The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir��s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them . . . including Dimitri.
He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?
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©2009 Richelle Mead (P)2010 Penguin
"The most exciting yet.... Mead’s storytelling improves with each installment, as she keeps readers on the edge of their seats while adding a few unexpected twists." (Associated Press)
I was first introduced to audiobooks during a summer when I decided to drive a truck in order to pay for college. Listening to books all day, every day was the only thing that made that job bearable.
This book really opened up the world of Vampire Academy. Readers get a glimpse into the world of Miroi and Strigoi outside the walls of St. Vladimir's. Until this point, Richelle Mead hadn't spent a lot of time world building, but this problem is resolved as Blood Promise introduces new characters, institutions, locales, and conflicts.
I always love Rose and Christian, but Sydney Sage definitely stole the show this time. Like the rest of the Vampire Academy cast, Sydney is a very complex character with a lot of baggage, but she's always fun to read. Not only is she a great character, but she introduces readers to a whole new side of the VA world: the Alchemists. She's an all-around great addition to the series.
Khristine Hvam was a wonderful narrator for the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. She brought a light-hearted innocence to the books that suited Rose's voice at that time. But everything changed at the end of Shadow Kiss. Blood Promise has a darker tone than the previous books and Rose, forced to mature, is not the same carefree girl she used to be.
Changing the narrator to Emily Shaffer was the perfect choice for this audiobook. The reader is immediately confronted with the change in Rose's character and what this will mean for the rest of the series. It's a bit jarring at first, but the change makes for a deeper, more enjoyable experience.
I LOVED Blood Promise, as much as Twilight if not more. The whole series is great, can't wait to see what happens next. BUT was not happy with the narrator at all, it was very disappointing to go from the first 3 books, the last 2 having the best narrator Khristine Hvan, who made you feel as if you were part of the story, to this narrator who just made it frustrating to keep up with, the worst being Dimitri and Adrian voices. Please got back to Khristine Hvan.
I am so disappointed! The right narrator will make a book and this one was horrible for Rose. Rose is a strong, determined young women not a whinny 10yr old girl. This narrator should be doing children's bedtime stories.I am so frustrated it took forever for Blood Promise to come out on audio and then to have to listen to this narrator, not pleased.
If this narrator continues this series it will be my final listen. Please go back to the original narrator and release the audio-book sooner!! You make more per book on the audio vs the paperback... Why not release them at the same time or shortly after...
I love this series and this installment is no exception. I love the fact that you get to find out so much about Dimitri's life and family (especially Yeva). I think Rose has really changed and grown over the course of the series, but she always manages to keep her humor and sarcasm. There are a few other reviews that really pan the narrator, but I actually think Emily Shaffer may be my favorite. I think her raspy voice suits Rose so much better. She sounds a little more cynical, which I would think Rose would be by this point, and her voice gives Rose a little more of a "badass" edge. Also, she manages to make Lissa not sound like a helpless child and her Russian accent for Dimitri was great. I never understood why the narrator in the third book portrayed Dimitri with an American accent. My only gripe is the accent she gives Adrian, but I can deal with it, since she makes the other characters much more enjoyable.
Reading the reviews everyone seems to think this narrator wasn't as good as the last couple have been. For me she is much much better than any of the others. She maintains the regional accents which were left out of the last two books and it really bothered me. This also enables us listeners to follow the story much better because you can follow the dialog more easily without the whiney, valley girl and fake man voices the last narrators have had to use to tell characters apart. I wasn't sure I could handle another book with such annoying voices.
My 3 star rating is by no means, a reflection on the quality of the story, which is awesome, but only as the audiobook itself. Once again, we have a new narrator & this one isn't good. She's all wrong for Rose! Since so much of the story takes place in Russia, I understand the need for someone who can do Russian accents, BUT if you can't properly execute it, it's usually best to avoid it all together. Every Russian character, both male & female, sounded exactly the same: like an elderly Russian woman. This made Dimitri sound anything but sexy. :( Don't even get me started on Adrian's accent. Yuck! This constantly took me out of the story. I wish 'The Powers That Be' had kept Khristine Hvam. I thought her portrayal of Rose was dead on & her male voices were good too. I'm growing tired of this constant change of narrators. This isn't the only change. It seems like the people at Penguin thought it would be a good idea to add cheesy sound effects to amplify the intense & supernatural parts of the story. It was so distracting & at times, I found myself laughing at how ridiculous it sounded. I don't see the need to rely on such elements when Richelle Mead's writing is plenty enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Fortunately, by the time I started the next book, I had gotten used to it. While this audiobook experience wasn't as satisfying as the previous ones, this wasn't enough to deter me from opting for the paperback. Having said all that, the story was wonderful as always! 1st half was a bit slow, but the 2nd half definitely made up for it. Richelle Mead does such a great job w/ this series & the build up w/ the Dimitri situation among other things. Never have I loved a character as much as Rose. She can kick ass, but she is also flawed. This girl is no Mary Sue! She's so easy to root for, b/c she is so, well...human. My heart broke for her during her quest to find & kill strigoi Dimitri. This book had many surprises & I didn't find it the least bit predictable.
This is a great series, with each book getting better. I loved Emily Shaffer reading Book 4. How can you go to Russia and have everyone speak with an American accent? I love her Dimitri accent, very sexy. Book 5 should be out May 18 and I hope it will be out on Audible.
I am really hesistant to continue to the final two books because of how much I don't enjoy this new narrator. I miss the narrator from the first two books. I get that this book is darker than the first three, but changing the narrator on top of changing the tone was too much. I've listened to the entire House of Night series that got darker as well but managed to keep the same narrator throughout 12 books. Am I to believe that Rose went from a love stricken 17 year old to a chain smoking 30 year old woman. Emily's voice sounds like a parody of itself like she's constantly shrugging her shoulders and saying whatever as she's recording the narration. The Russian accents were abrasive to my ears. Strigoi or not Dimitri does not sound like that. And when did Adrian become British? And the background music that just comes out of nowhere. I paused the book several timeas to try to figure out where that horrible music was coming from. That being said she does emote somewhat to satisfactory and Richelle Mead is a good writer so I would still recommend this audiobook to a friend.
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