Customer Reviews for

Nightfall (Vampire Diaries: The Return Series #1) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Yes, I Loved This Book

Ok so I've read the reviews thus far and can see that most people seem to have some pretty big issues with this book. I think everyone needs to remember this when reading the book: It's not Twilight. It's not Breaking Dawn. Try not to let your disappointment with how th...
Ok so I've read the reviews thus far and can see that most people seem to have some pretty big issues with this book. I think everyone needs to remember this when reading the book: It's not Twilight. It's not Breaking Dawn. Try not to let your disappointment with how that sage ended influence your views on The Vampire Dairies. With that being said I'll continue with my review. This book picked up where the fourth original installment left off, however you can tell that this book is based on present time. I see nothing wrong with this because we must remember it's been almost eighteen years since the last one was written. I think this book goes more in depth with the characters. I absolutely love that Stefan calls Elena his "little lovely love" even though most seem to hate that. I think that Stefan show more of his feelings and his love for Elena in this one then we've ever seen before. Now for the whole "sex talk" issue: It's 2009 people not 1991. Talking about sex is just a part of life. I personally seen nothing wrong with it in the story. It gave it more of an edge, I think. My thought on Damon being possessed? Well it certainly kept you on the edge of your seat. I have to admit even in the first four Vampire Diaries books I always seen something more to the Damon character. I think that LJS done such an incredible job developing his character. I loved when Damon was cured by the "Wings of Purification" and when he was trying to save Bonnie after the trees had almost killed her. We see a side of him that really shows that he is like Stefan in more ways then we thought possible. I loved seeing the gentle side of Damon and hope to see more in future books. The whole Caroline story line was pretty disturbing but I knew from early on in the book that something was going on. I think the (spoiler alert) pregnancy plot gives the book a totally unexpected twist. I mean did you ever really think that would happen? I also liked how LJS wrote from several different perspectives other then just Elena, Stefan, and Bonnie. I just love that style of writing. The whole Japanese twins thing was kind of weird but I see the appeal to a wider verity of people. This book was definitely creepy to the extreme but I enjoy that type of writing as well so of course i loved it. Overall I think you have to keep a very open mind to this book and try not to compare it to the original saga. This book is not for everyone and it is very different from the original but you have to account for the time in between the books. I loved it but some people may not be into the type of things in it. I recommend you at least read it once and then decide for yourself. It's a good read and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.

posted by Britty08 on February 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

20 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

Character Maiming, Wings, and Random Japanese Characters..No Lovely Love from this Unfan.

I was in the 8th grade when this series came out and I have been waiting nearly 20 decades for this latest installment. I wish that I had loved it...nay...I wish that I had even liked it.

Elena Gilbert was a hard character to like or relate to in the first four books...
I was in the 8th grade when this series came out and I have been waiting nearly 20 decades for this latest installment. I wish that I had loved it...nay...I wish that I had even liked it.

Elena Gilbert was a hard character to like or relate to in the first four books, now she's insufferable in this new book. It was not enough that she was the most beautiful, the most popular, and so loved that when she died, the town nearly shut down in its grief. She was indeed so special that the powers-that-be rewarded her with returning from the dead. Fair enough, Dark Reunion ended happily with her hugging her friends including the fabulously vicious Caroline. All was well. It was not enough to simply return to being the Elena Gilbert who ruled Fell's Church High with her gaggle of admirers. She had to return super special with wings, and the ability to purify all things rotten.

The only continuity that remained true was that anyone not on the Elena-train was immediately dismissed as crazy or just plain evil.

Damon, the hands-down favorite of the Salvatore brothers was reduced to a lecherous skeeze who stalked through Fells Church sucking on it's many female denizens. He was also the one to announce the new breakage of canon regarding vampire sex. Suddenly the amorous Damon can't have sex? What? He doesn't normally desire to kiss anyone? Did we forget the kisses he planted on both Elena and Bonnie in the past books? Was he possessed then as well? Now vampires can only achieve satisfaction through the bite. How quaint and Anne Riceish of LJ Smith.

I have read reviews that mentioned the "fanfiction" qualities of this book and I couldn't agree more. One of the biggest offenses in alot of fanfiction is this need to insert random Japanese stuff everywhere. Hogwarts is continously invaded by Kawaii fangurls and it appears that Fell's Church is no exception. Except, that the writer of this story is not a 15-year old girl who loves Sailor Moon and Bleach, it's a middle-aged woman who's already established an original canon universe. But here we are with butterfly "Wings of Purity!", random Japanese characters simply added to make sense of the anime superpowers and lore, and Kitsunes. Werewolves, apparently, are not longer in vogue. This was a disappointment. A more plausible nemesis for this latest book would have been a vengeful Tyler Smallwood or another one of Katherine's minions. Instead the established universe was sacrificed to appease a trendy fanbase. I can't imagine this sits well with people who truly love anime and are sick of seeing it inserted everywhere on everything because some people thinks it cute or cool to do so.

There were some redeemable qualities such as the violence and action. Twilight fans were let down when Stephenie Meyers didn't have guts to write an all-out throw down between the good guys and the bad guys. The creepiness factor was amped this time as well, LJ Smith got it right when she morphed a possessed Caroline into a lizardy siren ripped straight from The Exorcist and The Grudge.

However, it was too little too late and surrounded by absurd dialogue, weird floating Elena, and a cipherish Stefan the book simply fell flat.

I don't think LJ Smith put alot of heart into this novel. She took what was popular right now, bits and pieces of canon from other authors and tried to squash it into the Vampire Diaries universe where it didn't fit.

Sad indeed.

posted by Persey on March 1, 2009

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Character Maiming, Wings, and Random Japanese Characters..No Lovely Love from this Unfan.

    I was in the 8th grade when this series came out and I have been waiting nearly 20 decades for this latest installment. I wish that I had loved it...nay...I wish that I had even liked it.

    Elena Gilbert was a hard character to like or relate to in the first four books, now she's insufferable in this new book. It was not enough that she was the most beautiful, the most popular, and so loved that when she died, the town nearly shut down in its grief. She was indeed so special that the powers-that-be rewarded her with returning from the dead. Fair enough, Dark Reunion ended happily with her hugging her friends including the fabulously vicious Caroline. All was well. It was not enough to simply return to being the Elena Gilbert who ruled Fell's Church High with her gaggle of admirers. She had to return super special with wings, and the ability to purify all things rotten.

    The only continuity that remained true was that anyone not on the Elena-train was immediately dismissed as crazy or just plain evil.

    Damon, the hands-down favorite of the Salvatore brothers was reduced to a lecherous skeeze who stalked through Fells Church sucking on it's many female denizens. He was also the one to announce the new breakage of canon regarding vampire sex. Suddenly the amorous Damon can't have sex? What? He doesn't normally desire to kiss anyone? Did we forget the kisses he planted on both Elena and Bonnie in the past books? Was he possessed then as well? Now vampires can only achieve satisfaction through the bite. How quaint and Anne Riceish of LJ Smith.

    I have read reviews that mentioned the "fanfiction" qualities of this book and I couldn't agree more. One of the biggest offenses in alot of fanfiction is this need to insert random Japanese stuff everywhere. Hogwarts is continously invaded by Kawaii fangurls and it appears that Fell's Church is no exception. Except, that the writer of this story is not a 15-year old girl who loves Sailor Moon and Bleach, it's a middle-aged woman who's already established an original canon universe. But here we are with butterfly "Wings of Purity!", random Japanese characters simply added to make sense of the anime superpowers and lore, and Kitsunes. Werewolves, apparently, are not longer in vogue. This was a disappointment. A more plausible nemesis for this latest book would have been a vengeful Tyler Smallwood or another one of Katherine's minions. Instead the established universe was sacrificed to appease a trendy fanbase. I can't imagine this sits well with people who truly love anime and are sick of seeing it inserted everywhere on everything because some people thinks it cute or cool to do so.

    There were some redeemable qualities such as the violence and action. Twilight fans were let down when Stephenie Meyers didn't have guts to write an all-out throw down between the good guys and the bad guys. The creepiness factor was amped this time as well, LJ Smith got it right when she morphed a possessed Caroline into a lizardy siren ripped straight from The Exorcist and The Grudge.

    However, it was too little too late and surrounded by absurd dialogue, weird floating Elena, and a cipherish Stefan the book simply fell flat.

    I don't think LJ Smith put alot of heart into this novel. She took what was popular right now, bits and pieces of canon from other authors and tried to squash it into the Vampire Diaries universe where it didn't fit.

    Sad indeed.

    20 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2009

    A review from someone who actually read the book

    I don't think people should be giving 5 stars to books they haven't read yet, just so they can squeal about how excited they are. But hey, that's just me.<BR/><BR/>Anyway, there were some things I liked about the book - some utterly creepy scenes that sent a delicious thrill up my spine. Unfortunately, these were few and far between. On the whole it was pretty bad.<BR/><BR/>And it makes me sad to have to write that, because I've been such a fan of LJ Smith's. But there is no way for me to defend Nightfall. Damon has regressed back into his pre-VD3 characterization, but without the sexiness and mystery. He's like a rude, drunk fratboy you want to punch in the face. And now he hates Stefan and wants to steal Elena away, which doesn't make any sense at all after EVERYTHING THEY'VE BEEN THROUGH! No consistency whatsoever. (Some point out the fact that he's been possessed, but that argument just doesn't fly. Those thoughts are still his own.)<BR/><BR/>Elena fared worse. Honestly, there were some disgusting scenes of Elena regressing into a childlike state of mind, becoming a helpless, innocent, pure little snowflake (with wings! I'm not kidding). In the beginning of the book Stefan has been keeping her holed up in the house. Then, later, she zips around the room and engages in prairie dog-like behavior towards her friends (not kidding about the prairie dogs, either). Nevermind the fact that this supposedly takes place A WEEK AFTER VD4, where Elena - if you recall - had just been given a new lease on life as a perfectly healthy, normal, 100% sane young woman.<BR/><BR/>Also, Caroline is now a major antagonist in the series. I think this bothers me more than anything.<BR/><BR/>I wish I could have liked the book more. I tried, I really did. I've read other reviews where people have argued the book should be taken on its own merits, and not compared to VD 1-4. I tried to do that too. But, um, no. Doesn't work. And besides, that's not fair to readers who have been devoted fans of the series, and expect the author to do her research, and re-read her own books to make sure everything flows properly. Is that so much to ask? That the author keep her characters in character?<BR/><BR/>Anyway, the author should have just left VD alone, and gone on to write a new book with original characters. Then I could have read it without comparing it to earlier books in the series. One thing's for sure, her writing style HAS changed. But I disagree with people who say it's just different, or it's just more adult, or it's just edgier. No. It's just bad. And jumping back into the series after a 10-year hiatus was a horrible, horrible mistake.<BR/><BR/>One last thing. Smith has recently blamed Nightfall's flaws on her two editors, and has admitted that it's, "to put it mildly," not her best work. Okay, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. I can see how she may have been pressured to make her book more like Twilight. I can even see how the kooky plot and the Japanese 'kitsune twins' (which I suspect were intended to appeal to today's anime fans) were the result of intense pressure from her publishers. <BR/><BR/>But I have to judge the book objectively, no matter how bad I feel for the author. The book was odd, confusing, out of character, and a mess. If you absolutely NeedToHaveItOMG, I'd still recommend that you wait until it comes out in paperback.<BR/><BR/>Pray that the next book is better, and that Smith doesn't make Damon walk around with the girls in slave collars like she's been threatening.

    14 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    Yes, I Loved This Book

    Ok so I've read the reviews thus far and can see that most people seem to have some pretty big issues with this book. I think everyone needs to remember this when reading the book: It's not Twilight. It's not Breaking Dawn. Try not to let your disappointment with how that sage ended influence your views on The Vampire Dairies. With that being said I'll continue with my review. This book picked up where the fourth original installment left off, however you can tell that this book is based on present time. I see nothing wrong with this because we must remember it's been almost eighteen years since the last one was written. I think this book goes more in depth with the characters. I absolutely love that Stefan calls Elena his "little lovely love" even though most seem to hate that. I think that Stefan show more of his feelings and his love for Elena in this one then we've ever seen before. Now for the whole "sex talk" issue: It's 2009 people not 1991. Talking about sex is just a part of life. I personally seen nothing wrong with it in the story. It gave it more of an edge, I think. My thought on Damon being possessed? Well it certainly kept you on the edge of your seat. I have to admit even in the first four Vampire Diaries books I always seen something more to the Damon character. I think that LJS done such an incredible job developing his character. I loved when Damon was cured by the "Wings of Purification" and when he was trying to save Bonnie after the trees had almost killed her. We see a side of him that really shows that he is like Stefan in more ways then we thought possible. I loved seeing the gentle side of Damon and hope to see more in future books. The whole Caroline story line was pretty disturbing but I knew from early on in the book that something was going on. I think the (spoiler alert) pregnancy plot gives the book a totally unexpected twist. I mean did you ever really think that would happen? I also liked how LJS wrote from several different perspectives other then just Elena, Stefan, and Bonnie. I just love that style of writing. The whole Japanese twins thing was kind of weird but I see the appeal to a wider verity of people. This book was definitely creepy to the extreme but I enjoy that type of writing as well so of course i loved it. Overall I think you have to keep a very open mind to this book and try not to compare it to the original saga. This book is not for everyone and it is very different from the original but you have to account for the time in between the books. I loved it but some people may not be into the type of things in it. I recommend you at least read it once and then decide for yourself. It's a good read and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2009

    I Liked it A LOT!!!!!!!

    First im going to say that i think it is awesome that L. J. Smith has started writing after a 10 year hiatus. I also think that Nightfall was a good beginning to the new series. In my opinion i think it was more of a mistake on the editors part it seemed to me like lines were shoved in to make it seem more today in a way. It isn't they same as the old books because hello it has been a decade. Hello life and the world is different.<BR/>SO here goes i liked the book quite a bit. There were a few things that either didn't make sense or didn't seem to fit. the whole pet names thing was annoying. I will say that it was finally nice to see the couple be a couple even though it was for two minutes. (ugh)<BR/>Damon, well i have always thought there was more to him and a kinder side that was ACTUALLY SHOWN IN THIS BOOK some may not like it but i did. all of the evil things that took place were while he was under possession which i think you can tell because he isn't damon. <BR/>Elena and her new powers are cool but the wing on wing off thing was kinda off and were not playing with the clapper. I can see that she lost her self after coming back from THE DEAD. She was disoriented i dont see the huge deal.<BR/>So all in all somethings were a little of but a lot of this book was really great. It is thrilling and has parts that really get to you. So much is happening that is keeping you on your toes. Also this book will actually freak you out.<BR/>I TRULY LOVED IT AND CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE. THANKS L. J.<BR/>P.S. i hope this is helpful

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!

    I don't care what anyone says about this book. I LOVED IT! I read it within 24 hours, that's how good it was. I'm franticly trying to find the next one. I CAN'T ESCAPE THE SERIES. I first started watching the show after reading Twilight, thinking that it was just another imitation. I have found that I love this series more than I love the Twilight Series, including this book, & I'm sure the ones that follow. I say KUDOS to L.J Smith. She has a very creative mind that one day I would love to pick at. I can't wait until the next one! I'm READY!!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2010

    I LOVED this one, even better than the previous books.

    I really like the first segment of this series but the Return seemed to bring this series up to date for 2010 and appealed to me even more. Lots of romance and adventure and scary thrown in for good measure! Definitely highlights Damon more which I really liked but never fear, Stephan and Elena get plenty of air time/true love moments. Can't wait to download the last book now!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Supernatural Enjoyment

    Although this was an easy read...I simply loved it! This book picked up right where the first series ends. For anyone interested in this book I would recommend that they have first read The Awankening, The Struggle, The Fury, and The Dark Reunion, that make up the first books of this series. L. J. Smith has a nack for making you fall in love with all of her characters. Even those you want to hate. As in all of her books there is just the right amount of good verses evil, love and hate, jealousy, supsence, mystery and seduction. I anxiously await the next book in this Triology of The Vampire Diaries: The Return

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    So-so

    I'd read this series originally in the early 90s. Unfortunately, this was not a good continuation for an otherwise excellent series. The book started ridiculous, and ended even more so. The middle wasn't so bad. I regreted buying this book, which did not happen with any of the other novels in the series. This story did not need to be told, and only seems to be an attempt to capitalize on the success of Twilight.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good but NOT great.

    This book was ok. However, I don't think that it was as good as the others in the series. It was a very slow read and was all over the place with so many new characters. The perspectives of characters changed multiple times making it less of a mystery (you/the reader knew everything that was happening). There were random parts that were not necessary (the story could've been better without it). I really tried my best to love this book as I did the others... but I couldn't. Although, I do not hate this book, it is not in my top favorites. I look forward to reading the next 2 books in this trilogy (Shadow Souls & Midnight). I believe that LJ Smith will do her best to satisfy her readers next time. Just read it yourself and see the differences.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    Truly awful (contains SPOILERS)

    This book is a mess, whether you compare it to the older books or not. And I agree with another reviewer: folks should not be able to post reviews before the book is released, as they have not read it. Someone should monitor that, as it has falsely inflated the number of stars listed below the book on the main page. You should not give a book 5 stars because you're happy to see it published.<BR/><BR/>I think it's valid to acknowledge that 18 years have passed since the fourth book, and that times have changed, etc. (The complaints about cell phones and computers did not bother me- I was too shocked by the plot!) But the passage of time is no excuse for the fact that the main characters in this book are terrible--little of what made Elena, Damon and Stefan so intriguing remains. They aren't ALL possessed, so that's also a poor excuse. Characters do change and mature, but that doesn't account for their bizarre actions and bad dialogue.<BR/><BR/>Many of the plot elements are just cheesy: wings, prairie dog habits, the massage (what was the point of THAT?) The "action" sequences are repetitive (how many times must the characters alsmost be killed by trees?)and it seems like every existing bit of folklore was crammed into the story (kitsunes, angels, magic mirrors.) The ending is also bad. I wasn't convinced that Elena and the gang were powerful enough to bring about that outcome.<BR/><BR/>One reviewer objected to folks projecting "Breaking Dawn" backlash onto this latest VD installment, but they are both bad books that diminish their series. Readers have said that VD5 reads like fanfiction, but I would say it's like BAD fanfiction. (I have read actual VD fanfiction that is better than this book.)<BR/><BR/>I hear LJ Smith says that editorial pressure resulted in her being less than satisfied with the final results. As someone who first read the series back in 1992, I REALLY hope Smith and/or the editors can get the last two books back on track. The first four books were fantastic, and I wanted to like this book--but I can't, and thus the negative review. VD5 is worth reading, but borrow it at the library before you add it to your collection. I wish I had!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Why ruin a good thing????

    The Vampire Diaries was a revelation for me in my teens. I loved the series, loved the characters, and vowed to marry Stefan (but have a tryst with Damon). I discovered the addition to the series and I was so excited to read it. It. Is. Terrible. My theory is that LJ Smith had a stroke or some horrific brain injury during her sabbatical from writing and somehow the book was never edited for content, only grammar.

    I've read reviews that call the book a 'train wreck' and 'disappointing'. I agree on both accounts. It barely even makes sense. Some events go unexplained and some things are recounted over and OVER and OVER...OKAY ALREADY! ELENA'S HAIR IS GOLDEN! WE GET IT. Please Ms. Smith, pick a new adjective. Flaxen, yellow, blonde, honeyed, the color of the midday sun, wheat, gilt, caramel, aurelian, the color of a good chicken noodle soup even would have been better than 'golden hair' again and again and again. The writing was insipid, masturbatory, and poorly thought out. Ms. Smith, I do still love you for all of the amazing daydreams you inspired, daydreams that got me through Mr. Lustig's advanced algebra classes, but please don't do this to us again. Write a new book for a new series, something that inspires you now instead of trying to make an extra buck off of the re-release of a past series. (A series I think far surpasses Twilight, I might add.)

    Save yourself some heartache and keep the series pure in your heart and skip this one.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    Shocking

    I grew up reading L.J. Smith's books and fell in love with the characters. I was eagerly looking forward to Damon's story. However, this book literally caused me to be sick to my stomach. It was nothing like her previous books and there were too much sexuality, gore, randomness - very different from her previous books. I was (and still am) very disappointed. I hope that Strange Fate (Night World) doesn't follow this thread.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    What a terrible way to continue such a great series!!

    I absolutely LOVED the original trilogy and remember devouring the books when they came out 15 years ago. I was so happy to see them back in print with new awesome covers! I always thought this series was much better than Twilight. I found the 4th book to be decent, but this new book is awful! I am so disappointed. With 15 years to think, I expected so much more out of Smith. This book destroys the characters. the plot is beyond rediculous. I will not read the other books in the series, as they continue on with the pathetic storyline that is already in place. Also, I feel the writing was sub-par and at times, just confusing. I am so sad that I have lost the characters of the first books I truly loved. I feel I have opened Pandora's box, and by reading Nightfall, can no longer enjoy the first books, without thinking of this awful mess. SPOILERS.....
    I found the characters completely clue-less in the story, Damon not knowing he was possessed and Caroline's role was just plain stupid. There were too many unimportant people introduced as well. I hated the science-fiction lore behind the book...with the moving trees and especially the twins. I hated most of all when they were in the alternate world. THis book stretches my suspention of disbelief beyond the breaking point. I always wanted them to go to Italy, to battle evil there, or give damon or stefan some kind huge issue, like dying and needing to find a cure....something--anything---but the plot with other dimentions and the twins. Never have I been so disappointed in a book.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2010

    A good read

    I read the original 4 books awhile back and really enjoyed them. Then I realized that L.J. Smith had continued them and was so excited and couldn't wait to read the next one!! Now some people have written some pretty awful reviews on the new books and it made me hesitant to read the new installments because I had enjoyed the originals so much. I will say that Smith was definitely not in the same frame of mind when she wrote these new installments. I can look past the fact that she jumps from 1992 to 2010 but the characters definitely do change, and some of them change A LOT. While I read both of the new installments and did enjoy them, I was disappointed in the fact that there were so many changes from the original books to the new installments. I realize that Smith needed to attract a new audience but some of the characters changed so much and with no explanation it just kind of bummed me out. I won't say for anyone to not read these new installments, but I will warn you that they are not like the original ones!! I do think that a fan of Smith should read them, just for the sake of continuing on a great story that was started oh about 20 years ago, lol. And for the younger generation, this is a great series and I highly suggest you read all of Smith's books, and not just this series!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

    It hurts...

    Honestly, it breaks my heart to say this, but this book was terrible. I am a diehard Vampire Diaries fan since the first day i read it. I loved Twilight, but nothing compared to my love for This series. The first 4 were amazing, but this continuation was a mess. Without Stephen playing a real role it seemed dry. Elena seemed stupid. Even Damon lost his touch. I wasn't even sure where they were most of the book. Were they in the globe thing, were they in real life, was it a hidden tomb? I won't lie, I will buy the next book, but only in hopes for it to get better.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    If you are a Vampire Diaries fan, just pretend it ended with the last book

    This book is jumbled, ridiculous, incomprehensible, and just plain disappointing.

    This book is disappointing mainly due to bad character and plot execution. These characters are not the same characters from the previous books even though it is set only a week later.

    The last book of the series left off with Elena naked and human. In this book L.J. Smith decided that didn't work with her plot so she made Elena not able to speak with a child-like mind that is "pure". To "know a person" new Elena must kiss a person so she can "recognize them". Elena is no longer the girl we knew, she is now SAINT Elena, with Sailor Moon powers and wings of redemption and purity. The only characters that are even similar to what they used to be are Matt and Bonnie. Caroline regresses to an evil caracuture of herself. Damon is just a sleazy, disgusting, moral less jerk. (I believe someone previously put frat boy in their reviews and that was pretty accurate). The villains are a pair of incestuous, sadistic, and devious dimesion controlling Japanese twins.

    And how does Japanese mythology and Fell's Church, Virginia go together? How does anyone think this plot is not absolutely insane? The previous Vampire Diary books at least had character and plot development. These characters have devolved into flat one dimensional and unbelievable characters.

    If I wanted gratuitous violence and disgusting behavior I could watch a SAW movie...
    Does it really need to contain the sexual pervesions and violence that it contains? Do I really need to know what characters have done sexually (or not)? (ADULTS PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN READ THIS BOOK, I was cringing while reading it (and I am 27).
    Darker does not mean necessarily more violent and disgusting.

    Let me state that I am an L.J. Smith fan who has been reading her for years, but this book was so bad I wanted to throw it out. If I wanted a SCI-FI book I would have bought one. I loved the previous Vampire Diaries books.

    And so this book just gets more unbelievable and ridiculous with each page. It was pure torture reading it (and yes I read the whole terrible book).

    I too wished I had never read it because I feel it tarnishes the other books. My favorite series is the Night World and this was my second favorite. These were the books that got me to read L.J. Smith's books. So please, Ms. Smith re-read your books and use the same writing style. Your writing style and characterization is what made me want to read (and re-read) your books. I am sure others were drawn to this as well, please do not disappoint your loyal fan base with poorly executed and written books.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good, but not as good as the original

    Obviously, I was thrilled to get this book and read it, 'cause I am obsessed with the series and LJ Smith's writing! And I was excited for a look into Damon's mind, since I've been in love with him forever. The story was good, LJ Smith is amazing, but it just wasn't as good as the original four. Some parts were just messed up! I mean, I would exect Smith to know her characters better. Like, really? Damon giving Elena a massage? Would Elena really let him do that? And that scene after
    Damon saves Elena, when they're in the car again and all of a sudden they stop and Elena is drinking that vampire drink? None of that would actually happen. Elena loves Stefan way too much, and if she really was awakened and remembered herself after being reborn, then she would feel so comfortable about being naked in front of a guy like Damon (though he didn't really see anything). I'm not saying I'm disappointed with it--I love the Vampire Diaries too much--but it could have been way better, and I think continuing like this after such a long time just isn't a good idea.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I Loved it!

    I've always been a big L.J. Smith fan and while I can see where some editorial work could have been done I think the problems are a very tiny part of the book, easy to overlook unless you are intentionally looking for reasons to dislike it. *Spoliers* The book takes off a week after Dark Reunion ends. Elena is struggling to learn what it is like to live again as she is stuck in a spirit-child state, Stefan is doing his best to help her, but he can't help (much to her irritation) but see her as a child. As Elena regains her senses Stefan is tricked into leaving Fell's Church by Damon and his alliance with the Kitsune. Damon, our main character in this trilogy is possessed from chapter 1 as he lounges outside Caroline's bedroom window he feels an "insect bite" sensation on the back of his neck. Throughout the book we watch as Damon struggles with his possession and fights to be himself. Being forced to do horrible damage to "his humans" leaves Damon furious and ready to kill. When he realizes he has been double-crossed by the Kitsune all hell is ready to break loose in Fell's church. An edge of your seat, OMG!, "I can't believe it", page turning, damn good read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    Disappointed

    I like many of the other reviewers grew up reading LJ Smith books and was terribly disappointed with this last installment. I am a HUGE fan of all of her character, mostly because of how you can follow the character's development throughout the story (s). In Nightfall all the characters seemed to have regressed and nothing was resolved. I hope she redeems herself with whatever she releases next.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    I miss the old characters!

    I loved the first 4 books and was very excited for this one to come out. I was also excited to know that she was writing about Damon, he is such a great character and I was glad to see that she did show more of a soft side to him. The thing that bothered me the most is that the book was really "out there"! There was to much strange stuff going on that repeated itself, to many killing trees, a weird set of twins that annoyed me and nothing more and to much possesion. I only hope that the next book will get back to the characters of old and have a better story line.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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