Saturday, September 1, 2012

Homecoming, by Richelle Mead

- Homecoming is part of the Foretold anthology. 
Release date: August 28th 2012
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis of Foretold:
Richelle Mead, Lisa McMann, Michael Grant, Meg Cabot, Laini Taylor, and nine more of the hottest YA authors to hit the shelves explore the concepts of prophecy and prediction in this story collection edited by NYT bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan.

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It's human nature to wonder about life's twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life's unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction's brightest stars.

I honestly don't know what to think. I've been waiting for this novella to come out for two years, since Last Sacrifice disappointed me a little. I was hoping Richelle Mead would give us a wonderful closure to Vampire Academy in that book, but instead, all we got was a ton of loose ends and unanswered questions... but that was okay, I told myself. Obviously Richelle Mead had something else planned, and all these issues will be addressed later on, maybe in Bloodlines, or, umm, who knows, in a novella?

And finally, she gave us what we, fans, desired the most... a novella with Rose and Dimitri in Russia. And now that I have read this novella, all I wish for is that it was never published in the first place. I don't know what the hell Mead was thinking when she wrote this, but this novella was useless. That's it; it's just useless. It doesn't add anything to the story, let alone give us some closure. 

Let me make myself clear and just explain why I hated this so much. And yes, I tried to control myself, but there'll be a lot of ranting in this review, so I apologize for my language.

You see, the novella starts off with Rose and Dimitri in Russia, about to visit the Belikovs. Dimitri is nervous, of course, since it's the first time he'll get to see his mom and sisters after being turned back into a dhampir. And that was supposed to be wonderful - I mean, that's what I waiting for, after all - it was anything but. Most of the time Mead simply told us what was happening - she didn't show us. I kept waiting for my heart to break and for me to feel happy for Dimitri but that didn't happen, because for the first time in my life, I didn't connect with him at all. He was like a stranger to me, and that pissed me off beyond words. I felt betrayed; it was like Mead had twisted everything that I loved, changed Dimitri and Rose so much I couldn't recognize them. 

Speaking of Rose.. what the hell happened to her? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?! She was all over the place. And Rose was the biggest disappointment of all times. She was ridiculous. She kept questioning Yeva and fighting her, even when Dimitri was standing right next to her, as if Rose had the right to disrespect Yeva in front of the Belikovs. Not to mention that makes no sense - Rose knew Yeva, she spent weeks with her in Blood Promise. It's like Mead suddenly forgot that, and decided to write these fights just to show us how badass and brave Rose is. Let me tell you, Mead, it didn't work. It made Rose look like a fucking brat. 

And the romance. I won't even get started on the romance. There was no chemistry between her and Dimitri, there wasn't a single scene that made my heart race, there wasn't a single dialogue - except for one quote - that made me swoon. Can you sense how angry and disappointed I am? Even the plot of this novella was all over the place.. and come on, it's a novella. It's not even supposed to have that much of a plot, because there's not enough time for it to develop. But of course Mead had to do it. And you know what? I don't care about a strigoi that's been killing humans near Dimitri's village. I don't care about the Blood King. I don't care about a new villain. I don't care about hot dogs - because, you know, there is a conversation involving hot dogs that lasts 2 pages. This was like an awful fanfiction - and I call it "awful" because I've read amazing fanfictions that are way better than this.

I'm not saying this novella was supposed to solve every single loose end in the series. Of course that's not possible; like I said, there's not enough time for this to happen. But come on! At least give me some closure on Dimitri and Rose themselves. Show me how they're living, show me what challenges they have to endure on a daily basis to stay together, how they're managing the whole "being Lissa and Christian's guardian" thing. Please, just show me something important, something relevant. We never even get to know how they went to Russia in the first place - something is mentioned about how Rose is nervous about leaving Lissa alone, but what about Christian? I find it hard to believe that Dimitri would just leave his Moroi alone in the Court, even if he was protected by Lissa's guardians as well. Dimitri isn't like this.

I'll just put it in a blunt way: Homecoming was unnecessary. It failed in every single aspect. It lacked creativity, it lacked writing - and I don't say this lightly -, it lacked romance, it lacked substance. I honestly regret all the time I wasted being excited for this novella. It was uncalled for, because you know what? It didn't add anything new to Vampire Academy, it didn't add a single thing to Last Sacrifice, and to be honest, the only thing I'm looking forward to, right now, is forgetting Homecoming was ever published. 


  1. Oh no! It's a shame you thought the Rose and Dimitri story didn't add anything. I'll be honest, that's the only story I'm interest in reading... but I guess I'll avoid it now. Thanks for the helpful review, Beatriz!

    1. Thank you, Sam! And yeah, it was a shame... I was just so excited to read this novella, you know? And it ended up being horrible -_-
      If you read it in the future, I hope you'll enjoy it more than I did :D

  2. Nooo! I'm sorry this didn't work for you. I don't understand how she can write such an amazing series and then deliver something that is no way near up to par. I agree, as a reader I need some Rose and Dimitri closure and it's such a shame she didn't deliever. Fantastic review, Bia, I'm sorry this was so disappointing.

    1. Thank you! And I know, right?! It's like someone else wrote this. Maybe it's because she spent two years without writing Vampire Academy, but still. This novella just didn't have the essence of the series.

  3. Espera um minuto. BRASILEIRA? Finalmente! Como você conseguiu ler Foretold? Não acho em parte alguma! Você poderia me ajudar com isso?

    1. Hahaha! XD
      Comprei o ebook na Amazon, e li pelo aplicativo do Kindle!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Thank you for your review! Like you, I was waiting for Mead to write a short story, novella anything to bring some closure to the Rose/Dimitri story. I assumed they would go to Russia-that is not a surprise what is a surprise is that there was nothing about how they were handling their personal vs work lives. Rose and D's love story was so well written I don't know how it could be ruined,was the book ghost written? :(
    Being you cannot buy the story as a stand alone I was debating whether I wanted to spend 10 dollars to get one short story about R&D. So, I went searching for reviews and am so glad I found your review. You just saved me 10 dollars and tons of disappointment. I love the series, I was not thrilled with the abrupt ending however, I hoped there would be another book or they would give us some closure in Bloodlines. It appears that is not going to happen and what a shame. Rose and Dimitri are two of my favorite characters - forget Bella, Sookie, Elena, Dimitri and Rose were so well written one feels as if they were real. I never cried so much while reading a novel! What a bummer. Hoping we will get some closure in Bloodlines! As a quick aside I love the character Abe! He was hilarious and I was hoping he was the reason they were going to Russia. That Dimitri's sister had been kidnapped and Abe sent/went with them to help get her back. sigh! Thanks again!

    1. You're welcome!
      I couldn't agree more with you - Rose and Dimitri are special characters. I've never felt so connected with a couple before.. and it was a BIG disappointment to find out that Mead had changed them so much in this novella.
      Abe is so much fun INDEED. He's awesome - and strangely, I had exactly the same idea that you did regarding Dimitri's sister O.O
      Anyway.. I'm glad that I could help you, even if that means you won't be reading Foretold. And thank you for commenting! :3

  6. I couldn't agree more. To say I was disappointed wouldn't even begin to describe how aweful this tale was. It had taken me a while to actually find and read this little disappointment.
    As a fan of vampire academy I was hoping for something longer and more in depth. To me it seemed like she wrote this one day out of sheer boredom. Nothing more.
    I can't really sum it up in words how utterly annoyed I am. The characters seemed wrong. They had no depth. No life. When Mark and Oksana showed up I was disappointed that she didn't even mention how Rose and Lissa had no bond anymore. It would have been one redeeming quality then.
    It wasn't worth reading and I wish it wasn't written at all.

  7. Can I just say that this is one of the most honest and heart felt reviews I have read in a long time!!! If only the novella we are discussing could have had at least one iota of the feeling you have portrayed here it would have been at least ok. I try not to put authors or artists or anyone down about something they have produced. However I can not show approval for such a poorly written anthology. My 12 yr old has written better fan fiction for the graphic novels than this tripe.

  8. One of the things I missed when she saw Oksana was that she didn't get inspiration from the ring. Because Oksana made/charmed that ring to Rose to help her with the side effects of Spirit Rose wouldn't have seen a difference in Demetri when he was holding the ring and she saw a difference in him. While he was holding her captive and trying to convince her to let him awaken her. Rose realized it was the ring's effects so THEN she went down the path that eventually got her to Victor's brother and using Spirit to save him.

    She owed Oksana a GREAT deal of thanks but she doesn't even mention it.

    I hated how the series ended. Abrupt and leaving so many questions.

    As a parent/grandparent I instantly felt horrible that Demetri's mother didn't know he was alive and healed, for lack of a better word. I couldn't believe in the entire Bloodlines series there was no mention, when Rose and/or Demetri were mentioned, that said "Oh, they're off in Russia seeing his family" or something, ANYTHING!, to close that line of thinking.

    SO I was glad to read this story. If only for getting that satisfactory ending to him NOT even calling his family to let them know he was whole again and would be coming to see them as soon as he could.

    I would have liked to know more about their life though. In Bloodlines they do pop in every now and then but I hated how those stories ended too. I wanted Sonya to draw blood from that baby and do research on herself and Mikhail Tanner, to find out if she ever got pregnant like Olive did after she was restored from a Strigoi.

    Sydney is a scientist at heart and her need to know should have helped her to find a way to do research without making Declan a science project. Sonya and Sydney should have been able to announce their results to Lissa so that they could show why Dhampirs couldn't reproduce together.

    For instance, if it takes the female to be restored for her eggs to accept the Dhampir sperm and create a fetus. Or if the tag in their genetics makes it where one or the other can be restored and no longer have that tag where they can't make babies together.


    Overall I love both series but would like more closure. I am exceedingly glad to have this story but the Blood King? Not interesting at all. Didn't need him. Did need Rose to acknowledge the part that Oksana contributed to Demetri's restoration.

    I'm going to find some fanfiction to read. If another short story came out I'd read it. Gladly, but I want it to be more.

    Ask the fans what questions they have, what would they like to read then write the story we need to read.

  9. In the beginning of my previous comment I meant to say that Rose didn't tell Oksana thank you and tell her just how much her charmed ring changed Demetri when he was holding it and talking to Rose. I left out a couple of words.

    Oksana's charmed ring started Rose off on a path that ended up saving Demetri, Olive, and Sonya.