Rose's grief. In my opinion the novel truly began when Rose landed in Baia and met Dimitri's family. And what a nice and warm family! I was so happy to see Rose enveloped in so much love, acceptance and friendship, it was truly great to see her protected and nurtured from/through her grief by the unconditional and honest love and affection of Dimitri's family.

I had this small thrill, you know that buzzing anticipation when you know something is about to happen and you feel like your skin is too tight? Well that's how I felt: holding my breath for the big facedown between Rose and Dimitri to see how it would go when they would finally see each other again. But what happened after was still unexpected...

Reading about Rose's captivity I had very ambivalent feelings. I was glad to see Dimitri's attachment (loved how his protective side always surfaced in connection with Rose) (and by the way I was completely surprised because somehow I thought that after being changed into a Strigoi they forgot their previous life, their friends, family and emotions /don't know why I thought that/, so when I heard Dimitri remember Rose I was flabbergasted) and that Rose finally got part of the happiness she deserved: they had a few stolen days/weeks(?) together, and it was good to see Rose happy without restraints, in the previous books she only had very brief moments of happiness but then real life and worries intruded. On the other hand it was painful seeing the strong, independent Rose reduced to a mindless, weak and drugged zombie. She was like a medieval concubine to a rich aristocrat: kept in a golden cage, showered with beautiful gowns and jewellery but she had to be available like some kind of personal sex (here blood) slave... It was stomach turning. And Richelle Mead managed to write this part so amazingly, that after the initial joy one Rose/Dimitri supporter might have felt at their reunion, the way they spent their time together and especially what it did to Rose got so revolting, that any true fan of either character knew that something must happen, that Rose had to get away.

And that escape/fight/bridge scene! I lack the words. I rarely cry while reading, but I teared up I imagined that bridge scene so vividly and especially poor Rose's doubts and questions afterwards, always going back to that scene.. It was heartwrenching.

The emotional intensity of Shadow Kiss was met in Blood Promise too, and I love how this series despite being a young adult series is definitely not a light and cotton candy fluffiness teenage angst story but is so full of emotion and heartbreak.

I was again guessing throughout reading the novel when the relevance of the title would be revealed and I was not disappointed. I love how the titles of Richelle's Mead Vampire Academy series besides being catchy have a deeper meaning conveying an important notion or momentum of the novel, and it was just the same here. The motive of promise reared its head many times and in different circumstances, but was always in the forefront.

I liked the storyline that Rose left the safety and mundane days of the Academy and went to see the world. I enjoyed reading about her enthusiastic exploration of Russia and how she saw Dimitri's comments and memories behind everything. (However I found it a bit irritating as it is so highly improbable as near impossible that not only do every Russian speak English in a remote village/town in Siberia, but that even old - I mean grandma old - people were bilingual! Come on!)

I missed Christian. :-( Through Rose's visits we felt as if Lissa was still next to Rose, and Adrian kept popping up in Rose's dreams, but Christian didn't get enough "screen time" for my taste. His snarky humour was sorely missed. And back to Lissa. *groans* After the small respite in Shadow Kiss, Lissa got back again on my "Characters-I-Most-Want-to-Knock-on-the-Head-and-Render-Unconscious" list. She made me so mad! How everyone is always melting on what a kindhearted, gentle and selfless person she is, well she only demonstarted that she was a spoilt, selfish, egocentrical and quite cruel person. She truly got on my nerves, I wanted to slap her so badly! But then she got again that last couple of chapters after the big Avery showdown where she redeemed herself. I hope she'll manage to stay on my good side by remaining a good friend to Rose and being a bit more selfless and attentive to her.

I read Blood Promise until 3 am on a weekday, meaning that in less than 5 hours I had to get up and go to work. But somehow that didn't daunt me. The story was fast paced and addictive (I start to feel that with each subsequent book Richelle Mead ups the addiction level..), and I just couldn't stop devouring the story and turning the pages fast enough! 

Here are a few of my favourite quotes of Blood Promise:

1) Rose to Lissa after she came back from her Russian adventure and Lissa made Rose promise she wouldn't leave her out of her next mission:

"Okay," I said, clasping her hand. "I swear it. The next time I go do something stupid that might get me killed, you can come along."

2) Rose on discovering who her father is..:

"Oh God," I said. "I'm Zmey's daughter. Zmey Junior. Zmeyette, even."

3) Adrian and Rose after her graduation:

"Your mom seems like someone who gets her way a lot. It must run in the family. In fact, maybe I should get her help on something."
"Getting hold of illegal cigarettes?"
"Asking her daughter out."
I nearly dropped the plate I held. "You've asked me out tons of times."
"Not really. I've made inappropriate suggestions and frequently pushed for nudity. But I've never asked you out on a real date. And, if memory serves, you did say you'd give me a fair chance once I let you clean out my trust fund."
"I didn't clean it out," I scoffed.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 9/10 (I think I like this cover the best in the series so far)



The BookDepository

















I'm participating in the Vampire Academy re-reading challenge at Vampire Book Club, if you'd like to join us, click here:

Vampire Academy Re-Read Challenge

Gratitude Giveaway Winners!


Wow, what an amazing giveaway hop this one was! I had a great time, and was very happy we had such a long time to enter the giveaways as there were so many blogs it took me days to go through the whole list :-)

Thank you again Kathy for organizing it and can't wait for the next one!!

As I said I'm very grateful for all of my wonderful followers, that you are interested in what I think about books and I always LOVE reading your comments and thoughts!!

Welcome to all my new followers, I hope you'll stick around as I have many more exciting events planned for the near future (and lots of giveaways are to come too)!

But now without further ado here are the 3 lucky winners whom Random.org liked this time:

 
Winner #1

entry #78 Rachelle Hayes


Winner #2

entry #122 BJ


Winner #3

entry #175 Michikit


Congratulations winners! I have sent you all an e-mail, please reply with your book choice and shipping address within 48 hours or I will have to draw other winners. 

For reminder, here are the book prizes:

Urban Fantasy

Kitty's House of Horrors (Kitty Norville, Book 7)


Historical (Scottish/Highlander) Romance

Knight in My Bed


Paranormal Romance

Strange Neighbors


Mystery/Suspense

Photo, Snap, Shot (A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery)


You can still require -10 % Book Depository vouchers here, just make sure to use them up by December 15 before they expire.


This week during the Spotlight on Urban Fantasy event there will be other giveaways, so stay tuned!


Monday, 29 November 2010

Spotlight on Urban Fantasy week!



And it's time again to revisit the best UF novels and authors!

Last time even though every single day of those 2 weeks of UF goodness was packed with guests, giveaways and reviews, it still was not enough!

So now I'm back to shine the spotlight on some more UF favourites, particularly

two series which have both made it to my Best Reads of 2010 list
and
two authors who have become Must-Auto-Buy-Authors!

Curious to know which two series and two authors I'm alluding to?

Check back here during the week, there will be funny guest posts, exciting giveaways and of course lots of great UF novel recommendations!

I hope to see you all, and please share with us your love for UF! :-)


This will be the master sheet where you will be able to access all related posts:


It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (#19)


It's Monday, What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

This week was not so good for me: Fallen just kept on dragging and dragging and I had to force myself to push through. Thankfully it's over so I can start other books this week :-) 


Books I completed this week

Fallen

Ugh.. not only was I sadly disappointed by this one, but it also irritated me so much! Can't remember the last time a book was such a miss for me.

Harvest Moon

It was a re-read. I have already read Harvest Moon in October but I wanted to refresh my memory before writing the review. It is just as excellent as I remembered. A very short (about 25-30 pages) but amazingly written story!


Books I am currently reading

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)

The beginning was a bit slow but now things are finally in motion. I hope to post my review either today or tomorrow.

Books I can't wait to start soon

Spirit Bound: A Vampire Academy Novel

This series is highly addictive! And they usually end with such cliffhangers that when I'm nearing the end of the one I'm currently reading, I already have the next one near so I can start if right away if the suspense is too unbearable.

And more Christmas romances! I'm on my way to getting in the festive mood: the Christmas fairs have popped up all around in the city and it snowed Saturday! I baked some cookies Sunday and all I missed were the Christmas lights and listening to some carols to feel like it was Christmas already :-)


And what are you reading this week?

Sunday, 28 November 2010

In My Mailbox (#28) - Christmas has come early?

In My Mailbox
is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

It's been some time that I did an "In My Mailbox" post again, and this week started out just as empty and bleak, with no books or packages arriving, but then on Friday I received not only one but three packages!! Yay! :-)) And look what goodies I got, I just had to share my joy with you.


I received this package from Gini Koch, the amazing author of the fantastic Touched by an Alien, and it was very fortunate my boss was not in the office, because the big squee I let out when I opened the package and saw all the goodies inside would have made her wonder whether I was ok.. lol. :-D But look, wouldn't anyone squee when receiving these?


A closer look of the postcards and fridge magnets (because trust me, you really want to see these amazing covers):

And a close up of Alien Tango, book #2 in the Kitty Katt series (just because it is so gorgeous! And love the gators! :-D)

Alien Tango will be released on December 7! Yay!


Then as if my day wasn't already fantastic, I got another package! Are you wondering what I got? An ARC of Purpose by Kristie Cook! The 2nd book in the Soul Savers series, the sequel to Promise, which I loved and was one of the best boosk I have read in 2010! Yay! :-)) And Kristie also sent me a couple of bookmarks, so I'll share that with you :-)

Purpose will be released on December 15!


But that's not all! I also received a mystery package from Karin Harlow and look what was inside: a very cool L.O.S.T. mug! Yippie, not only do I love the phoenix illustration and the very cool and professional looking logo, but my love of Latin will also be satisfied every time I drink my latte from this mug! :-p (For those of you who haven't read Karin Harlow's new series yet (Book #1: Enemy Lover), Semper Invictus is the motto of the L.O.S.T. team and it means Always Invincible. Isn't it an amazingly cool motto? I love it!)


So thank you all you wonderful authors for making me so happy!! Thank you Gini, Kristie and Karin, your packages truly made my day, what day, they made my weekend! Thank you! :-D

I LOVE these 3 series, and if you haven't read them yet, I don't understand what you are waiting for! Check them out, you'll be in for a treat! (Now that winter is here, it's best to stay at home and curl up with a great book in the warm cozy room, and these are perfect for keeping you entertained for the long winter nights. Also Christmas is approaching, and they would make great gifts for loved ones too... *hint hint* ;-)

So this is what was in my mailbox this week, and what was in yours?

Buy them here:











































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