The reviews for this book are extremely mixed, there was even a controversy on Amazon over it. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to say that I was extremely disappointed with this book. Having read the previous four books in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ series I assumed that this book was going to be excellent, sadly I was wrong. It appears to me that over the seventeen year break between ‘Dark Reunion’ and ‘Nightfall’, LJ Smith lost her touch, which is understandable giving that seventeen years is a heck of a long time. Nightfall did not live up to the expectations and is way below the bar that the previous four books have set.
By ‘Nightfall’, I believe that the plot had just become rather ridiculous. Elena had undergone so many changes (human to vampire to dead to spirit to human) that the plot had become even more unrealistic. No one character can possibly go through that many life changes in such a short space of time.
‘Nightfall’ got off to a very slow start and I found it difficult to get back into the series. For a lot of the first part of the book Elena is just trying to get back to human self and has to essentially relearn everything from how to walk to talk to act and it’s all rather boring and sappy as Stefan mollycoddles Elena and Elena overstretches herself.
The plot doesn’t kick off until around half way through and even then it’s all very repetitive. I didn’t think that the characters were very well developed in this book and there wasn’t a lot of substance. This book was considerably longer than any of it’s predecessors, it’s probably about twice the length, and consequently, twice the rambling and irrelevant information.
Stefan, a main character, was AWOL, inexplicably for the majority of this book and even by the end of it the reader is left confused as to what has happened to him. Stefan is not the only mystery. If I’m perfectly honest, I haven’t got a clue what was going on at the end of this book despite the fact that I finished reading it only a couple of short hours ago. The story did not finish, but it was not the sort of cliffhanger that the reader likes, it was just loose ends that needed to be tied up.
The imagery in the story reminds me a lot of ‘The Exorcist’ or ‘Splice’ as many of the town’s people become possessed by ‘malachs’. They then proceed to do weird and disgusting things, but again there is little explanation. There are two new characters, the two troublemakers, but I didn’t understand their motives at all. It is quite a long book and it’s taken me quite a long time to read it because frankly I just kept getting bored and drifting away from it.
Thinking back, I really don’t remember all that much happening throughout. The climax is very near to the end but the problem with this is that a. most people are so bored by then, they really don’t care and b. it wasn’t worth the wait. I know that a lot of people will disagree with me as many think that this is an excellent book, but I am sorely disappointed and I don’t feel like I want to read the two subsequent novels.
All in all, this book does not live up to the expectations that were set by the previous four books and I wouldn’t recommend you read it. Don’t let this book spoil your memories of the first four (excellent) books.