Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead is the fifth and penultimate book in the Vampire Academy series. It concludes the story arc of Rose in Siberia and what she is trying to do for Dimitri and sets up the final arc of the series.
For me this was the weakest of the Vampire Academy novels. My biggest issue was that the pacing was off. It seemed there was a large gap between the climax of the Rose/Dimitri/Siberia storyline and the kickoff of the final vampire politics act. Clearly, this section is intended to explore Dimitri’s emotional state after all that’s happened to him, but as we don’t really get his point of view, only Rose’s and through the bond, Lissa’s, the whole impact of that is drastically lessened and loses immediacy. It becomes about how his attitude affects Rose, not what Dimitri himself is going through.
What I liked
Moroi finally getting off their arses and taking action. I really loved Lissa’s and Christian’s part in the resolution of the Dimitri storyline. It was great to see that some Moroi at least are not willing to allow dhampirs to take the full brunt of protection from Strigoi. I would have liked to have seen that co-operation taken a little further perhaps, but I appreciated what we got.
Moroi politics. We are starting to learn more and more about Moroi politics and I really enjoyed how that was developed. One of my annoyances about the culture had been the Moroi attitude to dhampirs, and I was really happy seeing that some of the characters are working to change the common perceptions.
Rose’s character development. Again Rose continues to develop as a character. She is seen to act far more rationally and to think before she acts which is good to see.
What I didn’t like
The pacing. As I mentioned, I felt that the pacing was very much off in this novel. There was the whole section between the confrontation midway through the book and the ending cliffhanger. I suppose it was intended to be character development for Dimitri, but it didn’t come off that way for me at least.
In the end though a week Vampire Academy novel is still an excellent read and I gave Spirit Bound four stars out of five.