Review: 'Blood Promise' by Richelle Mead

Sunday, July 19, 2015

8900186Blood Promise
Richelle Mead

Goodreads / Amazon

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?

Travel Companion:

If we traveled with the main character Rose Hathaway, she would be:

The Warrior

She would be the fighter. She would be the one to defend the weak. She would defend her loved ones. She would be a soldier. She would be a great soldier. 
We would meet her on her leave. She would be teaching martial arts to children. We would join in on her class and see her fighting spirit. We would invite her to join us to see Russia. She would join because she had heard so much from her instructor Dimitri, and she wanted to see it for herself. 

Rose went through so much in this book. She had to go through being a blood whore. She had to go through being addicted. Losing control. Rose didn't seem as reckless as before. She went through so much pain. I can't imagine experiencing the horrors she was put through. Her mind must be a battlefield. 
Rose was grief-stricken. She was uncontrollable. As much as I love her character, I started to hate her a little bit. I didn't like her lack of contorl. But. She was grieving. I had to cut her some slack. All her actions were out of grief. 
But Rose tried to keep her humor. 

Okay, God, I thought. Get me out of this and I’ll stop my half-assed churchgoing ways. You got me past a pack of Strigoi tonight. I mean, trapping that one between the doors really shouldn’t have worked, so clearly you’re on board. Let me get out of here, and I’ll . . . I don’t know. Donate Adrian’s money to the poor. Get baptized. Join a convent. Well, no. Not that last one.
Page 411 'Blood Promise'

In all honesty, I thought that she could have been happy with the Belikovs. She could have patched up things with Viktoria. She could have finished her training and stayed in Baia. But Rose was never meant to settle down. 
The Rose in this book was different than the Rose in any of the past books. She was weakened. I can't imagine Rose Hathaway ever being weakened, but it was possible. She changed. She was reckless. She pursued a dream. I felt like the strong and brave Rose was replaced by this maniac. Her grief made her do things she would regret later. She tortured people. She made them suffer.
And just to save the one she loved. 

The Adventure Begins (And Ends):

I just have to say one thing before I start talking about the plot. 
Oh. My. Gosh.
Let's continue. 

What a ride. I couldn't believe what was happening. This series was, and is, intoxicating. It grabbed me by the hand and dragged me along. 

Rose's escape was amazing. She used her cunning this time. She used her mind, not just her body. She fought like a maniac. She had to, of course. Her life was on the line. And she took Dimitri's advice. She ran. 

I smiled at him. Leaning down, I kissed him gently. He probably thought I was doing it for the reasons I always did, out of attraction and desire. In truth, it was a goodbye kiss. His mouth answered mine, his lips warm and eager. I held out the kiss a little longer, both to fight back the tears leaking out of my eyes and to lull him into an unsuspecting state. My hand closed around the chair leg, which I’d hidden in my hoodie pocket. I would never forget Dimitri, not for the rest of my life. And this time, I wouldn’t forget his lessons.
Page 395 'Blood Promise'

And when she was with the Belikovs? I adored it. I got to see Dimitri's life before he became a guardian. It was a nice interlude of peace. Rose had a step-in family. She had people who loved Dimitri around her. And she could grieve properly. 
And when Rose was with Dimitri? It scared me, honestly. I was worried about Rose's life. He teased her. He sapped her strength. It wasn't right. I felt sorry for Rose. I wanted to drag her out of that situation. 
And the things we saw from Lissa's perspective? It was a stab to my heart. Lissa was turning reckless. She was turning back to her party girl ways. She had to be stopped. I wanted Rose to jump onto the next plane and go help Lissa. I prayed for it. I was pleased when Oksana and Rose worked together to help Lissa. That fight with Avery was insane. I choked it down with wide eyes. Why did Avery do it? Why? There was no reason for it. 

I'll Wait For You At the Gate:

Dimitri. Oh god. I hated how Dimitri acted. I hated how he used Rose. You don't have the right to abuse the people you love. He tortured her. Not in the ways you might think, though. He drained her blood. Left her addicted. Left her yearning for his touch. He didn't love her anymore. He acted like a monster. Nothing could hide that. 
This book explored their relationship in a different way. A grieving Rose. An insane Dimitri. These two were perfect together in the other books, but this book cast Dimitri in a darker light. Yet, Rose still saw her Dimitri. The one who loved her and looked at her as if she was the most precious thing in the world. She saw her Dimitri under the red-rimmed eyes and ghostly pale skin. That just showed how much Rose loved Dimitri. 

I looked him in the eye. “I will always love you.”
Page 426 'Blood Promise'

I have mentioned before how I felt like Dimitri and Rose's romance was rushed. We finally got some backstory to their romance. Snow angels. Dimitri caring for Rose when she was sick. We got to see snippets of their normal lives before any Strigoi attack. It was nice to see how Dimitri treated Rose outside of battle or training. He was kind. Sweet. I was happy for Rose. She needed a calming person to soothe her fire. Dimtri was great. He fit the job description perfectly. 

Perks and Upgrades:

I noticed Richelle Mead addressed serious problems through her books. She talked about depression in 'Vampire Academy'. In this book, she talked about addiction and grief. 
She talked about serious topics in a different way. It wasn't direct. For addiction, she wrote about the dizziness. The withdrawal symptoms. Rose suffered. She was weakened and lost. The way Richelle handled things was interesting. You knew Rose was addicted, but it didn't seem like Richelle was talking about addiction in the real world. The way she wrote it made Rose's addiction seem like it was just part of the story and nothing else. 
I see what you're doing, Richelle. It doesn't escape my notice. 

I was weak and had been subdued by Nathan and Inna because I was an addict, because I was living a life of blissful ignorance that was taking a toll on my body and my mind. The thought was startling, and I could barely hold onto it. My yearning for vampire endorphins flared up, and the two factions warred in my mind.
Page 352-353 'Blood Promise'

You Have Arrived at Your Destination:

The ending was a great reunion. We met Lissa. Adrian. We met Alberta. We met Janine for goodness sake! It was great seeing everyone safe and sound. I thought it was a lighthearted reunion. With what happened during the book, I thought a lighthearted reunion was needed. 
And with that reunion . . . it was like I was emerging from a cave— one I’d been in for almost five weeks— into the bright light of day. When Dimitri had turned, I’d felt like I’d lost part of my soul. When I’d left Lissa, another piece had gone. Now, seeing her . . . I began to think maybe my soul might be able to heal. Maybe I could go on after all. I didn’t feel 100 percent whole yet, but her presence filled up that missing part of me. I felt more like myself than I had in ages.
Page 472 'Blood Promise'

I felt like this book could have been the last book of the series. Seriously. Rose had made peace with what happened to Dimitri. She had Lissa on her side again. There were more spirit users than before. Things could have ended well. This book could have ended peacefully. 
But. That silver stake negated everything. There was a need for another book.
Overall, I adored this book. Rose was completely different. The plot was amazing as usual. The romance was full of tension and regret. It was fascinating to see Strigoi Dimitri act. The ending was great. We got to see everyone together. I thought it was good that Rose saw all these people who cared for her. 



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