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Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

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18 June 2010

Let's Talk about Vampire Academy!!!!

I absolutely adore this series, and I like how Richelle Mead isn't afraid to take chances with her characters.  I just reread the series from the beginning and have really picked up on a lot of clues that she has thrown in earlier books.

With everything that has happened since book one, and boy has it been a lot.  Dimitri became a strigoi, Lissa has begun a relationship with a boy who's parents became strigoi intentionally. Rose fell in love with her guardian instructor.  She and Lissa ran away, they busted out a notorious gangster from prison.

Mead isn't living vicariously through her characters like one certain author did with her humongous bestselling series.  I don't see one ounce of Mary Sue in Rose or Lissa.  These are characters that well developed.  The world that is created is one that is similar to ours, but maybe be a sideways world as well.  The Moroi and Dhampir live peacefully within our world, but have their own rules and leaders.  They follow the laws of the world, but also have another set of laws to follow as well.

When reading this series, I feel like a young teen again.  I get angsty and fall in love all over again.  I was a bit disappointed in Dimitri in Spirit Bound, but I understand the position he took. His life is different now that he's been given back his soul (aka Angelus via Buffy).  Rose may not go about things the right way, but she reacts viciously with her heart when it's about love.  I feel badly for Adrian because he adores and worships Rose, but her heart will always be with Dimitri.

Lissa.  At times she's annoyed me.  I think I likened her to a wet noodle, but as the series progresses, she's gotten stronger and I think with the final book in the series, we'll see how strong she gets.  With Queen Tatiana out of the picture, Lissa will have to take that royal seat that she desperately wants to hold.  Plus with her strong sense of spirit, she can make a whole room in awe of her.  I have a theory behind the murder, but I really think the clues are all in the book Spirit Bound. You just have to know how to read the clues.  Personally, Victor Dashkov is a red herring.  For those of you who suspect him, look back to the second Tarot card reading (Spirit Bound).  That's all I'm saying on that.

I'd like to open this to you.  Tell me what you love, hate, adore about this series.  Who do you think is the murderer.  Let's have fun with this!


  1. I love this series as well.
    Victor is my only real suspect- he wants to rule, and he is free. I know some people are suspecting Tasha or Adrian- but I REALLY don't see that its either one.

    I am afraid that someone will die in the last one, either D or A for Rose. But the last sacrifice could also be Rose giving up love to be L's guardian, or L giving up R as a guardian so she can live life out.

    I think that Lissa's sibling might be Jill- because her mom is a dancer and could possibly have been in LA and been with Eric.

    I can't decide who I want her to be with, mostly because I just want Adrian to have a happy ending, but then again, I don't want him to be settled as a second. Because honestly, even though Rose loves A, she isn't in love with him. That is D only.

    I can't wait to see other theories, ideas, and talk more about the series.

  2. I love this series. They certainly make for action packed reading. I agree with your assessment though... Lissa is a total wet noodle. I'd admire and respect her a lot more if she'd learn how to use her magic skills to back up Rose in a fight.
    I'm a little alarmed, also, at how the dhampir -- in general -- sacrifice so much for their Moroi masters. So what if they are the genetic equivalent of mules. I'm still rooting for them to stop bowing and scraping to all the other vampires.

  3. My thoughts are that Rose will end up with Dimitri. We saw a bit of their happiness in Blood Promise when Avery tapped into Rose. I think Avery was able to show the future.

    I'm not sure if a sacrifice is a human sacrifice. For all we know, Victor could sacrifice himself for the better good..

    I definitely think Tasha is the murderess. Victor is too indebted to Rose, why would he set her up? Plus, Dimitri turned Tasha down as her guardian for Rose (I definitely think there were feelings for Dimitri on Tasha's end). Plus, where is Tasha at the end of Spririt Bound ? Christian states that she is nowhere to be found. The tarot card reading tells us that it someone who is doing things in undermining ways. Tasha has a clear motive to want Tatiana dead. 1) she want's Moroi to fight alongside Dhampirs. 2) The Queen refuses to acknowledge the royal line of the Ozera's. 3)Tasha knew that Dimitri was in love with Rose. The nail that sealed the coffin for me was the tarot card reader. Victor is a red herring in all this. He doesn't want to rule, he did, but he doesn't any more.

    As for Jill being Lissa's sister, I hadn't thought of that. However, it's Vegas that Eric was fond of the 'dancers'. But that is good. I never really gave that much thought. I'm more concerned with Tasha killing Queen. And does that mean that Tasha is now strigoi? She would choose that path because Lissa can 'cure' her of that. But will Lissa? I don't think so.

  4. I agree that Victor is definitely a red herring. I suspected Tasha as well for all the reasons people have already mentioned. I need to go back and look more closely at the tarot. I was speed reading this book and didn't pay as much attention as I wanted. But damn it, I had to know what would happen! I feel like there was one more person I suspected immediately but my mind is blanking. I'll post if I figure it out.

    I think the person who broke into the Alchemists to steal the records is Ambrose, commissioned by Tatiana to get the info she needed to help Lissa take her seat on the throne.

    I also agree that Jill is Lissa's sister only because I never really saw a point to her character. I had been reading thinking that Richelle was just trying to introduce the new protagonist of the spinoff series and it seemed to make sense to me to go with a Moroi instead of a Dhampir this time, especially a Moroi who wants to fight and can continue moving that part of the story forward. But it would be nice for Jill to be Lissa's sister instead to give her purpose to THIS storyline. After all, this IS Rose and Lissa's story.

    I'm definitely Team Dimitri. I love him so much. I didn't like how weak he was in this book because one of the main things I love is how badass he is. Or should I say how Godlike? I understand why he acted like he did but it did make some of my love for him diminish. It hadn't diminished in Blood Promise. He was awesome all evil! I really hope they end up together. I get frustrated when I invest in long series' and the main character doesn't end up with the main love interest after all the obstacles they go through. (Though I get less frustrated when they don't end up together because one sacrifices themselves for the other. Not when it's just a random decision they make. I may or may not have two specific series' in mind as I type this.)

    I do like Adrian but I don't think he's right for Rose and I don't like the way she treats him. I thought it was odd that Richelle threw in the line about Sydney thinking he was attractive. In my experience, it's always the throwaway lines that become the most important. I'm now putting money on Adrian ending up with Sydney, especially because I think Sydney is on the cover of the last book?

    I had more theories. I'm jetlagged from the honeymoon and not completely all here today so I'll come back when I remember them!

    One more thing. I LOVE and admire how gutsy Richelle is with her plots and how she doesn't sugarcoat or hold back from killing characters. It makes the reading unpredictable (whereas the certain series I suspect you were referring to lacked conflict, especially in a final "non-battle" because I knew no one would die. Of course, they wold have had to fight in order to die.). I still think Shadow Kiss has the best cliffhanger ending of any book I've ever read! I loved it so much!

  5. re: Tasha being strigoi. Hmm interesting. I can't remember, do they just have to intentionally KILL someone else to turn or do they have to intentionally kill BY DRAINING ALL THE BLOOD? I was under the impression that it was the latter, but if it's the former, that would be a cool twist!

  6. Duh-- I knew it was LV not LA :)

    What does 2nd reading say again? I haven't bought book yet-- and can't remember.

  7. Okay, I grabbed my book! I'm gonna edit, to the most important parts.

    On page 386, Rose does a five-card reading. The first card is: Two of Cups, upside down. Rhonda explains that "The Two of Cups shows a union, a perfect love and blossoming of joyous emotions..." Because it's upside down. There will be Heartache

    Next card is Queen of Swords, upside down(Pay attention to this one) Pg 387, ""Cards like this refer to specific people," Rhonda told me. The Queen of Swords looked very imperious, with auburn hair and silver robes. "The Queen of Swords is clever. She thrives on knowledge, can outwit her enemies, and is ambitious."

    I sighed. "But upside down..."

    "Upside down," said Rhonda, "all those traits get twisted. She's still smart, still trying to get her way... but she's doing it through insincere ways. There's a lot of hostility and deception here. I'd say you have an enemy.""

    Here Rose thinks it's Queen Tatiana. But that can't be the case because she turns up dead. She mistakes the card for the Queen. But it represents a Royal. Not necessarily the Queen (Hence, it's Tasha).

    Okay, so the final Tarot card reading is this:

    Heartache, An Enemy, Accusations, Entrapment. Travel.

    I really think the final book is all plotted out right there. We know that she'll get off the murder charge. Her father will not allow HIS kin to sit in jail. Plus, I think Dimitri was coming around toward the end and his feelings for Rose. I mean, why would he fight with her in the coffee shop? I think something clicked when he saw the 'love' bite on her neck made by Adrian.

    I've been so focused on Tasha as the killer that I hadn't even thought of Jill as Lissa's sister. Or Sydney would end up with Adrian. Sydney finds Moroi's repulsive why would she fall for one? (but hey, that's love for ya, I guess!)

    So tell me why YOU guys think it's Victor. But the logic states it's Tasha. I really do think he'll help Rose in some way. And Shana, welcome back! Ambrose! I never thought of him as breaking into the Alchemists! That makes PERFECT sense!

  8. I think the random "He's cute" from Sydney was weird as well. As soon as I read it I thought that they would end up together, and Richelle has said that the spin off would involve Sydney.

    I'm thinking that the spin off is about Sydney and Adrian, then this series can be Rose and Dimitri's story and it can end happy for them. (I'm so Team Dimitri.)

    I think it would be a cool thing for Sydney really as she hasn't liked Moroi or Dhampirs for her to fall in love with one. It would be a cool twist.

    I agree about Tasha. I liked her, but I feel theres a reason she's still here and she had the motives. I don't know is she is jealous over Rose and Dimitri or not, though I don't remember her ever saying anything about Dimitri being Strigoi which I thought was odd (or I could just be forgetting if she did.)

    I hope the Sacrifice doesn't involve Dimitri dying, I could see him coming in at the last minute saving Rose and though it would be bad ass and sweet - it still wouldn't make me happy.

    I think the sacrifice will be Lisa's though. I feel she hasn't shown what she can do yet and her giving up Rose for love could help, plus maybe she and Christian can use magic to kick butt now so who needs their guardians?

    I can't wait for December! :)

  9. you make a convincing case about tasha! the thought had occurred to me but i hadn't read closely enough to notice that she was conveniently missing at the end of the book.

    for me, the other suspect is daniella. she's just been fishy all along. her behavior towards rose is a little too nice. i think there is more to daniella than meets the eye. whether that means she's the murderer, i do not know...she could also be a red herring.

    i have a feeling whoever it is will not be obvious. think of victor/natalie in the first book. it came as a total shock to me that they were behind all the animal killings. yet clearly richelle had planned that from page 1. so theories that support a character like tasha, who is seemingly a lovely, strong individual, do seem more likely to me than those that support victor or even daniella.

    i love dimitri!!!!!

    i hope adrian's in the spin-off and ends up with jailbait or sydney. he should NOT be with rose. personally i dont understand why he's even put up with her this long. "i think i might even love you a little." really, rose ?if someone said that to me i'd be out of there in a second--especially if i was as arrogant as adrian.

    speaking of adrian. i read some other wild theories that adrian was the villain. i don't necessarily support that, but it's definitely interesting to think about. some fishy things about adrian: 1) why has he learned lissa's ability to heal, but lissa has made zero progress with dream walking? 2) what's with those spooky speeches he sometimes goes into? could spirit be making him crazier than we realize?

    i dunno, i don't think it's adrian, but....with richelle, anything is possible!


  10. Adrian would have had opportunity to get to the stake as he was in Rose's room that night. hmmm... interesting.


Thank you for commenting! Every comment is very important and I thank you for taking the time to join in the discussion!

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