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The Return: Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries: The Return #1)

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  36,768 ratings  ·  1,472 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 w...more
Hardcover, 586 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1991)
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Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsThe Help by Kathryn StockettCity of Glass by Cassandra ClareAn Echo in the Bone by Diana GabaldonBlood Promise by Richelle Mead
Best Books of 2009
46th out of 1,360 books — 6,706 voters
Marked by P.C. CastEvermore by Alyson NoelFallen by Lauren KateThe Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. SmithTwilight by Stephenie Meyer
Series I've Given Up On...
48th out of 652 books — 2,656 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Saniya(Will Herondale is mine)
ATTENTION READERS!
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...more
Jessica
Feb 16, 2009 Jessica rated it 1 of 5 stars
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?!

A

...more
Corina
Such a disappointment. What a garbled, incoherent mess. 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 mo...more
Tara
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 just...wtf. WTF. Normally, Smith's writing style is very clear and concise,...more
Elizabeth
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...more
Rebecca
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...more
Heather
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...more
PurplyCookie
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...more
Megan
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
Katherine
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
Mell
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
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
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...more
Heather
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela
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...more
Mizuki
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...more
Kate
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...more
Steph
Feb 19, 2009 Steph rated it 1 of 5 stars
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.
J.D. Stroube
I could not make it past page 193 of this book. It was a complete disappointment for me. I waited thirteen years for L.J. Smith to come out with a new book, and was beyond excited to pick Nightfall up! I quickly realized my mistake. The writing is poor, she does not stay true to the characters, and she is consistently corny throughout the book.

I realize that this is her first published book since coming back to the writing world, but I pray that her next attempt lives up to her previous standar...more
Rhiannon Frater
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...more
Tatiana
Oct 18, 2010 Tatiana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of The Vampire Diaries
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
“I’m Elena Gilbert and I’ve been to the Other Side. And right now I’m ready to do whatever needs to be done, which seems to include kicking some ass!” –Best line of the whole series.

The beginning of The Return: Nightfall was a bit confusing and slow with Elena’s ‘rebirth’ and whatnot. It took me time to get invested in the story, and then later, I felt it was going on too long. It seemed breathy at the end, like it just had to be wrapped up somehow. There were a lot of threads going, a lot of go...more
♔ Leah.
I couldn't even finish this— it was so mind-numbing that I had to throw it onto the floor and get some oreos to comfort myself. One thing that I liked was that we saw more of Damon, who was the one of the few reasons as to why I felt inclined to continue reading the series (along with Meredith)— and I had great expectations of reading his viewpoint.

Nope, I was wrong. This book just seemed all over the place— it was so incongruous compared to the first 4 books that I wished that L.J. Smith had j...more
Dayana
Jul 10, 2010 Dayana rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one...
Shelves: reviewed
Awful, awful book! I was so disappointed!
Where is the cool plot?! Where are the cool characters? Where is everything I loved about the series?!
It's gone!

I can't beleive how stupid this book was. When I FINNALY finished it, I felt so... frustrated. Japanese mithology?! WTF?!

There was another thing that totally surprised me: Internet phones, capable of making video calls in the 90s? How is that possible? L. J. Smith has completely implicated past and present.

I don't think that she should have wri...more
Maddie
The first two books were amazing. But this one... was different. There were some parts that were fun to read, but i found myself snoozing during others. The plot just felt worn out, been there done that. Nothing especially surprised me, it was predictable. It was a good read, but it disappointed me. I was really hoping for some good action-packed chapters, but this was kind of just a switched around stories of the first and second books.
The love was too mushy. It felt kind of forced, i couldn't...more
Christy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angel Jenkins
I can't explain how excited I was for this book to come out. As a teen, I absolutely LOVED L.J Smith's books. I can't count how many times I read them, and the Vampire Dairies series was my favorite. I literlly cried when Elena died and then again when she came back. For years I pounded the keyboard, looking for a sign of Smith's work, as she decided to go into an unexplained hiatis. Then, probably due to Twilight's success, she decided to release a new book....I have no clue why. I never though...more
Amanda
Elena Gilbert has returned from the Other Side, and has to relearn how to live amongst humans. She is helped by the love of her life — Stefan Salvatore, a vampire — and her three closest friends. However, evil forces are gathering around Fell’s Church, drawn by the beacon of a returned soul, and Stefan is snatched away from Elena when she needs him most. She has to turn to his dark brother, Damon, for help — never knowing for certain what motivates Damon or whether he has been possessed by the d...more
Jenny Couch
So excited but sooo disappointed!! The reason I don't like the Twilight series is because of the Edward and what's-her-face's undying, boring, endless love for each other. Neither has faults, neither has stinky breath in the morning and as a teenage she gives up all her relationships to belong to this 100 year old man....blah! The first set of books in the Vampire Diaries series were great! Although Elena and friends are a bit too much for me...seriously does Bonnie ever stop whimpering, Meredit...more
Donna
I would still recommend the earlier books to anyone who enjoys YA, but this book was bad.

There were moments of Smith's old style that tempt me to rate it a bit higher, but I can't do it - not even for the sake of the enjoyment that many of her other books have brought me over the years.

Stefan and Elena spend a million pages being lovey (and boring) at each other. Matt, Caroline, and even Damon seem to lose the character development they'd experienced after Elena's first transformation. All three...more
Silve
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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This has nothing to do with the book but it does have to do with the show 10 90 Jun 10, 2013 11:12PM  
Is this first book series#2 ?, worth the buy? 8 32 Oct 10, 2012 01:56PM  
Wows 2 32 Apr 05, 2011 12:08PM  
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50873
I have a new blog about my Vampire Diaries fanfic.
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

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
More about L.J. Smith...
The Awakening and The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2) Night World, No. 3 (Night World, #7-9) Night World, No. 2 (Night World, #4-6) Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #1) Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3)

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“Why do people always assume that volume will succeed when logic won’t? - Damon” 712 likes
“You're talking!"
"I know I am."
"And making sense!"
"Thank you kindly."
"And in sentences!"
"I've noticed." - Stefan and Elena”
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