Customer Reviews for

Nightfall (Vampire Diaries: The Return Series #1)

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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 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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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Did not live up to expectations

    I have been a fan of L.J. Smith since I was a teenager. The Vampire Diaries were my favorite set of books growing up. Even as an adult I would find myself rereading the series every year or so. It was like returning to an old friend. When I heard about this book coming out, I was excited. I'm a little old for Young Adult novels and being that I teach Literature at the University level, this isn't my usual reading. Smith is a great writer and the problem has less to do with the quality of the writing than it does with the story. The first four books established a universe with a certain reality. This book, though only taking place days or weeks after the first completely changes that. Smith changes the mythology of the story in a way that simply doesn't make sense. I think she must have waited too long to write this, or perhaps just wanted her share of the profit from the current vampire craze.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Oh Unhappy Day!

    I really wish I were writing to gush about how amazing a read this book turned out to be, I'm not. It was just mediocre. I loved the originals. I've reread them multiple times through the years and found them just as enjoyable at 25 years old as I did at 15 years old. I just have no idea how this book could have deviated so far from the originals! I wanted to throw it across the room! If you are a Stefan fan, be prepared to be disappointed in his character. Damon had quite a bit of good stuff, but it was awful confusing!I felt zero connection to Elena. Just disappointing. I won't say i'm not going to continue the series. I will. I'm already in this mess might as well see how it turns out.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    To: wow people... just wow

    First off i like twilight and vampire diaries. Bella in twilight is not an emo, so i dont know y u would think she is. And thereis not "fairies and mutant dogs" so if u dont like the stuff ignore it. Duh. Anyways vampire diaries is an amazing series an show. I love it! And to the haters... shutup nobody cares alright? Ur not cool just cuz ur hating on other books and movies everyones got a different interest.... ***** for the book * for whoever im talking to thats got problems..... PEACE OUT

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    ugh

    I liked the 1st 4 books in tha original series....but it was ok.... L.J. Smith still a vampire genius;)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2009

    okay-ish

    i love the 1st 4 books but this book was not even close to the others. it lacked alot and i was surprised about how bad it was. all the characters lost their touch and it had so much going on to a point where it was just plain boring. i read it out of curiosity even after seeing the bad reviews. it wasnt HORRIBLE but it wasnt amazing like the other 4.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What happened?

    I love the Vampire Diaries Series 1-4 books but this was like a new author had written it. I was very disappointed with how there were so many point of view's. Everytime I would get interested in what was going on the pov would change to someone else. At times I was a little confused as to who was even talking. I hope the next one is better I will read it because I do like some of the characters but a story told in 1 or 2 point of views is good enough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Better than the first two!

    The first two were okay, but didn't quite hold the same excitement as this one did for me! I loved to see the evil brother come into the picture more. I highly reccomend reading this one, even if the first two didn't exactly thrill you.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Read if you dare! There's a lot of skimming involved.

    This book drove me nuts!!!! It could have been half as long if it didn't have so much double detail. Nobody was ever just tired ~ it was 3 paragraphs about how tired they were! I get it! being tired is enough to get the point across!! And she left it open ~ totally gonna write another one & I have to finish what I started so I have to read it........

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    a

    a

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    Didn't enjoy

    I really liked the Vampire Diaries Series, but then I read this book and it completly lost me. The tone of the book doesn't even sound like the author. It jumped around and was hard to follow at times. Overall it was just 'ok'. I don't think I would recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2010

    really a two and a half rating

    greatly dissapointing... without creating a spoiler, the story line was rediculious! the first three; great story! how each book just builds and builds the tensions of the life of a vampire! then the plots and story lines absolutely died off becoming, for a lack of a better word STUPID! comeone, woodland creature and soul possessing! LAME! I thought they were Vampire Diaries? not the mystical and rediculious land of the poorly developed evil twins who are bored and come to town to make random trouble! I'm still going to read the second return book... idk y! guess I'm just curious if the author lost her touch, or pulls it bach together after 2 not so great books!

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  • Posted August 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    mmmm. not sure

    I love the t.v series and it was that, that made me want to buy and read the books, and I am glad I did, I loved books 1-4. I finished reading book 5 last night and i'll be honest, I didn't think it was as good as the last books. some parts of it was great and it made me want to keep reading, whereas other parts I thought was stupid and didn't make much sence. I had to keep reading back on myself sometimes because I felt the story line had jumped and I thought I has missed something, I hadn't, it was just Elana thinking one thing and then seeing another. As for vampires, there is only one vampire in it through the most part and that`s a not so good Damon. I just don't know what L.J Smith is trying to do here, is she trying to make us like the vampires or not? Then there is Elana herself, I mean... is she trying to be a slapper or is that just the way her charactor is portrayed. I can see that it will do no good to play Stephan and Damon against each other, especially when both brothers have gave their words to look after one another. It just seems cruel. Meredith, Bonnie and Mat seem to be the best charactors in this whole series, they are loyal to their friends and they are happy with what they have got (apart from bonnie who really does not want to be phychic, but then,.. who can blame her). I just hope that Shadow souls is so much better than this one.. I am going to continue reading this series because I have never started a series and not finished it and I don't intend to start now.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Should have stopped after the first four.

    When I heard that this series was continuing I was so excited but after I read Nightfall I was hugely disappointed with this book. The first part of the book when Elena was reverted back to a childlike state and had to relearn how to do everything was really weird to me. I kept thinking where did this come from and when is it going to stop. I mean these books are pretty far fetched in and of themselves ( but this genre is one of my faveorites to read) but this book was REALLY far fetched even for my standards. I will finish reading this series but hopefully the next books get better.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    interesting

    as a big fan of the fury i couldn't wait to read this. it did not disappoint. plenty of damon (which i loved), it was scarier than the previous ones, and stefan and elean were enjoyable. plus bonnie,meredith, and matt developed, and i enjoyed their characters more. the villians in this book were not easily defeated, which is refreshing. will not disappoint fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2010

    Enjoyable

    I was a big fan of the first four books. Returning to the story and characters was nice, but overall it wasn't that great. The story was ok, but got a little boring after awhile. Quick read, love the new tv series, will probably continue reading them.

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    it was ok

    i loved the first 4 books in the series but this one was not that good. the author dragged it a little to much some of the chapters didn't even need to be there. everyone except meredith and bonnie have changed and where in the world did she come up with the idea of the so called japanese brother and sister. they were strange and i don't see how they became part of this great story. i hope the next two are better cause i was not happy with this one.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    not the best of the series

    I find this to be extremely long compared to the first of the Vampire Diaries...not just in pages, but it seems to drag on, hopefully the next one will be a quicker read like the first books....

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  • Posted March 8, 2010

    Ok :(

    This book I basically thought was a little odd. The charcters were interesting but the events that took place were frankly confussing. I didnt at all like the end and how certain things are how they are I still dont understand. Dont get me wrong, if you read the first VD books then you need to read this one. By far not my favorite in the series but an interesting thing to think about. I would only recommend this book to, as I said, people who have read the first VD books and are truly in love with the series.

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  • Posted November 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Ummm?

    I loved "The Vampire Diaries" original series, so when a friend told me that this series existed, I had to get the first book. All I can say is - hmmmm.

    I was happy to see a group of my favorite people coming back, but they changed SO MUCH! Elena's character is very confusing, and I can't believe some of the actions of Stefan here.

    I was left really confused, so I'm hoping the next book fills in some blanks.

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