Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series is one of my new favourite collection of reads. Its fantastic mix of drama, romance, action, great world-building and cast of characters makes me wonder why it took me so long to pick the books up in the first place. Spirit Bound, the fifth book in the series, is a fantastic addition to the series as a whole – and as an installment on its own it is one that knocked me on my back with its twists, turns and killer of an ending.
To me, Spirit Bound is a book about consequences. After the events of Blood Promise, and what Rose did – or rather, did not do – in Siberia, Rose has returned home to find what happened there has followed her home… quite literally in fact. All of the past is catching up, and everything that they try to do to fix it doesn’t actually seem to help in a lot of ways. Sometimes the best result is merely exchanging one shade of gray for another – and in a world like that of Vampire Academy, gray is often the best thing to read.
At times during my initial reading of Spirit Bound I had a feeling like nothing much was happening, due to Spirit Bound not being as full of action as previous entries in the series, but when I thought about it afterward there was an incredible amount of things happening still. The focus here is on Rose’s emotions, her growth, all the things happening around her that concerns her and that she wants to fix. Despite being the slayer of countless Strigoi, she’s still nervous about tests she must face to look after Lissa as a guardian, and as a teenager she still has a lot of growing to do (even after five books of it!). Unlike in some other works, the quiet and normal and young moments, the stuff that simmers beneath the surface but never bubbles over are just as strong here as the emotional highs and the physical extremes. Overall it makes for a tale that is incredibly well-balanced, especially when one stops to think about things in greater detail.
Spirit Bound, with its multiple layers and shocker of an ending, is a great addition to the already fantastic Vampire Academy series. I know I will be holding out until December for the sixth and final book in Rose’s story, Last Sacrifice.