Monday, 6 December 2010

Vampire Academy: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead, book #5 VA series

May 2010, Razorbill
496 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Young Adult, Paranormal, 

Vampires (well this is about vampires), occasional strong language and strong adult scene, some innuendo, hearts broken and hearts mending, friendships re-forged, great trauma, deep trouble, lots of escapades, some violence, parties, stalkers, some reference to alcohol, a few tissues needed.

Summary from Penguin

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. And she made the wrong one…
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's Academy - and to her best friend, Lissa.
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. Only this time, he won't rest until Rose joins him… forever.

Nayuleska's thoughts
Wow. I know I say that a lot with VA series, but seriously - wow. Rose gets spun around, dunked, dried, then spun around again. This includes both emotions and her body. It broke her heart to leave Russia. Dimitri is now in the evil category of characters for me. Just because she didn't want to be turned, he decides that he'll have to kill her because no one else can do the job. That's kind of a lot to deal with. And yet, Rose does what she does best of all: find more trouble to fling herself into. 

Because, you see, there is a smidgeon of hope she can save Dimitri. That priceless piece of information can be found from her and Lissa's nemesis. The problem - he's in jail. So they concoct a way to break him out. Are they successful? Yes and no. Do they get caught? Not exactly, but what happens at the end of the book has Rose in more trouble than breaking out the most prominent prisoner from prison. 

After feeling so sorry for Rose with all that she deals with when coming face to face with Dimitri again, life seemed to calm down a little. Characters made decisions that Rose doesn't take kindly to, but ultimately it will be easier on her. She eventually sees this, but not without putting her foot in trouble along the way. Adrian is there for her a little bit. Eddie - well he helps out of loyalty then gets seriously mad at her. Lissa is supremely cool in this book. She stands up for Rose, fights Rose's corner, and also does  all she can to help mend a troubled spirit. As for Lissa and Christian - there is still a lot of troubled water there, with a little bit of hope. Lissa will need that hope. Just as everything was hunkydory, bam bam bam, several new twists to the plot and I'm going 'wow!'. 

A lot of old characters are in this book, and the joy of learning more about them (and the heartbreak, for which tissues are needed). Rose has several show downs with the queen - unpleasantries are exchanged. For all the trouble that she causes, she does gain support from unexpected quarters. I hope those quarters will find it in them to help Rose in the next book, for she couldn't get in more trouble. I loved seeing all the aspects to Rose. Everyone in life makes mistakes. Some are minor. Sometimes we make huge ones - we do things, even when the evidence before us says 'stop!'. Rose is easy to relate to because she makes whopping mistakes that affect others. She knows what she is doing, but the rebel in her does it anyway. I still love the bond between her and Lissa - it's just such a fascinating concept and means I get to know what's happening to Lissa (cos she's my joint favourite character with Rose). The goings on at the royal court are deeper than Rose realises. At least her friends are by her. And her family too. I hasten to add among all the heartache and thrills, there is humour to be found too. Rose is likeable in that respects. 

Final conclusion 
Just when I thought Rose's life couldn't get more traumatic and emotional - it does. This is a brilliant series and I urge all lovers of young adult/paranormal genre to read it. 

Make sure you're read the previous books in the Vampire Academy series: 

  1. Vampire Academy
  2. Frostbite
  3. Shadow Kiss
  4. Blood Promise
Be sure to check out Richelle on her website

My review of the final book, Last Sacrifice is out on publication day, 7th December 2010. 

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