Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)

Where did you get this book: Purchased by reviewer

Release date: Out now

This review contains spoilers!

Blurb taken from authors’ official website:

“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 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.”

Spirit Bound is the fifth book in the Vampire Academy series, and I was really happy to see the return to form after the last book. Even though book four was slow for me, this one started off with a bang (in the form of Rose’s graduation trials) and kept going. I never felt like the tension lapsed, and it even managed to surprise me once or twice at the end (a rare feat, especially for an author whose work I’m familiar with).

The plot this time around involved a lot more of Rose’s trademark trouble-making: prison break, sneaking off, sneaking into places she shouldn’t be, pissing off the royals. And she doesn’t get away with all of it. I think Rose actually gets busted for her behavior more in this book than any of the previous installments. To me, that makes her more impressive since she’s never sure she’ll get away with what she’s trying to do, and oddly enough she gets in trouble for the very things she’s confident will go off without a hitch. Rose is growing up, and realizing that sometimes she’s going to have to take responsibility for her actions is a big part of that in Spirit Bound.

I liked the way things played out with Christian and Lissa. Their falling out was handled realistically, as were Christian’s subsequent attempts to get back in Lissa’s good graces. The return of some previously mentioned characters was nice too: Mia, Jill, Ambrose, Victor Dashkov, Abe, Sydney, and even a mention of Ms. Karp. Based on the set up, I’m fairly certain several of those characters have major parts to play in the up-coming book six (Last Sacrifice).

As for Rose’s love life — Adrian has officially become my favorite messed-up boyfriend. He made a point of letting Rose know that he understood her obsession with saving Dimitri, and he didn’t hate her for it. In some ways, he even encouraged it. He wanted her happy, no matter what that meant for him. So, yes, I’m Team Adrian now, and I really hope Rose at least has a hard time deciding in the next book. Dimitri is still awesome in his own way, but Adrian genuinely seems to care more about Rose, and I respect that.

There were a few things that bothered me. (Major spoilers ahead)   The way everyone seemed to forget about Victor being on the loose was silly. I’m sure it will be resolved in Last Sacrifice, but it was such a big deal in the beginning and then everyone seemed to forget about him (including Rose, who only thought about him when she thought she’d been busted about breaking him out). Secondly, Dimitri’s guards seemed to disappear at the end of the book. In one scene they’re there, then the next time he shows up, in the court hearing no less, Rose doesn’t even realize he’s there, which would seem hard if he was surrounded by guardians.  Maybe they were there all along, but I read him as being alone at the back of the courtroom.

All in all, I found Spirit Bound to be an enjoyable read. It did end on a big cliffhanger and with a lot of loose ends, but considering it’s the second to last book in the series, that wasn’t unexpected. This book renewed my faith in Richelle Mead (yes, it flagged with Blood Promise), and I’m confident she will tie everything up in Last Sacrifice (available in December).

I give Spirit Bound 4.5 stars.

I also want to thank the Book Pushers for allowing me to join them for a while doing reviews. I’m a harsh critic, but I try to be fair and honest. Thanks for having me, Ladies!

8 thoughts on “Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead”

  1. Great review! Even if you did admit to being Team Adrian…I admit he did grow on me quite a bit during this book, but I’ll always be a Dimitri girl. Regardless, I just want Rose to be happy when Last Sacrifice is through. Can’t wait to find out how it ends!

  2. Great review!

    Adrian grew on me as well, but I wouldn’t say I am on team Adrian now. I still love Dimitri, bad attitude and all!

    I have a feeling that Adrian is not quite what he seems. I can’t speculate without major spoilers, so I won’t…. just think about it. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for the review. I have to admit that I gave up on the series after the first two books, mostly due to Rose’s behavior, but I may pick up this one and the next if Rose is going to grow up some after all.

  4. Great review Julie! This book completely captured me and was responsible for my forgetting to go to bed one night. I just had to finish it. I’m just glad we only have to wait until December to find out how all the lose ends tie up.

  5. Thanks for the comments, ladies 🙂

    For the record, I don’t hate Dimitri, I just don’t like the way he treats Rose. As for Adrian being more than he seems, I did consider that possibility, but I think, if anything, that fault more likely lies with a different Ivashkov 😉

    Cories, I’m not 100% sure if you will think Rose has grown up, per se, but she has grown. Then again, I liked her from the beginning 😛

  6. I think Jill is Lissa sister, we where told that her mother used to be a ballet dancer so I´m almost sure she is the one,I agree I think others Ivashkov are the one´s that are not what the seem like.I also think that Viktor in the end is a good guy that will help Rose with her murder charge´s

    Love the books

  7. Pingback: Bid and Win Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead on Freado!! | Freado Blog

  8. Hi Julie

    Was looking for reviews to share with Freado readers and found your post.

    Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead is a prize on Freado this month and I’m linking to your review on our blog. 🙂


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