Friday, October 30, 2009

Review: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

Blood Promise, by Richelle Mead, is the fourth novel in the Vampire Academy series. Rose Hathaway travels to Russia to find and kill Dmitri, her lost love who has turned Strigoi. She leaves everything behind at St. Vladimir Academy, including her guardianship and friendship to Lissa Dragomir. She finds herself in situations that she would have never imagined -- hunting Strigoi for pertinent information, meeting mysterious characters who understand the Russian underground scene, encountering a dhampir commune in Siberia, meeting other dhampirs who share similar common occurrences with Strigois, and finally witnessing Dmitri up close and personal.

Before she can carry out her plan, she meets new people who she depends for assistance after she learns new clues on her journey. First, she must emotionally find the strength within herself to understand who she is and what is her purpose in life. Meanwhile, Lissa is exhibiting erratic behaviors and losing her mind slowly at St. Vladimir's Academy. Rose can only helplessly watch from afar. Can a new person take over her former friendship role, even if Lissa and Rose are both shadow-kissed? Does Rose have the courage to kill the man she still loves deeply within her heart? You can find out the answers in this thrilling novel by reading it today!

I simply have four words to say: I LOVE THIS BOOK.

I am so happy I finished this nicely thick novel. The hardcover book was almost 500 pages long, but the storyline flowed very well. Rose has flashbacks of her memories and times with Dmitri throughout the story. Although he is now a Strigoi, he still exhibits human-like characteristics and remembers her favorite treats. Strigoi are undead vampires who are evil and soulless (red eyes, pale skin, superhuman strength). Moroi are living vampires who suck blood to survive and have elemental magic. Throughout the novel, he consistently wants Rose to be his eternal partner. Rose has a challenging dilemma!

Most importantly, this is my favorite Vampire Academy novel because readers can see all the major characters develop and form their own personalities through self-actualization. The ending of Shadow-Kissed was depressing because Rose saw Dmitri disappear before her own eyes. This novel goes through many twists and adventures that sometimes I wanted to yell at Rose often because she was losing her concentration and sense of justice. She also finds herself in dangerous situations and unravels new mysteries around her past. The cliff-hanging ending has set the stage for another exciting adventure that leaves many readers hungry for more Rose + Dmitri! There is a high possibility there will be a positive ending in this series.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Vampire Academy series, Spirit Bound

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5th Vampire Academy Novel (Spirit Bound) Expected Release May 2010

The fifth novel, Spirit Bound, of the spectacular vampire teen fantasy series, Vampire Academy, has an expected release date of May 2010.

Here is a summary of the plot below:

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

In the meantime, enjoy the first four books (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kissed, and Blood Promise) by Richelle Mead. Stay tuned to New Moon and the third season of True Blood!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Music Video: "My Last Breath" by Evanesence

Amy Lee (yes, I know she has a new last name) of Evanescence produced this rare rock song, "My Last Breath." You can find this song on the Fallen (2003) album. Amy is an amazing singer and songwriter in this video.

Click on the link below for the lyrics.

Hold on to me, love
You know I can't stay long
All I wanted to say was
I love you and I'm not afraid, oh

Can you hear me?
Can you feel me in your arms?

Holding my last breath
Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you
Sweet raptured light, it ends here tonight

I'll miss the winter
A world of fragile things
Look for me in the white forest
Hiding in a hollow tree
(Come and find me)

I know you hear me
I can taste it in your tears

Holding my last breath
Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you
Sweet raptured light, it ends here tonight

Closing your eyes to disappear
You pray your dreams will leave you here
But still you wake and know the truth
No one's there

Say goodnight
Don't be afraid
Calling me, calling me
As you fade to black

Holding my last breath
(Say goodnight)
Safe inside myself
(Don't be afraid)
Are all my thoughts of you
(Calling me, calling me)
Sweet raptured light, it ends here tonight

Holding my last breath
Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you
Sweet raptured light, it ends here tonight
Holding my last breath

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Review: Witch Heart (Elemental Witches #3)

With a strange and powerful type of elemental magick, Clare isn't destined to remain a demon's handmaiden. Yet this has been her fate since she was six, when her warlock mother brought her to Eudae. Now an adult, she's about to discover her true power -- and how far others are willing to go to take it away...

Witch Heart, by Anya Bast, is the third novel in the Elemental Witches series. It has been a year since Thomas escaped Eudae with the assistance of Claire, a human servant who has been living in Eudae since her childhood. She belongs to Rue, who is the leader of the Ytrayi race in Eudae. Over the years, he has treated Claire as an experiment by tampering with her earth magick. As a result, she can release bits of air, fire, and water magick. During an Atrika surprise attack, Rue forces the elium into Claire's chest against her will and shoves her into a portal to Earth. Unfortunately, two Atrika military warriors also follow her. Tevan, a lieutenant, and Kai, a captain, want to capture her because the elium is a very powerful weapon. They need the elium to finish their mission: destroy the Ytrayi race in Eudae.

When the Coven witches hear about Claire's whereabouts on Earth, they rush to the asylum hospital to rescue her. Adam and Theo take Claire as fast and far as they possibly could. These Atrika warriors have amazing superhuman and super-healing powers. Meanwhile, Adam finds Claire attractive in a non-conventional way. He finds her very erotic and has urges to seduce her. As their journey becomes more dangerous, Claire has become reacquainted with Earth traditions and wants to establish a life with Adam. Does she have the determination to always live on the run, or will she sacrifice herself so that no one can use her as a weapon?

The Elemental Witches series is geared toward an adult audience. The sexual imagery is very descriptive and not suitable for children. Some of the major returning characters return: Thomas, Isabelle, Jack, Mira, Adam, and Micah. Since the second novel, the Coven has been training hard to fight against their archnemesis, the Duskoff, and other daemons who enter the human world.

Readers will learn a few new items. It seems the aaemon (Coven witches) and daemons have a common ancestor. The Coven witches descend from the Ytrayi (leader) daemons, and the Duskoff witches descend from the Atrika (warrior) daemons. There are two other daemon classes (scholar and builder). Thomas and Isabelle are now married, and so are Jack and Mira. There is a surprise at the end when Claire learns her real identity.

I found this novel did not flow very well. There were certain sections that bored me, and other cast members had very minor roles. Readers will learn more about Adam's past. The storyline did not instantly gravitate to me like the previous two novels. The sexual details were also redundant. Yes, we know that Claire and Adam love each other, but they are trying to survive too! I believe it didn't mesh well because the enemies were daemons from another dimension (instead of the usual Duskoff warlocks). On the bright side, I think the ending hints a new twist -- highlighting what may happen in the next novel.

Overall, this novel disappointed me, but I was able to finish it. Stay tuned for the next novel in the Elemental Witches series, Witch Fury.