Virginia Kathryn's Reviews > Midnight

Midnight by L.J. Smith
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May 22, 11

Read in April, 2011

The new Vampire Diaries trilogy shares many characteristics with the music of Neil Diamond. At this point a suspension of disbelief is required to traverse the absurd world of Fell's Church, from the dangers of the Dark Dimension to a courtroom full of werewolves, through encounters with mutant owls, fox spirits and carnivorous trees. Many readers still doubt the power of L.J. Smith novels and demand to know why she has continued writing the same stories since the 1990s, transplanting her characters into a universe reminiscent of an H.R. Pufnstuf episode. Yet the cheesy power ballads of Damon and Stefan draw readers back, much like a performance of Sweet Caroline luring the audience into a sing-along chorus. Whether we return for memories of the characters we love, or wonder what new fates may befall the residents of Fell's Church, the magic of L.J. Smith brings us back with a smile at each happy ending.
The conclusion in particular hinges on the use of deus ex machina, such as in the protagonists' quest for the magical treasures of the kitsune (fox spirits). Long-time allies are revealed to have carried substantial secrets for years without their friends' knowledge, and although consistent with their personalities, these revelations are a bit frustrating for their lack of complete explanation. Also apparently impossible situations are overcome with ease, specifically regarding Damon's temporary humanity; I would have liked to see Damon's handling of mortality for more than a hundred pages, but alas, plot stood in the way of character development. Hopefully the next trilogy will provide a more natural development of Damon's humanity, without cursed roses, angelic powers or H.R. Pufnstuf (who can't do a little 'cause he can't do enough).
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