Blood Promise: A Vampire Academy Novel
Oh how I have missed Dimitri, and was highly anticipating this book, expecting another beautiful, but difficult, love story. I was hoping that the noble, god-like Strigoi warrior would, somehow, still be himself (if you read the previous book, you were probably heartbroken at how it ended). Alas, it was wishful thinking. While I enjoyed the book, apparently, I spent a great deal of it, frowning.
This book focuses on Rose’s search for Dimitri, in his new “Strigoi” form (evil vampire), with the intention to stake him (a promise each of them made to each other if they were ever “turned”). She travels to Russia, and through a few new contacts, and events, eventually finds herself at his family’s residence. Once she delivers the news, the anguished family accepts her as one of their own, and she stays with them for awhile, taking comfort in being surrounded by those closest to Dimitri.
Everyone kept asking me questions. They wanted to know more about Dimitri, more about what his life had been like recently. They also wanted to know about me and Dimitri as a couple. They all seemed to have figured out that Dimitri and I had been in love – and they were okay with it.
Dimitri’s strange, but mystical grandmother introduces Rose to another bonded couple (a husband and wife, who is also gifted with “spirit”), and she learns a little more that could eventually help with her connection to Lissa. They give her a healing ring that helps her with the darkness that she absorbs from Lissa.
Eventually, the fateful moment occurs when she runs into Dimitri, (the moment I had been reading for).
The eyes. Oh God. The eyes.
Even with that sickening red ring around his pupils, his eyes still reminded me of the Dimitri I’d known. The look in his eyes – the soulless, malicious gleam – that was nothing like him. But there was just enough resemblance to stir my heart, to overwhelm my senses and feelings. My stake was ready. All I had to do was keep swinging to make the kill. I had momentum on my side…
But I couldn’t. I just needed a few more seconds, a few more seconds to drink him in before I killed him. And that’s when he spoke.
“Roza.” His voice had that same wonderful lowness, the same accent…it was all just colder. “You forgot my first lesson: Don’t hesitate.”
While I loved every moment of it, (and I really can’t say much at this point, so as not to spoil it for you), I will admit that my heart was wrenched all the way to the end. I felt fleeting moments of temporary relief, when hints of old Dimitri would peek through. Often, however, I was devastated that perhaps, the author had forever “broken” him. In fact, I will admit, that I became so antsy, and could barely stand not knowing how it was going to end, that I actually searched the net for “spoilers”. As my mind, once again, found rationality, I closed every search window, and decided to live through it, and experience it as it was meant to be read, to the very end.
We do get momentary “breaks” as Rose enters Lissa’s mind, and experiences Lissa’s world through her eyes, despite the emotional and physical distance between them. Adrian, forever sweet, and cocky, is present, along with Christian, and a few new characters (some important enough, that we’ll probably see again). While Lissa’s entourage does help to relieve some of the “Dimitri the Strigoi” tension, Lissa’s strange and rebellious behavior, lead the group into a dangerous situation of their own. Essentially, there are two stories being told here, but Rose’s is the forefront (and the one I was most interested in – sorry Lissa).
Some of my favorite characters did not get as much “screentime” as I would have liked and the emotional connections were not as deeply entrenched in this novel. Nonetheless, there were moments that had me intrigued, and I could not put the book down. One of my favorite chapters was twenty four. There was a little *something* in there, that my completely “absorbed in the book” frame of mind, missed…but once I clued in, I found it quite clever!
Here is a witty “Rose moment”, (not too spoiler-ish) that had me chuckling despite the tension that was building. Caught in a maze of bushes, she quickly becomes flustered, trying to find her way out:
Instead, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going backward or in circles or what. At one point, I was pretty sure I’d passed the same jasmine trellis three times. I tried to think of stories I’d read about people navigating mazes. What did they use? Bread crumbs? Thread? I didn’t know, and as more time passed and my ankle grew sorer, I began to get discouraged. I’d killed a Strigoi in my weakened state but couldn’t escape some bushes. Embarrassing, really.
Happy ending? I’m not saying! Did I love the ending? YES! In truth, I am anticipating the next installment, even more then this one. Stupid May 2010!! Why do you have to be so far away!?