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Review: The Vampire Diaries: The Return – Nightfall

Review: The Vampire Diaries: The Return - Nightfall

The reviews for the latest Vampire Diaries 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 when it comes to writing young adult fiction. This is understandable given that seventeen years is a heck of a long time! Unfortunately, Nightfall did not live up to the expectations and is way below the bar that the previous four books have set.

By Nightfall, the plot is just become rather ridiculous. Elena has 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 over-stretches herself.

The plot doesn’t kick off until around half way through and even then it’s all very repetitive. The characters were not very well developed in this book and there wasn’t a lot of substance. This book was considerably longer than any of its predecessors, it’s probably about twice the length, and consequently, twice the rambling and irrelevant information.

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 there is little background on this new type of supernatural being.

Stefan Salvatore, a main character, is AWOL, inexplicably for the majority of this book and even by the end of it the reader is left confused as to what happened to him. And 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. The story was not wrapped up, but it was not left on the sort of cliffhanger that a reader would like. Instead we are left with lots of loose ends that need to be tied up.

The story climaxes 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 is not 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 will not be reading the two subsequent novels.

All in all, Nightfall 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.

Are you a fan of the Vampire Diaries TV series or book series? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Buy Nightfall by L J Smith:
Amazon | Book Depository

If you liked this post, check out the following:
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton  

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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

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1 Comment

  1. katie365
    1st July 2011 / 6:42 PM

    I will defiantly be buying this book soon!!! Oh and by the way nice blog and thanks for following me!!!

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