Title: Spirit Bound
Author: Richelle Mead
Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Mead
This review may discuss some major plot points from the four previous Vampire Academy books. If you have not yet read Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, and Blood Promise, jump ahead to The Bottom Line.
Since Spirit Bound is the fifth book in this six book series, I don’t want to say too much about it for fear of accidently giving something away. After returning from Russia, Rose comes back to the academy to take her final test to become a guardian. With Lissa’s help, Rose is still committed to finding a way to restore Dimitri’s soul, but she needs the help of dangerous Moroi prisoner Victor Dashkov, to accomplish this goal. Will Rose find a way to change Dimitri or will he strike at her first?
Although the main focus of the book seems to be on Rose’s quest to try and change Dimitri back from an evil Strigoi to his original state as a Dhampir guardian, Richelle Mead has a few other plot threads forming or coming to a conclusion in this novel. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of plot threads that were resolved in this book even as frustrating new storylines opened up for, what should be, a truly exhilarating finish to the series in the next book. I continue to be impressed by Mead’s writing as she does an amazing job juggling her multiple plot threads while also deepening her characters in a way that is consistent with their personalities. I have never been a huge fan of Lissa or Adrian but I have a deeper appreciation for both, particularly Lissa, after reading this novel. She finally evolves into the loyal friend that Rose deserves, instead of just existing as the best friend that Rose must protect.
For the Dimitri lovers out there, he does make an appearance in this book and the scenes with him are equal parts captivating and heartbreaking. All I will say is that I love how Mead handles Dimitri’s character in this book. She writes him perfectly and consistently in this installment, even though it is upsetting at times to witness the changes in him.
The Bottom Line: I am obviously a huge fan of this series. I think it is the best fantasy/vampire series out there for teens and adults. In this 5th book, Richelle Mead closes off some plot threads and creates some crazy new ones to carry over to the final book in the series. So read Spirit Bound, start forming your conspiracy theories and get ready for the final installment, Last Sacrifice due out on December 7, 2010.