Beth's Reviews > Nightfall

Nightfall by L.J. Smith
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's review
Aug 29, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in March, 2009 — I own a copy , read count: 1

The Vampire Diaries quartet was one of LJ Smith’s most popular projects among fans, presenting a darkness and sensuality reminiscent of (a much cleaner) Anne Rice. The sensuality is mainly due to unreformed vampire Damon Salvatore, who tops the fan charts alongside Ash Redfern (from her Night World series) for favorite LJS male.

The Return: Nightfall, the first novel of her new Vampire Diaries trilogy and her first new book since 1997 (Witchlight), picks up a week or two after the first quartet left off and is primarily a story for and about Damon. LJ Smith claims on her website that he’s her favorite character and she’s having fun writing about him.

In the fandom, of which I used to be a semi-active part, Damon is popularly paired with Bonnie, and, though I never cared much about Vampire Diaries shipdom (probably because I first read them out of order) I do indeed hold out hope that the cute little redhead can take his mind off of silly perfect Elena, though I don’t know that she can or will. I want this, though, because I like every character to have someone at the end of the story, and Damon was left out in the cold last time. I also have hope because LJS often delivers on pairing everyone happily up. It’s one of my favorite things about her.

My biggest concern when I read the back of this book was that Stefan was going to pull a New Moon Edward (running away for the girl’s own good) but didn’t have the reader affection to pull it off. Stefan is probably one of LJ Smith’s weakest characters, along with Rob from her Dark Visions trilogy — both guys so good they’re boring, with the added detraction of being cast alongside sexy bad-boy counterparts that the fans gobble up.

Stefan seems to be less of a martyr this time around and I actually found myself liking him, when I didn’t before. For that alone, I’m glad for this new trilogy. I also enjoyed what the author did with Damon and think all of the characters seem to have a little more depth.

As usual, she manages to horrify and disturb without going over too many lines (some parts reminded me of “The Exorcist”). Strange mystical powers used out of the blue bug me. Also when those powers have more to do with saving the day than the wit or cleverness of the characters. I think it might have had more punch with a little less magic.

Still, mystical powers are kind of the point in a supernatural story, and I’m not about to look a gift book in the mouth after 12 years of waiting.
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