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Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries: The Return #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,864 Ratings  ·  1,595 Reviews
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 wer
Hardcover, 586 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers
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.·:*¨ × Shannon♥Loving Tomas Vrbada Like Woe × ¨*: It takes place a week after Dark Reunion but there is random technology from the future the Fell's Church crew never had nor existed back in 1992.
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Series I've Given Up On...
46th out of 870 books — 3,372 voters
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47th out of 1,523 books — 6,840 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 24, 2010 Saniya rated it it was ok
If you REALLY liked this book, please don't read my review below.

Well...I thought the book was...BORING! This book was, like, so lame and I think the previous book (Dark Reunion) should have been the best ending for the Vampire diaries, but no...How could that be? -_-

L.J Smith- *yawning and thinking* I am bored. Which book should I ruin?
Night World? Nah!
Dark Visions? Nah!
The Secret Circle? Nah!
Forbidden Games? Nah!
Well, How about The Vampire Diaries?
Umm...Yeah! That sounds go
Feb 16, 2009 Jessica rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my worst enemy? probably not them either.
Recommended to Jessica by: ljs fan for ever, it rec'd itself.
I am so saddened by this novel. I have been an avid LJS fan since 1995 and my favorite series is The Vampire Diaries. I loved the characters and the story. This ... was a jumble of words that literally made NO sense.

There were concepts that did not hold true to the original series (such as the vampire powers) and characters were doing things they would never do. Perhaps this should not have been written in Damon's POV, whatsoever. It RUINED him. Ghosty Elena? Lovely love love? Mutt? The hell?!


May 12, 2015 Corina rated it did not like it
Such a disappointment. What a garbled bunch of nonsense. Maybe I don't remember the writing accurately - I fell in love with these books when I was a kid - or maybe it's gotten worse. Either way, this was awful. Makes me embarrassed I've been trying to get my kids to read this series instead of Twilight. If I had to read Stefan call Elena "love" one more time...or witness, yet again, what awesome friends Matt and Meredith and Bonnie are to Elena despite the fact that she's seriously one of the m ...more
Feb 13, 2009 Tara added it
Recommends it for: All LJS fans who enjoy being frustrated and confused
Recommended to Tara by: Me.
I shall consider this book "inspired by The Vampire Diaires". You can't write fanfiction when they're your own characters, can you? Because I don't know what else to call this.

There were a few bits of new information and a scene here and there that I really, really enjoyed. There were also old questions which were answered...only, I realized I didn't really want it all spelled out for me after all.

The writing style was WTF. Normally, Smith's writing style is very clear and concise,
Feb 23, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
It's difficult for me to review this book, because I've been waiting for more books in this series since high school, and there's an odd emotional attachment to books that were such a prominent part of my teen years.

That said- I think that L.J. Smith did a remarkable job picking up the series again. Throughout the Vampire Diaries, Smith has woven in various supernatural mythologies; not limiting herself to vampires, she has incorporated werewolves, witches, ghosts, and even angels. In this new i
Apr 05, 2009 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Like many other readers here, I first read The Vampire Diaries series as a teenager, and really enjoyed it. Although I am in my 20s now, I was excited to see a continuation of the story, and see what happened next to the characters I had loved so much. However, I ended up completely disappointed by this book.

The biggest problem I had was the characters and setting in this book just didn't seem like they fit with how they were portrayed in the first four books. This book supposedly picks up righ
Feb 19, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Fell's Church is the Hellmouth of Virginia, like Sunnydale was to California. Elena is no Buffy, but she does like to foil the best laid plans of the evil doers that come to wreck havoc on her little country town.

Though Stefan and Angel share a lot in common. Spike and Damon; however, are nothing a like in my opinion. I liked Spike, but I love Damon. I might have been the only person who was happy when Buffy and Spike ended up together (or maybe not), anyway I'm hoping if these characters and a
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 blood irresistible to any vampire.

I'm not going to sugar coat anything. This book w
Aug 02, 2010 Ashley rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it
This is L.J. Smith's next (Book number 5) in her Vampire Diaries series. The original four were written in 1991. So, this book comes 18 years later. The Vampire Dairies is one of my all time favorite vampire series because the story and characters seem so timeless. Now, after 18 years, L.J. Smith has written a fifth book in the series. This book, “The Return: Nightfall “is going to be followed by two more books (which publication dates have not been assigned as of yet, the next will be “Shadow S ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Katherine rated it did not like it
oh god i cant tell you how bad this book was, it was SO BAD!!i had to keep forcing myself to read it, it was that bad - i dont know what smith was thinking - she should have stopped writing these books and left it as it was, Elena sacrifced herself for a good cause, there was no point to bringing her back. Egh just egh - the story line was really really shit - watch out everyone for *contain spoiler* EVIL PARACITES that will get into your head and mess you up! oh andf evil foxes/people/things th ...more
Annette mathews
Jul 01, 2015 Annette mathews rated it did not like it
This is one such book, where the show is million times better than the book. This book is utter nonsense . Writing at its worst. I wonder if Smith knew what she was writing.Words which made no sense, For example ''Wings of Redemption'', ''Wings of Purification''.Exactly what does these words mean?!
The characters really gets into our nerves.
Stefan is really pathetic. The way he calls elena ''My love'' is really annoying.
Elena is the same.As a spirit, she did some crazy stuff.
Bonnie,as usual was
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Oct 10, 2010 Lisa (Bookworm Lisa) rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
This is a difficult book to review. I must say that I did enjoy this book, but there were many distrubing elements to it. This new series is much darker and edgier than the previous series. This series is geared to a young adult audience, but I would not want my teen to read this book.

Stefan is lured from Elena as the town is falling apart. Very strange things are happening. This book has two "malach" who are trying to destroy the town. There is possession, seduction, and self-cutting. In the se
I've waited more than 10 years for this book, having started the series my freshman year in college. I wasn't expecting great literature- but this was very bad. It's like LJ Smith took a page from the Stephenie Meyer guide on how-to-screw-up-a-good-series. The characters seem nothing like the original books, and the chemistry between them has disappeared. Awakening:Nightfall reads like bad fanfiction (it must be contagious.) It feels like Smith tries to cram every fairy-tale/folklore myth into t ...more
Steph Sinclair

I think I got to page 57 when I just couldn't continue. And it takes a lot for me to not finish a book!
Dec 29, 2010 Kate rated it it was ok
Well, I doubt any of the plotlines in this installment of the Vampire Diaries series will be making it to the TV show anytime soon. Because this book was ridiculous.

At the end of the last book, Elena had been turned into a vampire, then killed, then brought back from the dead six months after actually dying. Now she is some kind of borderline ghost/angel. She doesn't remember how to talk, and she floats, and has healing powers. Everything's great except Caroline is acting very weird and Damon go
Source: I own an ebook copy of this book.
Cost: Unknown

Title: Nightfall
Series: Vampire Diaries: The Return #1
Author: LJ Smith
Overall Rating: 2.7 stars



Please, no.

This is a series that should have ended with Dark Reunion. I know a lot of people loved this book, for the life of me, I can't see why, but hey each to their own. This book was just so boring. I couldn't care less about Elena, I didn't even like her that much in the original books, never mind this new version of her. Th
May 21, 2016 Janani rated it really liked it
Poor Damon! Poor Stefan!
Feb 15, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Somewhere between 1.5 stars and 2 stars.

*slight plot-spoiler*

Basically the story took place right after the event in book 4: The Union/Dark Union. After dying as a vampire to save her lover, Elena was restored to life as human at the end of book 4. At the beginning The Return: Nightfall, she had to start a new life with Stefan in secret (since most of the town people thought that she's dead)
But for some reason Elena wasn't just a mere human anymore, after returning from The Other Place, now she
Nov 13, 2009 Angela rated it did not like it
Poor continuation of the series

It was only after the CW picked this up as a show that I started reading THE VAMPIRE DIARIES last month. The first omnibus (books 1 & 2) was decent, and the next omnibus (books 3 & 4) was so-so. However, nothing prepared me for this book. The lack of continuity, poor writing, limited character development, and an entirely too long narrative combined for a very unsatisfying read.

The first concern was its lack of continuity. Though the story picks up seven d
Rhiannon Frater
May 28, 2009 Rhiannon Frater rated it it was amazing
I read the original four books of this series when they were released back in the '90's and I thoroughly enjoyed them. When the big Twilight craze hit and I heard the premise, my first thought was "But it was Stephen and Elena, not Edward and Bella." After reading Twilight, I reread this series and was happy to discover I still loved it.

So I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out this new book was being added to The Vampire Diaries series. Somehow I missed the release date and stumbled upon ve
Mar 19, 2010 Christy rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2010 Rachel rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2009 Steph rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One (especially old fans of her writing)
Shelves: urban-fantasy
When good authors go bad, it is always disappointing. I waited for more than 10 years to get something new from one of my all time favorite authors, and I sincerely wish that she had just kept me waiting. What a horrible horrible disappointment.

I'll forever love your old stories Ljane, but this one fell far short of expectation. I would not have even bothered to finish it if I didn't know what a great author you're capable of being. I hold out hope for Strange Fate, but not much.
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥

Basic Info

Pages/Length: 14hrs and 5mins
Genre: Young Adult; Vampire

At A Glance

Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?:
Cliff Hanger: eh.
Triggers: n/a
Rating: 1.5 stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover: 3
Plot: 6
Characters: 5
World Building: 5
Flow: 6
Series Congruity: n/a
Writing: 6
Ending: 5

Total: 4

In Dept

Best Part:
Worst Part: I am lost as crap.
Thoughts Had: huh?!; EXPLAIN!


Continuing the Series:
Recommending: eh

Short Review: I have seen enough of the show Vamp
Marija *Whoever You're Mixing Your Drinks With Is Dying To Go To Town On You*
This is the first book I haven't finished this year. I abandoned it some time at the end of July and couldn't bring myself to start reading it again. I thought I could get through whole series, but guess I was wrong. I just can't bear reading any of this crap anymore. Seriously, characters are really annoying. Even Damon started to annoy me in this one. The whole thing with him being bad in the beginning and then turning good towards the end of the book, then all over again in next one is gettin ...more
Mailis Viiand
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: The Vampire Diaries: Nightfall by LJ Smith 1 10 Nov 10, 2015 05:15AM  
Delena Fans!: Season 2 1 2 Jan 22, 2015 09:52AM  
This has nothing to do with the book but it does have to do with the show 9 97 Jun 10, 2013 11:12PM  
Is this first book series#2 ?, worth the buy? 8 34 Oct 10, 2012 01:56PM  
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I have a new blog about my Vampire Diaries fanfic.

L.J. SMITH, Lisa Jane Smith, is the New York Times #1 Bestselling author of The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, The Forbidden Game, Dark Visions, Wildworld and Night World series. She has written over two dozen books for children and young adults, and has enjoyed writing every one of them. She lives in th
More about L.J. Smith...

Other Books in the Series

The Vampire Diaries: The Return (3 books)
  • Shadow Souls (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #2)
  • Midnight (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #3)

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“Why do people always assume that volume will succeed when logic won’t? - Damon” 758 likes
“You're talking!"
"I know I am."
"And making sense!"
"Thank you kindly."
"And in sentences!"
"I've noticed." - Stefan and Elena”
More quotes…