Review Blog

Dec 22 2009

Blood Promise : A Vampire Academy Novel by Richelle Mead

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RazorBill, 2009. ISBN 9781921518294.
(Ages:12+) Rose is feeling unsettled at St. Vladimir's. She's tired of having her life mapped out for her. Although she's bonded to her best friend Lissa and is destined to be her guardian she feels she has no choice in the matter. She also has other bigger fish to fry. She feels she must kill her boy friend Dimitri who has now been turned into an evil Strigoi.
Rose leaps off to Russia, Dimitri's birth place (Siberia to be precise) and expects to happen upon him at the airport it seems. Does she know how big Russia is? Does she speak any Russian? Does it sound implausible? Does she succeed? Of course she does. She kicks lots of Strigoi arse looking for Dimitri and finds a group of people she didn't know existed, The Alchemists. They run around after the dhampir guardians disposing of the bodies making sure no nocturnal activities are evident to the human population. How they don't notice all these wierdos is beyond me, but I suspect you're not supposed to do a lot of thinking whilst reading this series.
Rose of course finds Dimitri's family in a small village in Siberia and is taken in as one of the family. Surprisingly they all speak wonderful English so Rose has no problems fitting in. She tells the family what happened to Dimitri and the village come together for a memorial/funeral service.
Rose eventually does her usual and treads all over everyone's feelings whilst feeling extremely sorry for herself and has to leave the family. She teams up with a group of dhampir who hunted Stigoi for kicks. She heads to Novosibirsk with them and after becoming leader of the gang and kicking more strigoi arse she finds Dimitri, or he finds her and takes her prisoner. Like all things in this series her prison is luxurious, beautiful decor, linen, clothing and food. Why would a prison be anything else? Rose is caught in a roller-coaster of emotions. She knows Dimitri is evil, but does she still love him? Will he bite her and turn her into Strigoi as well? I don't need to tell you the answer, because you knew what it would be before you read the first chapter. Similarly you will be expecting the surprise twist ending!
This story is riddled with inconsistencies, amazing improbabilities and unlikely coincidence but I'm sure it won't matter a jot to the audience this series of books has and will continue to hold. Rose like most of her friends and peers is brash, spoiled, indulged, beautiful (Rose is more so because she has bigger breasts as we keep being reminded all the way through this vampire soapy) and to my mind thoroughly unlikeable. It's bound to be popular with the tweenset.
Mark Knight

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