Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Oh, Richelle Mead, how you delight and torture me! This is my favorite YA series: I read the first four Vampire Academy books in a few days, then waited for what seemed like forever for Spirit Bound; you made it worth the wait.

(This spoiler-free review is based on the assumption that you've read the previous 4 books)

As the book opens, Rose is getting ready to take her Guardian Trials, which also means graduation. As Rose and Lissa head to Court to begin their adult lives, they end up taking a "field trip" - a very dangerous (and illegal) one. This field trip leads to pieces of information that will change lives well into the next book.

Ms. Mead infuses the wonderful humor I've come to expect and enjoy in her writing - she really "gets" teens and their sometimes ridiculous thought processes:

Mia looked determined when we reached her, though, and I felt encouraged by her attitude - and that she was wearing all black. True, it wouldn't do much in sunlight, but it made this all feel more legitimate.

And yet, the visual images she creates are so real I can imagine myself as a bystander, witnessing events as they happen, my hands clenched and my heart in my throat:

Her face, even marred with the fire's terrible damage, was radiant and filled with compassion. SPOILER had called me an avenging angel, but she was an angel of mercy as she gazed down at him and crooned soothing, nonsense words.

I can't go into much of the plot without spoilers, but here's my thoughts on some of the players:

Tatiana, the queen Moroi was as nasty as I thought she was...or was she?

Rose's dad, Abe, is really growing on me. I think he's growing on Rose, too. We got to see Rose's mother in the beginning of the book, but I felt like she was conspicuously absent in the last half of the book. I don't know why she wasn't there.

We get to meet Adrian's parents! (Rose and Mrs. Ivashkov had a very interesting conversation at that first meeting...)

Christian is a pretty decent guy. I liked him in the previous books and he did not disappoint as a character I can count on to do the right thing.

Lissa: I actually liked Lissa in this book. In previous books she comes off as dainty and selfish. In Spirit Bound, she was pretty kick-ass. Don't get me wrong, there were some scenes were I was like, "Damn, Lissa - what about Rose?", but definitely a big improvement from previous books. I guess Rose isn't the only character who's done some growing up!

I really, really like Dimitri - even though he broke my heart in this book. I have much love for Dimitri and high hopes for him in the next book.

And Adrian, oh Adrian! When Adrian was first introduced into the series I liked him as a character but not as a love interest for Rose. With this book, I fall more in love with Adrian: at one point, I did a mental *fist pump* and thought "yay!" - and then Rose surprised me. Here's the thing - unlike other Moroi/dhampir relationships, I don't see Adrian leaving Rose eventually; he could be The One, if she'd let him. I'm torn - Dimitri or Adrian? I'd be happy and at the same time heartbroken either way.

We also briefly visit a few characters from the last few books: Jill, Mia, Ambrose, and Ambrose's Aunt Rhonda to name a few. And yes, Rose does get another tarot reading :)

And, if the cliffhanger ending wasn't enough, right before we close the pages Rose gets information that could potentially change Lissa's life, AND the lives of current and future dhampirs. Oh, Ms. Mead, how you tease me! The last book in this series, Last Sacrifice, is due out December 7. I've never wanted December to get here so badly!

Spirit Bound gets 5/5 stars - definitely a keeper!!!


  1. *makes a note in case I get interested in reading YA at some point*

  2. Ok you know we both share the LOVE for this series! lol But I had to skip over the review b/c I haven't made it this far yet...I still gotta read one more then this one! But omg a 5/5!!!! I love this series! *sigh

  3. Oh sooooo good! I hated where she left us hanging....oh the long wait ahead

  4. *hiding from spoilers*
    I'll come to this one one day too

  5. Ack. YOu know I haven't read Blood Promise cause I was scared. Yeah total wuss.

  6. haha @parajunkee. it took me ages to work up the courage to read blood promise. my emotional state just wasn't secure enough to handle that. but once i did...ahhh, so worth it. and spirit bound was great too.

    i agree with most of your review, patti, especially the stuff about character development with rose & lissa. i only hesitate over your possible endorsement over adrian/rose. DIMITRI is the only one for rose!

    great review though.

  7. Great Review Patti! I know what you mean about being just as happy if Rose ends up with Dimitri or Adrian. I heart them both at this point in time. Dimitri broke my heart too, and Adrian always makes me smile!

  8. Reading the Vampire Academy Series is like sitting in the front of a teenage emotional rollercoaster. Mead is a master and I can’t wait for Last Sacrifice.
    I’m still pissed about Dimitri, though.

  9. I quite loved this book.
    I really appreciated getting a glimpse into Adrian's psyche - his character has really grown on me, and I have my fingers crossed that if he survives 'Last Sacrifice' Mead brings him over to the spin-off series.

    Dimitri... what can I say? Broke my heart in this book!

    And that cliff-hanger ending? December is too far away!

  10. Chris: I don't do a lot of YA but I do love this series!

    Monroe: I don't know how you can wait between books - I read the first four back-to-back!

    Book Guru: She is good at cliffhanger endings - can't wait for December!

    Blodeuedd: You should definitely read this series - it's my fave YA series :)

    Parajunkee: Oh - it was so worth it - I loved it!

    Jane: I love Dimitri but want Adrien to have a HEA too. Glad I'm not the one making the choice, LOL!

    Julie: I love them both and want them both to have a HEA. Ms. Mead is going to have to do something good there.

    Mina: Hahaha - you're so right!

    Danielle: Adrian grew on me too. At first I thought he was weird but now I luff him. Would love for him to be in the spin-off!

    December is bringing Last Sacrifice, Alien Tango, and Shadowfever - all on the same day! How will I choose?!?

  11. Favorite Quote: “I want you.” The words came out, bold, a little fast, from her lips. And those words – they made him hard. He gave a nod. “I’ll have you again.” She gave a real smile. Just a flash. “No Dante, I’ll have you.”