Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blood Promise

I just finished reading Blood Promise and I’m both happy and a bit disappointed. There are already tons of book reviews on this book so I’m really just gonna cover the issues I had with this book. I do want to say upfront that I did enjoy the book, even if this post may sound otherwise.

If you haven’t read Blood Promise yet, or don’t want any spoilers, you might not want to keep reading.

My main problem with Blood Promise is with the overall story. I know that sounds a bit harsh, but at the end of the book we’re in the exact same position we were in when we started. Only now, we’ve spent a few hundred pages grieving and saying goodbye to a loved character only to have it thrown back in our face.

Does that sound a bit bitter? Maybe it’s because I realized that when I closed the book at the end of Blood Promise all I felt was a bit emotionally exploited. I mean, this entire book was about saying goodbye to Dimitri. That’s the plot. The story. And in the end, all those tears and all those tough decisions were pointless.

It ultimately felt like Mead was pandering to her YA Dimitri/Rose base with this book and I thought it really hurt the overall story (though the next book could prove me wrong of course).

I did love the way Mead showed Dimitri was a completely different person now that he’s Strigoi, but I just don’t see what the point in bringing his character back is. We grieved for him at the end of the last book, we grieved for him all through this book, and then we had to grieve while we watched Rose finally get the strength to do the right thing and kill him. Then we find out it was all for nothing.

Again, I feel emotionally exploited.

I also don’t understand why people are so quick to assume that Dimitri will be back to his old self if Rose and Lissa do somehow find a way to bring him back. I mean, if he’s his old self won’t it be hard to live with the fact he’s killed innocent people for the sake of his appetite? I’d like to think the old Dimitri would actually be bothered by that. I also find the idea that somehow two teenagers are supposed to accomplish what many many people must have of tried to do before is a bit of a stretch (but I’m sure it will somehow happen).

Really, the only character who grows at all in this book is Adrian. I have to say that I’m for Adrian and Rose all the way, but Mead’s effort to make him a more endearing character makes me worried for future books. This has the unpleasant flavor of a love triangle. And if there’s something I hate, it’s definitely doomed love triangles. (Getting a little Twilighty for my taste in this department.) I think it’s obvious to everyone, besides die hard Dimitri fans, that Rose has some unexplored feelings towards Adrian, but I don’t see how Mead can give them any room for growth with Dimitri always hanging over everyone’s head.

I also thought Lissa once again got the short end in the story when really her minor plotline was much more exciting than the monotony Rose was participating in. I thought the issues with Avery and Rose’s feelings of jealousy regarding Adrian could have been better explored (maybe we could have one less Dimitri and Rose flashback and more Avery time). The issue with Christian and Lissa was a bit over-inflated for the sake of drama for the story in my opinion. If they don’t quickly get back together then I’m sure it will only be because it’s a better way to torture readers and not because the characters can’t really get their shit together.

And does anyone else have a hard time accepting Rose just waltzing right back into her old life? I just don’t see why Rose would be allowed to be Lissa’s guardian when it’s obvious Rose will not be able to put Lissa first. I’m not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing. I just think this is an issue that needs some serious consideration (though now that I think about it I’m sure the queen will say just that).

Even though this book was definitely the weakest out of all the Vampire Academy’s, I will still keep reading this series. I would be lying though if I didn’t admit to worrying about it turning into too much of a fan-driven story like Twilight did. Let’s just hope that’s not the case.

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