Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review: Richelle Mead, Spirit Bound

richelle mead is an evil genius!

***This review has spoilers! Proceed at your own risk!!***

This book was probably the most painful to read of the five so far in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series (with the possible exception of Blood Promise), but I still thought it was fantastic. In terms of character development, it might be the best one yet.

I want Rose and Dimitri to be together so badly, but if it had happened immediately after he turned back to dhampir, it would have been unrealistic and untrue to the characters. Of course Dimitri would feel this level of remorse, of course he wants to put a distance between himself and the people he loves. This intense guilt and vulnerability is a whole new side of Dimitri, but it's completely believable and makes his character that much more complex. I look forward to seeing his emotional progression in the next book...hopefully he'll get some knight in shining armor action scenes that will help him snap out of this (completely understandable) depression.

As for Rose, I hate that she turns to Adrian (or Mason, in the past) every time Dimitri hurts her. I don't want her to be with Adrian or anyone except Dimitri. It is so obvious that Dimitri is her soul mate. But...Rose is immature - she's still only 18 - and also insecure, not to mention rash, impulsive, and occasionally petty. These are not her finest traits or her most important ones, but they are still part of her character. So while I was tempted to skip over all the mushy parts with her and Adrian...especially that scene towards the end after Dimitri rejects her in the church (ughhh) - I could understand her choices and I think in the end, it will make her union with Dimitri (which is inevitable! it has to be!) all the more powerful. Rose is a very strong person in many ways, and her few negative traits make her more real and in a way more lovable, from the reader's perspective.

One more thing about Rose, which has been mentioned in a few other reviews: I do hope there will be some heart to hearts with her and Dimitri, or even Lissa, about her own personal guilt for the consequences of her pursuit of and inability to kill Dimitri when he was still a strigoi. A lot of people died as a consequence, and while I think we can all agree that Rose did the only thing she could in trying to save Dimitri, I do feel like we need at least a scene or two where she expresses some guilt. Hopefully this will happen in Last Sacrifice.

Lissa! I cannot say how thrilled I was that Lissa finally got a chance to fight and that she was the one to save the day. Her role as the gentle, soft spoken, sweet best friend was getting a bit boring. She is really coming into herself and her powers. Dimitri was right when he told Rose in "Shadow Kissed" that Lissa is stronger than Rose realizes. As for the closeness between Lissa and Dimitri after she saves him, which some readers were bothered by, I think it is very fitting and poignant. Rose's jealousy is natural, but Lissa was right when she chastised Rose for her persistence in talking to Dimitri. Rose's personal frustration and grief at feeling "invisible" in Dimitri's eyes is painful for all of us. But it's petty and childish of Rose to put her own emotions above the greater good--in this case, giving Dimitri time to heal and making sure she doesn't create any scenes that would make him appear dangerous and to others who still view him as a potential strigoi. Rose doesn't ever handle jealousy very well, whether with Lissa or Dimitri, so her behavior isn't surprising. But it's one of those traits that she needs to grow out of as she continues to develop and mature.

I can't believe we have to wait 7 months for last sacrifice! If I had the option to turn strigoi, I might seriously consider it, in order to spare myself this anxiety! (can't imagine a strigoi would get too worked up over the suspense of waiting for a new book...)

4.5 stars


  1. I agree, I'm absolutely positively Team Dimitri and that scene towards the end made me angry. Not going to lie.

    I think they'll end up together, I mean they have to! It's the way things work, I mean she's with Adrian, but she has yet to get over Dimitri and she won't, Dimitri is the one for her. I think their reunion will be amazing. :)

    Last Sacrifice is a scary title though... but I can't wait!

  2. Great review! I haven't read Spirit Bound yet, I have to wait until November for the paperback copy, can you believe it? Anyway, I don't care about spoilers that much, and like you, I know Rose will end up with Dimitri in the end :)

  3. christina: i know, they have to. the author is so clearly on team dimitri. if you read the cabin scene in book 3, rose goes on and on about how deeply she loves dimitri, how they are two halves of a whole. in her "love" scene with adrian, what does she say? "i think i might even love you a little." it pales in comparison. THIS HAS TO WORK OUT! RICHELLE DON'T BREAK OUR HEARTS!!

    maria: i can't believe you haven't read it yet! you really have some serious self control over there. can't you get it at a library or something?

  4. Very awesome review. You made a lot of valid points.