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In SPIRIT BOUND, Rose is back at St.Vladimir's Academy after her quest in Russia. Having failed to kill her newly turned Strigoi lover Dimitri, she just wants to graduate now and focus on her own life.
I must say that this is definitely my last chance for Mead to turn it all around. I wasn't a fan of BLOOD PROMISE, the fourth novel, especially because she decided to flip the setting. I'm happy that we're back at St. Vladimir's now and getting back to all the familiar characters instead of those annoying filler people in Russia.
You don't have to read the fourth to understand the fifth. All the characters that were introduced don't really matter and it didn't do anything for Rose's character. What Rose did in Russia is merely just briefly mentioned and nobody actually cares.
Just another filler story...
As a fan of Dimitri and Rose as a couple it pains me to say this, but at this point I just wish Mead had killed Dimitri off for good in the last novel. I'm sick of that storyline, I just want Rose to focus on herself and becoming a guardian and just let it go. Though Mead made the whole hesitation thing believable and all, it's hard to believe that she actually staked the man and he still survived. Somebody's attached to her characters, eh?
I'm not going to sugarcoat it- I really skimmed a lot of it. Since SHADOW KISS (#3) the series has really started to drag. Things that are said to be impossible suddenly work and are used for another super innovative storyline, and seriously, I can't even tell you in a few sentences what happened in the last novel anymore because everything just seems so irrelevant.You can just tell that Mead is trying to fill pages and beat around the bush up until she's reached that typical point about 80% in where she finally tells the story she meant to tell in the first place.
Really lazy writing and too little stakes
As terrible as the non-existant plot is, the character development in SPIRIT BOUND is just amazing. I loved that Dimitri got a chance to grow as a person and I also loved how Rose dealt with adult life and realized that it isn't all fun and games just like she had imagined back when she was still at St. Vladimir. A major major major thing that bothered me insanely though is Adrian's and Rose's relationship. Seriously. Rose made it clear from FROSTBITE (#2) on that she doesn't and never will like Adrian romantically. Starting the novel off with them together just seems like a lazy way of starting a weird love triangle off.
Talk about things that were dealt with poorly: if you're going to have a lot of casualties and risky battles in your novel, make them matter and don't exclusively kill people you just introduced. The world of the Vampire Academy Series is dangerous, we all get it. There's lot of battles, many occasions where guardians have their life at stake (get it)- but the way Mead deals with it, it's not really believable. Her characters, even main characters are sent into battle all the time, but in the end the only casualties we have are people that remain nameless. At least give the main characters some injuries! It's just bad writing to me to only kill off unimportant people. The battles lose meaning.
Overall: Do I Recommend?
No. After BLOOD PROMISE another very weak novel. I only hang on because I'm desperately hooked on the characters. At this point I'm only here for Dimitri, Tasha and Adrian. Just stop at FROSTBITE and get somebody to tell you what happens. It's not worth the time and frustration.
Genre: YA/ Fantasy / Paranormal / Vampires
"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 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. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever."