Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)

Blood Promise - Richelle Mead "Blood Promise" was less engaging than its predecessor "Shadow Kiss", but it nonetheless managed to draw me into the story and I eagerly await reading the next novel. The novel picks up where the last left off - having Rose travel to Russia in search of Dimitri. I felt that this novel played out, at first, like a Naruto filler marathon of side-stories, where there are interesting events and characters that are showcased (the Alchemist Sydney and Dimitri's family were worth seeing in spurts), but it made me want to say "Okay, let's get back to the main storyline, sooner than later." It took a little too long to return - something that could've easily been cut by at least 150 pages, but once the ball rolled, the story whipped itself back into shape.I never thought I'd say this, but...Dimitiri is a far more interesting character in his turn as a Strigoi, intriguing certainly. I think in the first and second books, Dimitri's affections for Rose were more told than shown, and I never was completely convinced of how much they cared about each other until the third book and all kinds of insanity went down. Dimitri shows a very different side here - he has moments of genuine affection for Rose, but he has this alluring charm in his Strigoi form that I'll admit I wanted to see what turns he took in his role as a villain."Blood Promise" had some very harrowing scenes in the last third of the novel, and made it well worth following considering the degrees of tension established with Rose and Dimitri's reunion. I found it interesting that Rose had that moment of falling as a blood whore - it was interesting to see her internal and external struggles within that scope. I found I wasn't bothered by that, because it's consistent with her character and her toggling of affections for Dimitiri versus what she's learned of the Strigoi in her experiences at the Academy. I also appreciated some of the back and forth of the storyline with Lissa and Adrian (whom I still love as a character), and I liked the angle the story took with that particular plotline. I wasn't expecting much from it, but it hooked me, especially when Rose returns to her senses and goes all out to protect Lissa again from what was a surprising adversary.Overall, this was a good novel with some bumps along the way. I'm looking forward to reading "Spirit Bound" soon.Overall: 3.5/5