Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts

Monday, March 2, 2015

[Review] Spirit Bound (VA #5) - Richelle Mead


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.

Rating:

★★☆☆


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.

Additional Info

Published: May 18th 2010
Pages: 479
Genre: YA/  Fantasy / Paranormal / Vampires

Synopsis:
"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."

Have you read the series or are planning to?

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

[Review] Shadow Kiss (VA #3) - Richelle Mead

In "Shadow Kiss", the third novel in the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead, everything is pain and everything hurts. This novel will lure you into thinking that everything's going to be alright, when it isn't and never will be. Everyone's issues are revealed and you're not going to want to finish this novel, fearing that it will get worse in terms of emotions. 

With Mason dying in "Frostbite", the tragedy only just started- seriously. Starting with his death Rose's connection to Lissa as a shadow-kissed is finally proving to be useful, and I actually think that Mead did a great job at incorporating it smoothely into the storyline. "Shadow Kiss" is basically centered around the guardians and fighting off Strigoi. Rose and the other novices are doing the so-called field experience now, which simulates the life they're going to have when they graduate and are assigned to their moroi. The older guardians are pretendending to be attackers and they have to fight them off. Well, unlucky for the novices the real life experience comes right after that.
Initially I got pretty annoyed with the storyline being centered around strigoi again. I vividly remember that time Dimitri put his hair up for the first time and Rose got SO impressed by him having five molnija marks for having killed five strigoi. Funny, how he's considered such a respectable character in the guardian world, yet has only killed five. It's hard to believe that little novice Rose Hathaway killed two Strigoi in "Frostbite" and a bunch of others in "Shadow Kiss" then. While I do love her as a character, I think she really is a Mary Sue. She can do everything, she can fight everyone and when she can't, it's due to her shadow-kiss situation, but not because Rose Hathaway can't manage to do something once. I don't know, it's not like she's becoming a more unlikeable character throughout the series, but I think that the credit she gets and the fights she is involved in, are solved way to easily on her side. She never has sacrifices to make and is almost never really hurt in battle, while experienced guardians die like flies.

I would have wished the novel to dive a little bit deeper into exploring spirit magic and have less action scenes. Mead crammed all the interesting stuff (the big battle) into the end, causing the novel to drag extremely. I found myself putting it aside for days at a time, because I was so bored with everything. The characters didn't really get to me either, because I felt like Mead rushed their relationships. Starting with Dimitri and Rose, I was actually shocked when he said I love you for the first time to her and it wasn't even addressed in the novel. Casual saturday, the dude you've been loving for ages tells you he loves you and you're like "ha, lol, same." Dimitri and Rose are probably the only couple in literature that manage to seem instant-love-y after three books, still. Not that I don't love them together, but, seriously? They went from 0.5 to 100 within fifty pages of "Shadow Kiss" and I didn't even know whether to shake my head or just start lauging.
Mead is truly the master of dragging storylines around and feeding youw ith unimportant, boring stuff as filler material for the middle and then hitting you like a train with a massive cliffhanger ending that leaves you HAVING to continue. I have to give her credit for that.

Overall: Do I Recommend?

As a standalone, it would be a very weak novel. The middle drags extremely, but the resolutions of previous storylines are both smart and logical. It made me want to smack my head on something for not thinking about them myself. I hope that it will remain the only weak novel of the series. So yes, I recommend.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Official Synopsis:
" It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all... might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line - and choose between the two people she loves most."




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