Summary: After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It’s graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He’s out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won’t join him, he won’t rest until he’s silenced her…forever.
But Rose can’t forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose’s prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?
Fall in love with Rose and Dimitri all over again in Spirit Bound, the eagerly awaited fifth novel in Richelle Mead’s enthralling Vampire Academy series.
- Slow start but picks up the action toward the middle
- Lots of unresolved sexual tension; Adrian, I love you but I’m Team Dimitri
- SPIRIT BOUND is an emotional roller coaster – I laughed, gasped, cried, etc.
As a warning, if you haven’t read the previous four books, you may spoil it for yourself if you read this review!
Establishing a pattern that I was probably slow to pick up on, Richelle Mead starts SPIRIT BOUND at a slow pace that eventually picks up and ends with a bang. I did start to get impatient at around 200 pages in. I knew that Mead would pick up the speed pretty soon but getting there was tough. Up to that part, the story line was very interesting, but it lacked the jaw-dropping, fast-paced scenes that I really enjoy about her writing.
There was a lot of unresolved sexual tension in SPIRIT BOUND! I was most intrigued by the possible reconciliation between Lissa and Christian. After their relationship fell apart in book four, I just had to make sure that they were going to salvage their relationship. Everyone knew that they were supposed to be together and it was very frustrating to see them so blind. Throughout this book, I struggled immensely between Dimitri and Adrian. I absolutely adore Adrian’s character. He’s sweet and charming and as much as I would hate to see him with a broken heart, I’m still Team Dimitri all the way.
SPIRIT BOUND was such an emotional roller coaster for me. I laughed, gasped in shock, and even shed a few tears. But as always, I was caught off-guard for most of the jaw-dropping scenes in the book. It made reading all the more fun. Mead definitely does not disappoint with the fifth installment of the Vampire Academy series! I can’t wait to start reading the next book.
Summary: Sink your teeth into these bite-sized tales exploring the intersections among the living, dead, and undead. Features stories by Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Garth Nix, and many more.
- A lot of the short stories were vague and confusing
- The best stories were located at the end of the anthology
- Do not read if you don’t like vampire books
As a huge vampire fan, I expected to fall in love with this anthology. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I bookmarked which short stories I enjoyed and the total came out to 7 out of the 20 in TEETH. After reading 454 pages worth of vampire tales, I am definitely annoyed by the fact that I only enjoyed a small percentage of them. In case you’re wondering, here are the 7 that I enjoyed:
- “The List of Definite Endings” by Kaaron Warren
- “Sit the Dead” by Jeffrey Ford
- “In the Future When All’s Well” by Catherynne M. Valente
- “Transition” by Melissa Marr, “History” by Ellen Kushner
- “The Perfect Dinner Party” by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
- “Why Light?” by Tanith Lee
What displeased me the most was the overall vagueness in the stories. For example, in “Baby” by Kathe Koja and “Sunbleached” by Nathan Ballingrud, I found myself rereading the same paragraphs over and over trying to decipher what the authors were saying until I finally gave up.
Also, after reading story after story about vampires being the “bad guys” I grew bored and generally creeped out by the different scenarios these authors attempted to describe. For example, in “Baby” by Kathe Koja, Jani stumbles upon a doll that becomes a “familiar” while digging through her grandmother’s old boxes. Her entire tale addresses the doll – which she calls “Baby” – and summarizes their entire history together. Basically, Baby would get Jani to orgasm, attack people that teased or bullied her, and run away when she would come home late from hooking up with a boy. This plot was not my cup of tea; however, I did enjoy Koja’s writing style and tone. Both chilled me to the bone – which, I suppose, was her intent.
Thankfully, the last short story “Why Light?” by Tanith Lee made the time spent on this anthology worth it. Her plot is genuinely interesting and the dynamic between her main characters is funny, entertaining, and cute. Lee is an author I definitely recommend looking up – after reading this short story I’m eager to read more of her work. Other featured authors worth mentioning are Melissa Marr (author of the Wicked Lovely series), Cassandra Clare (author of The Mortal Instruments saga), Holly Black (author of The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Modern Faerie Tales), and Ellen Kushner (whom I have never heard of until reading this).
Finally, what surprised me the most was the amount of drug usage and sex discussed in the anthology – I’m pretty sure it says “Ages 12 up” on the back cover. I don’t know about other people, but I sure as heck don’t want to ever find myself in a situation where I have to explain what a joint is or why boys touch a girl’s breasts to my younger cousins. That being said, I would recommend TEETH: VAMPIRE TALES to readers who enjoy being creeped out. This anthology is certainly not for Twilight fans – the only love in these tales is the one for blood.
Next up: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck
Summary: New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.
When Pierce first sees him, she thinks he is a murderer. She’s right about one thing — he does take lives. But not in the way she ever imagined. Pierce is drawn to the dark stranger even as she tries to uncover the mystery surrounding the tragic death of someone close to her. As she gets closer to the truth — and the stranger — unexpected secrets are revealed, even in her own heart.
- Persephone-inspired novel with jaw-dropping secrets
- Fantastic chemistry between Pierce and John but they had limited interaction
- Ending was abrupt, though there really was no plot
Coming into this book, I thought that ABANDON would be a modern retelling of the Persephone myth. However, main character Pierce makes it very clear in the story’s prologue that she isn’t quite as lucky as Persephone. ABANDON is a riveting tale of Pierce as she tries to understand the mystery between John Hayden and her near-death experience in a story inspired by the Persephone myth.
ABANDON is definitely a lot more character driven than the summary leads it to be, and it sets the basis for the next books in the series. In terms of plot, ABANDON is more development than anything else because very little actually happens in the book. As a reader, I didn’t get the feeling of a clear plot with rising action, climax, and a resolution. Still, I enjoyed it nonetheless. While I would have liked some warning that it is part of a series, I found myself hooked to the story because of Pierce and John.
John Hayden is a delightful character to read about. I looked forward to all his scenes because I loved his snarky comments and this bad boy attitude. Pierce and John have a strong love/hate relationship creating sizzling tension between them whenever they’re in the same scene. My only complaints? While they had fantastic chemistry, the scenes actually involving the two are very limited.
The main focus of the book is uncovering secrets. Usually I would think that would make a book full of fast-paced, page-turning suspense, but Cabot approaches this very differently. The novel was quiet in terms of action, but when the secrets are revealed, she does not disappoint: it was jaw-dropping.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book. But, I was disappointed with how the book left off. There were many unresolved plot lines, and I wasn’t left with any feeling of closure. I’m disappointed that there wasn’t more. As I said, I did start reading this book thinking it was a standalone which could explain my dislike of the ending. I will without a doubt continue on the series because that’s how alluring John Hayden is. I would love to know more about him and the Underworld, but I would like to see a more engaging plot evolve.
Final verdict? Wait until the next few books of the series come out before you look into reading this one.
Fans of the Persephone myth, mythology, paranormal, and Meg Cabot will enjoy ABANDON.