Leeanna's Reviews > Night World, No. 2

Night World, No. 2 by L.J. Smith
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Dec 06, 09

Read in December, 2009

This is a combination of my individual reviews for Night World 4: Dark Angel, Night World 5: The Chosen, and Night World 6: Soulmate.

I would give this collection a 3-3.5 out of 5. Smith continues her Night World series with Gillian and a guardian angel, Rashel the vampire-hunter with a vampire soulmate, and Hannah and Thierry, the original soulmates.

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Night World #4: Dark Angel, by L. J. Smith

At first "Dark Angel" doesn't seem like a typical Night World book. Gillian Lennox is a normal teenager; someone that many teen girls could probably relate too. She's not one of the popular crowd but instead is a shy outcast. Her two goals in life are somewhat superficial: she wants to be popular, and she wants David Blackburn to love her. But then who wasn't superficial when they were a teen?

Gillian's introduction to the Night World comes when she has a near death experience. On her way home from school, she goes into the snowy woods after she thinks she hears a child crying. Instead she falls into a creek and hypothermia sets in. But she's rescued by Angel, a celestial being who guides Gillian back to the road. But Angel turns out to be more than just a lifesaver, as he starts to help Gillian fulfill her goals. He whispers the secrets of popularity in her ear, helping a shy girl transform into a vivacious butterfly. But as Gillian's status increases at school, she starts to become suspicious of her guardian angel...who is he really? And what does he want with David?

The Night World connection in this book is tenuous, but it does make sense. After all, in a world populated with werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural creatures, it's natural that spirits would exist as well. So far Gillian is probably the most identifiable of all the protagonists in the Night World books, as she's your everyday teenage girl who finds out that there's a secret world...and she's part of it. How many of us have wished for that? I know I have.

For me, "Dark Angel" is a solid chapter in the Night World series, but it doesn't really stand out, but then it isn't bad either. It's a good story of growth.

3/5.

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Night World #5: The Chosen, by L. J. Smith

When she's 5 years old, Rashel sees her mother and her friend killed by a vampire. The vampire tries to get her as well, but even at 5 she's strong enough to resist his mind control. Fast forward twelve years and Rashel is a vampire hunter, existing on the fringes of the Day and the Night worlds, keeping humans safe.

Rashel is a very strong character, comfortable in her body and determined because of her past. She's a great fighter and has a sense of honor. When she and a group of vampire hunters capture a vampire, the others want to torture him, but Rashel can't stomach torturing a defenseless being, even if he is a vampire. So she decides to let him go...and then discovers he's her soulmate. To add to the mix, the vampire is Quinn, known throughout the Night World as one of the most soulless, human-hating vampires around.

While Rashel is one of my favorite Night World characters, I find the plot of this book a little weak. Rashel stumbles into a Night World slave trade of humans when she rescues a blonde bunny, but then Daphne, the girl she helps, is willing to risk her life to help Rashel take down the operation. The ending is very abrupt as well, without taking care of some loose ends that I would've liked to see resolved. But overall "The Chosen" fits very nicely into the Night World series, and uses the soulmate principle that ties all the books together very nicely. Rashel and Quinn are iconic of the opposites attract cliche, but it works for them and they grow over the short time period of the book. I really want to see more of them.

3/5.

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Night World 6: Soulmate, by L. J. Smith

Hannah Snow has the perfect life - she's about to graduate from high school, she already has a college scholarship, and she even knows that she wants to be a paleontologist. But her perfect life starts to collapse when she finds notes that she doesn't remember writing, warning her of a dire event - "Dead Before Seventeen."

Increasingly disturbed by the notes and bad dreams, Hannah visits a psychiatrist. On her very first appointment, a werewolf crashes into the building and tries to attack her, but a mysterious voice in her head helps her dodge each claw swipe. She's saved by the arrival of a second werewolf, who chases off the first.

Knowing that she has to get to the root of what's going on, Hannah and the psychiatrist try hypnosis, and she's plunged into a vision of a past life, where she was Hana, and a strange boy with blood around his mouth appears in her village...

Thierry is one of the oldest vampires in the world, created at the dawn of humanity. He's spent his lifetime searching for his soulmate, trying to find her before her 17th birthday so he can break a cycle of death. But when he finds her this time, she doesn't want his help...

"Soulmate" is my favorite Night World book. Coming 6th in the series, it exemplifies the soulmate principle Smith has used in each previous book, because Hannah and Thierry are the original soulmates. Hannah's past lives are a great plot device, because it allows Smith to give her lots of growth and abilities; and I really enjoy the stories of her past lives. I wish Smith had done more with that, she alludes to some interesting incarnations of Hannah but only fills in a few. Like other Night World heroines, Hannah's no wilting flower and she does take matters into her own hands when she needs to. Also in "Soulmate" Smith starts to introduce a bigger theme if classic theme, saving the world, and it'll be interesting to see where she takes it.

If you read any of the other in the Night World series, this book will also give a good update on what your favorite couples are up to, and what they are trying to do.

4/5.
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