Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Book Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Book 5)Title: Spirit Bound (Book #5 in the Vampire Academy series)
Author: Richelle Mead
Number of pages: 489 pages
Release Date: 18 May 2010
Publisher: Razorbill Publishing
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Razorbill Publishing, Amazon, Book Depository US, Book Depository UK, Kindle Store

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: Salvation has its price.

The words stunned Adrian for a moment, but he kept going. "You're lying. What you're describing is impossible. There's no way to save a Strigoi. When they're gone, they're gone. They're dead. Undead. Forever."

Robert's next words weren't directed at Adrian. They were spoken to me. "That which is dead doesn't always stay dead...."

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?

Fall in love with Rose and Dimitri all over again in Spirit Bound, the eagerly awaited fifth novel in Richelle Mead's enthralling Vampire Academy series.

My Thoughts: Wow, Spirit Bound blew me away! This series just keeps getting better and better even though I thought that was not possible! I loved the angst and heartbreak of Book #3 (Shadow Kiss) but then came along Book #4 which lived up to the very high emotional intensity I expected and now Book #5 Spirit Bound still managed not to let me down even though I had some pretty high (*cough* maybe impossible *cough*) expectations.

The novel starts with these lines:

"There's a big difference between death threats and love letters - even if the person writing the death threats still claims to actually love you. Of course, considering I once tried to kill someone I loved, maybe I had no right to judge."

Tell me, isn't it an amazing introduction that instantly grips the reader? And so typically Rose.

Rose is back with Lissa at the Academy getting ready to pass her trials and graduate, while Dimitri made it his own personal life goal to stalk her by sending her weekly letters and reminding her that as soon as she sets a foot outside of school he'll be there, waiting for her, waiting there to kill her.

Despite this quite thrilling setting, I have to say the first half of Spirit Bound was so enjoyably light and happy, so far in the previous novels we haven't seen Rose have so much fun and be somewhat carefree. And it was good to finally see her get a break and enjoy her youth.

Lissa completely redeemed herself: even though she was a quite frustrating and irritating character for me in the previous novels (due to her selfishness and not being a good and attentive friend to Rose), in Spirit Bound she finally becomes the girl in whom I can see why Rose chose her as best friend. Finally she minds other things than just herself, she's there for Rose all the way through their neckbraking and mindblowing adventures, and for that I got to like her.

And what adventures they embark on! They break into the best guarded high security Moroi prison and manage to escape, they fly off to Las Vegas and spend a wild night there (with Adrian popping up too). They had mischiefs and adventures more fit to their youth than the previous dark events taking place in the previous books, but of course everything was spiced up with danger just the way we like it with Rose :-)

Rose is now with Adrian, and though I'm a die hard Dimitri fan, I have to say I like him. Love his casual laid-back, devil-may-care attitude, his humour and his intensity towards Rose. Love what a solid rock he is to her.

Then there is the 2nd half of the novel where things take a swift turn. The huge battle, the big showdown between Rose and Dimitri was everything we were led to expect since the beginning of Spirit Bound and wow! The consequences, implications and changes it all brought on certainly stirred up things.. And bam! we were again on the emotional roller coaster readers and fans of this series are so used to. We had that familiar heartache, frustration and agony. Richelle Mead manages to bring such swift and fresh turns that this series keeps rebounding and never getting dull.

I loved reading about Rose and her friends' stay at Court, it was nice to see them have some quiet time and rest from all the action and just go to different events, dress up and mingle and of course try to work through all the emotional complications.

For my biggest joy Christian was back! With him and Adrian present I can almost forgive Richelle Mead for leaving out Mason.
I discovered that the books of this series keep getting more and more adictive with each subsequent book: I devoured Spirit Bound in less than a day, and if Last Sacrifice was available I would attack it without delay! 

Here are a few of my favourite quotes of Spirit Bound:

1) Adrian during the dinner at his parents' house when he brought Rose over:

"I don't know, this college would probably have the same problem the last one did."
I frowned. "What's that?"
"Adrian," growled his father.
"It's okay," said Adrian breezily. He rested his arm casually on the table. "I don't really need a job or extra money. After Rose and I get married, the kids and I'll just live off of her guardian paycheck."

2) Dimitri as Strigoi during the big showdown battle to Rose:

"You're beautiful in battle," said Dimitri. His cold voice carried to me clearly, even above the roar of combat. "Like an avenging angel come to deliver the justice of heaven."
"Funny," I said, shifting my hold on the stake, "That is kind of why I'm here."
"Angels fall Rose."

3) Adrian and Rose are getting intimate:

Adrian cupped my face in his hands, his eyes filled with intensity and desire - and a bit of wonder.
"What are you, Rose Hathaway? Are you real? You're a dream within a dream. I'm afraid touching you will make me wake up. You'll disappear."
"Touch me and find out," I said, drawing him to me.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Cover: 8/10 (That is not how I picture Rose, but the guy looks dreamy and hot, would be a great Dimitri. Love his stubble! :-p)

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