Saturday, April 9, 2011

Book Review: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead

SERIES SPOILER ALERT. SERIES SPOILER ALERT. SERIES SPOILER ALERT. WARNING: The contents of this review may give away some of the major plotlines within the series. Do not continue reading if you want to be pleasantly surprised by the book.

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) - Richelle Mead

Synopsis: The last few years at St Vladmir’s Academy have been rough for Rose Hathaway, but the end is finally near. Graduation is approaching- and after all the love, loss, killing and heartache that have taken place- Rose is excited to leave the school and finally enter the real world as a renowned and successful Guardian. Although she has high hopes of guarding her best friend- and the last Dragomir princess- Lissa, Rose knows that her questionable behaviour record could be an issue. Having just returned from her failed mission to Siberia to locate and destroy her Strigoi ‘boyfriend’ Dimitri, Rose is feeling a little down about her chances of getting this highly coveted position. Making her feel even more ill at ease, Rose knows that Dimitri is still out there- biding his time until she leaves the grounds of the school so that he can attack her and make her into a Strigoi just like him- or die trying. But she also lives with a kind of hope, especially after learning that the Moroi power of spirit (which Lissa yields) could be the cure capable of changing a Strigoi back into its former self. Determined to find out more about this potentially incredible feat- which could mean the difference between killing Dimitri and turning him back into the Dhampir he once was- Rose enlists the help of her friends to uncover as much as she can about the only Moroi who has ever saved a Strigoi. But Rose’s mission comes at a cost, one that means danger for more than just her and her friends. It’s a race against time, as they try to find a cure for Dimitri- before he can find and destroy them…

What I gained from reading this book: Whereas the previous book was all about dealing with grief, this novel focuses more on redemption, forgiveness and winning back love lost. In Spirit Bound, many of the characters have to find ways to buy back the respect of their friends and, in turn, be forgiven for actions they have taken part in. They also have to find ways to heal the many fissures within their relationships. Due to Avery’s influence (spirit and otherwise) in Blood Promise, Lissa treated Christian harshly, and now needs to earn back his love and respect, while Christian needs to let go of the hurt that he felt at Lissa’s unkind behaviour. Meanwhile, Rose is in a sweet new relationship with Adrian, but she still has strong feelings for Dimitri, who she finds difficult to let go. These emotions cause some rifts within Rose and Adrian’s relationship- especially when Dimitri comes back into their lives- and Rose finds herself drifting between her feelings for the two men. Love is an extremely complicated thing, and both Rose and Lissa keenly illustrate this in the novel. Both girls are in love, yet they are unable to express how they feel without someone getting hurt or losing face amongst others. Spirit Bound teaches us that, while it may hurt sometimes, the best thing to do is take a chance- because you never know how things will turn out. Sure, you may get hurt, but at least you won’t regret not trying…

Positives: The action scenes in this novel are awesome (quite like they were in the other books of this series), and Rose is just as strong-willed as ever. Lissa, too, is starting to come out as a stronger character, and her daring actions take the storyline to new levels.

Negatives: There were a few questions left unanswered at the end of the novel, and, while I’m sure they’ll be answered in the next book, it’s quite irritating that we weren’t given at least some hints towards what may happen next.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Genre: Teenage Fiction

Recommended for: People who are desperate to find out what happens next for Rose, Lissa and the gang- especially since the next book is the last of the series!

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy)

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