Initial thoughts: “Spirit Bound”, the fifth novel in the Vampire Academy series, was a good story, actually better in pacing event wise than the previous book. I did find some of the descriptions/expansions from Rose and her actions to be a bit much in spurts. Rose herself made some missteps here that I think were a little annoying, as was Dimitri (but at least considering what Dimitri went through, his was a little more understandable). The writing of the story, in spurts, was telling information that could’ve been shown in context cues. Still, I enjoyed the journey, and I’m looking forward to the final book in the VA series.
Full review: “Spirit Bound” was a lot better than I thought it would be considering the sluggish pacing of the previous novel in the VA series – it actually flows smoothly from one event to the next, picking up where the last novel left off. Rose faces her Academy trials and subsequent graduation, but she also has to contend with Dimitri delivering upon his threat of finding her. From events in the previous novel, Rose realizes the only person who can help her possibly heal Dimitri of his given condition is Victor Dashkov, and she comes up with the brilliant (insert sarcasm) idea of busting Victor out of jail and demanding answers. You can probably guess that the plan doesn’t go down as easily as planned.
I did like the transitions in the novel and the action/pacing as per usual. It kept me reading and wondering what would happen as the novel went on. Yet, I’ll admit I felt frustrated with Rose for a good bit of the time. I wouldn’t say she completely acts out of character, but you’d think with some of the experiences she’s had since this point, she’d know better than to make some of the missteps she does. I was glad to see that Lissa steps up in a big way in this novel, and Adrian was his usual charming self, though I understood his frustration with Rose in some considerations, given the ups and downs of their relationship while Dimitri is a huge consideration in the novel’s conflict.
Dimitri slightly bugged me in some of his reactions, but I understood them a little more than Rose’s considering his experiences through this and the previous novel. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go considering the events, but I give it to Mead for recognizing Dimitri’s difficulty in accepting what he’d done and having the mentality he has (which was something I preferred to completely wiping the slate clean and going back to the way things once were). I just wished that it felt a little…smoother? It didn’t go down as well as I’d hoped it would considering the kind of conflict he’s in.
The ending threw me for another loop, because I honestly didn’t see it coming. Granted, I think by this point I’m accustomed to Mead having a huge bombshell dropping towards the end that changes the gameplan, but it makes me curious to see where the final novel in the series goes with the respective plot thread.
Overall, even considering its missteps and some degrees of frustration, I actually liked the novel and can’t wait to read the last book. It’s odd that I started out really skeptical of the VA series, but I’ve found the journey piquing my curiosity the further I’ve come along. Should be interesting to see how Rose gets herself out of the predicament at the end of this novel.
Overall score: 3.5/5