Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spirit Bound (Vampire Acaemy #5), Richelle Mead

Title: Spirit Bound
Author: Richelle Mead (author website)
Release Date: May 18th 2010 by Penguin/Razorbill   
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 starhalf star

I’m trying—with great difficulty—to collect my thoughts on Spirit Bound into something coherent. Exciting, heart wrenching and intense as ever, I turned the final page consumed with righteous indignation and roiling fury. But oh. my. word, was it amazing.

From Goodreads:
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 Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. 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 she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price? 

SPOILER WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the previous two books in the series.

Rose... Scares Me:

Rose is back at St Vladimir’s, after failing in her mission to kill Dimitri, and give the man she loved peace at last. We join her on the day of her graduation from the Academy, just as she receives another chilling note from the Strigoi Dimitri. Rose in Spirit Bound is different. She’s experienced incredible loss and heartache, and she’s grown as a result. With that growth has come some maturity, and she seems a little tougher and bleaker in her outlook; at the same time, she seems to have reached new levels of recklessness and drive.

Rose has become a woman posessed. Whilst on one hand, she’s convinced herself she’ll make the right decision when the inevitable final confrontation with Dimitri occurs, another part—and that part is not small—can’t let go, and will go to any lengths to save him. We see just how far those lengths are in Spirit Bound, and they’re scary. Rose’s actions go beyond reckless in Spirit Bound, to the extent even I questioned the value of one life, in exchange for so many others... and I’m rather attached to that one life.


Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise saw a rift develop between Rose and Lissa—one of the relationships and aspects of the Vampire Academy series I enjoyed and valued most. In Spirit Bound, this rift is repaired, and the two grow close again, but they seem to be equals for the first time. Rose isn’t the only person to have grown, and we see the fierce dedication Rose has always shown Lissa reciprocated through actions and words, as the last Dragomir really comes into her own... and kind of steals the limelight.


Meanwhile, Adrian has grown into one of the brightest stars of this series, and as his storyline develops, my heart breaks over and over. Adrian and Rose are in an actual relationship in Spirit Bound, and we get to see a lot more of the deliciously infamous Ivashkov. This is a real treat, as his Spirit-driven charisma leaps off the page, and delivers giggles by the bucket-load... but as much as I love Adrian, I don’t love him with Rose, and not only because my her heart belongs to Dimitri: Rose clearly isn’t right for Adrian, and—as his own mother observes—this can only end in heartbreak. His.

Here We Are Again... I Get Why Rose is Obsessed:

So here’s the thing: that righteous indignation and anger I mentioned? Uh... well, despite the very precarious situation Rose is left in as Spirit Bound draws to a close, a lot of it was directed at Dimitri, of all places. I’ve rarely been so angry at a character I love so, so much. As the book ties up, Dimitri is suffering. Given who he is, and what he’s been through, I honestly believe the way he behaves towards Rose in Spirit Bound is utterly authentic, and the only way he could and would do. But logic doesn’t make me any less angry (am I turning into Rose?). Rose and Dimitri fans will be both thrilled and frustrated with the turn of events in this instalment. And perhaps slightly impatient.

The Verdict

Spirit Bound delivers. All the action, intrigue, politics and heartbreak we’ve come to expect from the Vampire Academy series are present, and masochistic fans will delight in an epic of a cliffhanger ending. The political turmoil simmering throughout the series has come to a boil—and the fallout has huge consequences for the characters we've come to know and love, as well as the whole Dhampir race. The stakes are higher than ever—goodness only knows how Mead manages to keep raising them—and with only one more book to go, I’m clambering to discover how the loose ends and threads of stories will be woven into the finished tapestry I’m starting to see form. Hmm... I wonder if it’s possible to hold one’s breath through 600 pages... You guys? Spirit Bound is as badass as Rose. Be excited.

Books in This Series:

  1. Vampire Academy
  2. Frostbite
  3. Shadow Kiss
  4. Blood Promise
  5. Spirit Bound
  6. Last Sacrifice


  1. Love. I read this book in less than half a day. Rose could make me so annoyed with her actions, yet I always loved her. And poor Dimitri. I felt so bad for him. I completely agree about Adrian. I adored him, but never once thought he was the right guy for Rose. And, I too loved how Lissa finally toughened up and became a force.
    I'm happy you enjoyed Spirit Bound. Great review!

    1. Eeee! Andrea, me too! I read the whole series in a dazed blur over the Christmas holidays and seriously. Love. Just LOVE.

      Poor Dimka--YES. And ADRIAN. EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID ^__^

  2. I always hated how hard Adrian's love life has to be to become such and amazing character. I admire how much he has grown throughout those stuggles. Thats probably why I love him so much.
    Now for your amazing review. I really like all your thoughts about the series. It's such a thought provoking series by an outstanding writer.
    I just love how you describe the books events and characters!
    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Ugh. Rachel, YES! Adrian kind of breaks my heart. He's lovely and he has such a tough time of it :(

      "It's such a thought provoking series by an outstanding writer."

      THIS. There are so many layers to read into it, and YES! Love.

  3. I stopped after the first paragraph! The last 3 books in the series are on my TBR this week. Damn! Damn! Why are you guys scared of Rose? I guess I have to find out for myself :)

    Talk Supe

  4. I have to admit that the books lost a lot of their appeal for me post Shadow Kiss, but I still read them all and enjoyed the overall story. I think that, as much as I loved Rose, three books of the whole starcrossed love thing with Dimitri was enough for me, and by Blood Promise I was ready for something new. Still, I love the VA world, and I LOVE Adrian. He's one of my favorite characters...along with Christian and possibly Sydney. I have yet to read Bloodlines, but I'm excited for it!

  5. Seriously, I really don't know how you do it, these reviews are all so great. I can't get enough of them since this is one of my fav series of all time! I'm so glad you like them too! I agree, this was one of the most gut-wrenching books I've read. I don't often get so caught up in a love interest relationship, but gahhhh. I love Adrian too but felt the same way, he's not meant for Rose. It hurts to see him get hurt, well to know it's coming eventually.

    VA FTW!! :D

    Rock on as always :D
    April @ My Shelf Confessions

  6. Dimitri can do no wrong, which is OBVS, because instead of getting mad at him, I got mad at Rose a lot in this one. So much so that this is my least favorite in the series. But, YES. You nailed it in regards to Adrian. Baby doesn't belong with Rose, but with a certain special someone else. CAN'T WAIT UNTIL YOU FINISH BOTH SERIES UP TO DATE, SARAH. Seriously, I want to drool over Adrian's deliciousness with you SOOON.

  7. Yes! Spirit Bound <3
    PERF REVIEW AS ALWAYS. I agree with everything you said. I totally LOVE and ADORE Adrian but, as you said, not with Rose! DIMITRI. < that's all i have to say and you know what i mean! This man. OMG. Have you read Bloodlines? Or are you waiting to finish VA series?
    GAH! <3

  8. UGH. Again I can't read your review because my lazy butt still hasn't bought the series. I am a LOSER!

  9. Love your review! So perfectly captures Spirit Bound. I didn't love the last book as much as I would have hoped but this one ended perfectly.

    Just one thing - was anyone else as creeped out about the foray into blood-whoreness? Mead wrote the whole taboo part so well I was actually a little disgusted she went there.

  10. Call me morbid but I was really hoping Lissa died in this one. I can't stand her. Or maybe what I can't stand is that Rose risks her life time and again and its seen as recklessness while Lissa uses a power she was born with and hasn't had to work for at all and somehow she's a saint. Absolute FAIL. Putting that aside, I still loved Spirit Bound. The Rose/Adrian relationship got a bit too disturbing in this one and I just wanted her to cut the guy loose even though I don't like him one bit. It was pretty obvious that the way Dimitri acted was just to keep the whole star crossed lovers thing going. Thank goodness for Rose and Eddie or I would have quit this series. Your review is flawless as always Sarah. Loved it more than the book!

  11. Awesome review, Sarah! I absolutely LOVE this series! It's so good! JUST YOU WAIT UNTIL LAST SACRIFICE! It's awesome! :D

  12. haha I am one of those masochist fans who loved all of the freaking cliffhanger of this series! the one in Shadow Kiss, the one in Blood Promise, the one in Spirit Bound, and I would have probably enjoyed more if the series wouldnt have ended in Last Sacrifice lol. Excellent review my dear! VAMPIRE ACADEMY FOREVER AND EVER AND FOR ALWAYS WITH ALL THE POWER OF MY HEART! WOOOHOOOO! Im such a sucker loL! Cant help it, Richelle Mead created the MAN of my DREAMS! <3 aaaaaaah!!!! Oh My Dimitri!!!! Oh Yeah!!!

    excellent review my dear, you do make justice to this awesome series =9 hell yesh!!

  13. SQUEEE! SPIRIT BOUND! It sort of broke my heart because it was filled with so much angst but I enjoyed it. Rose and Adrian....what do I say? Romitri all the way but Adrian's always been my favourite. HIS POOR HEART! *cuddles him* You'll be okay in The Golden Lily........ Great review, Sarah! :D

  14. EEEEEEEE! I just bought the whole series. I am so excited. Pretty much got it for free too since I had amazon gift cards to use from giveaways I won.

  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! So much so that my cousin and I named my car Dimitri...

  16. I love how so many people are Rose/Dimitri shippers, yet Adrian fans themselves (well I don't LOVE it in the sense that I'm screaming, 'BACK OFF BLOOD WHORES, HE'S MINE!'). How many 'love triangles' do we see evoke those sort of feelings? Not many that I've come across.

    Adrian is just so... I love that you can see depth beyond that 'party boy' exterior, there is pain and heartache and kindness and OH MY GOD. I WANT TO HUUUUUG HIM SOMETIMES. Ahem. Anhyway. Your review is not about Adrian. SPIRIT BOUND! Any time I want to explain to someone why I love Rose, I'm just directing them back to your VA reviews, because you SO capture her perfectly. And I kinda loved watching you get so pissed off with Dimitri while you were reading this. Am I cruel? Maaaybe. But I like seeing people get so invested in characters :D


  17. This is such a great series! I think I struggled in the first couple of books because Lissa is such a weak character, physically, and once Rose leaves for Russia, she kind of finds her own...place and strength. I really began to like her then. She was fierce all on her own.
    They make a great team.

    And oh Dimka!

  18. "...but as much as I love Adrian, I don’t love him with Rose...

    YES YES YES YES! I'm not sorry to say this at all, but I'm WHOLEHEARTEDLY Team Adrian (which is why I actually liked Bloodlines better than VA but I think that's just me haha...)! x) But even though I know he's not right for Rose too, I still heart my heart cracking for his foreseeable heartbreak! :'( But I know that Richelle will at least give him the HEA he deserves with Sydney in The Golden Lily! (Have you read the teasers yet? Oh my goodness, he's such a SWEETHEART!)

    I love your review, Sarah! Please ignore my Adrian fangirling :') <3

  19. Awwww....I love Adrian, I love his humor, he so needed a HEA. He got his own book series...this has got to mean something!!

    Everything you said in your review TRUE! TRUE! TRUE! Awww the heartbreak and emotion and it is all happening.

    Dimitri is such an awesome written character. As the reader we go through like these 3 emotional thingys ( can't think of word) We have Rose and her pain, then Dimitri and the good the bad and the down right heartbreaking and then we have Adrian...awww he just is the nicest guy and he is just addicted to Rose and then all that pain. Crickey..you really do make me want to go through all this pain again hehe!! Like this is the 'coolest 'series but it is just so dang emotional, all round:D

    Love reading your thoughts!!


  20. I don't know if I could ever review VA but you have done a fantastic job with Spirit Bound and reminded me that it's been too long since I've done a re-read! ;)

  21. I thought reading books like this will be boring or something, but when I started reading and fall in the characters, I realized that I’m starting not just to like it but I fell in love with the book.



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