Vampire Academy #4
by Richelle Mead
Published on August 25, 2009 by Razorbill
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same.
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?
The only reason I was able to stand the ending of Shadow Kiss was because I had Blood Promise to pick up right after.
Rose is off on her own this time around and the world of Vampire Academy is about to get a whole lot bigger. Her drive to seek Dimitri out is relentless as she hunts the creatures that go bump in the night in her search for her former trainer and boyfriend (of sorts, don’t think they sorted out all the details on the label yet). While Rose is quite literally across the globe, Lissa is dealing with her own problems which we see through their bond.
Blood Promise helped to lessen the impact of the last book but at the same time also brought the series down. Of the first four, I would say it is the longest so far but also the weakest. The action scenes were great in typical Mead fashion but the space in-between became a bit boring at times. If I had to classify this book in the series, I’d say it was a filler (at least in part) to get ready for the next book. There’s a lot of flashbacks and world-building as Rose expands the world outside of the Royal Court and St. Vladimir’s to bring in Dimitri’s and Rose’s pasts and the Alchemists.
Which, I’m totally excited for because the Alchemists were pretty awesome in what they do. Plus, more supernatural beings and magic (of sorts).
But this book just didn’t have the spark that the others had and I think it comes down to Rose. She felt…off. Sure, she was dealing with some emotional shit but I never felt like here character was truly in residence in that shadow-kissed head of hers. The story moved sluggishly along as Rose met Sydney and Abe and all sorts of new characters, through Lissa’s eyes as well, but they didn’t seem genuine. I cared little about any of them, really, though I did enjoy seeing more of her past.
Though we didn’t need to excessive series recap. In Frostbite, she used the prologue to summarize events from Vampire Academy which was fine because, reading back to back, I could skip it. Shadow Kiss had a bit more recap but still acceptable. But Blood Promise spent far too long detailing everything from the previous books. By book 4, if the readers are sticking with the series that far, you probably don’t need all the extra details.
Rose is a character that stuck with me through the first three books. I doubt I’m suddenly going to forget everything about her from reading book 3 to book 4.
I was disappointed in this book, especially after Shadow Kiss left an emotional scar on my heart. I’m hoping that the next installment skips over the problems with Blood Promise and uses all the filler provided to tell an amazing story. I love these characters and want to see them shine.