Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nightfall by L.J. Smith

Book Details
Nightfall by L.J. Smith
Hardcover, 592 pages
2009, HarperTeen
ISBN: 0061720771
Series: Book 1 in The Vampire Diaries: The Return series

The first book in a new trilogy from L. J. Smith!
Elena Gilbert is alive—again.
When Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her—the handsome, brooding Stefan and the sleek and dangerous Damon—she was consigned to a fate beyond death. Until a powerful supernatural force pulled her back.

Now Elena is not just human. She has powers and gifts that were bestowed on her in the afterlife. What's more, her blood pulses with an overwhelming and unique force that makes her irresistible to any vampire.

Stefan wants to find a way to keep Elena safe so that they can make a life together. Damon, however, is driven by an insatiable desire for power, and wants Elena to rule as his princess. When Stefan is lured away from Fell's Church, Damon seizes his chance to convince her that he is the brother she is meant to be with. . . .

But a darkness is infiltrating the town, and Damon, always the hunter, is now the hunted; he becomes the prey of a malevolent creature that can possess him at will, and who desires not just Elena's blood but her death.

It's always exciting revisiting with familiar characters in new books. They remain the same as when you last saw them even though 17 years have passed between the writing of this book and the previous one. L.J. Smith stayed true to her characters and the same things we loved about them in the previous "trilogy" come alive again in Nightfall.

The secondary characters, Meredith, Bonnie and Matt, held the story up by behaving exactly as they always had before. While those characters remained the same, there were many other major differences between this book and the previous ones. Most obviously, Nightfall was much longer. Getting to spend more times with the characters you love is always a bonus, but it was necessary here to accommodate the grander plot. Nightfall was filled with confusing twists that I felt didn't really add to the plot. It was more complicated and involved that the previous Vampire Diaries books and unfortunately, that didn't make the book better or even as good as the older ones.

Elena returns as some part angel/spirit/human hybrid thing with vast but unreliable powers. The evil in the story comes in the form of a pair of werefox demon things that can possess (or control, maybe) people and trees. The story was just all over the place and at times it was almost impossible to follow.

The almost basic story lines of the previous Vampire Diaries novels were a part of what made those books great. Nightfall's major deviation from that formula was hard to get into. Whether the style change was used as a means to attract the younger generation or to mirror the television show, I'll never know. I felt alienated, especially having just recently read the four previous books.

Part of my disappointment lies with my expecting too much. The other part is that in trying so hard to create something "more", Nightfall actually ended up being "less." It was a decent read, but ultimately couldn't compare with the previous Vampire Diaries books.



1 comment :

  1. I feel really excited for the tv series after reading the synopsis from wikipedia. I wonder if the tv series would go that far.