Georgiana Derwent's Reviews > Nightfall

Nightfall by L.J. Smith
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During my teens, the original Vampire Diaries series (along with LJ Smith's other books) were amongst my absolute favourite reads. I recently re-read the original series and was pleased to discover that, whilst they're probably better suited for teenagers than those in their mid-twenties like I am now, my memory hadn't lied about how good they were. When I found out that there was a new, follow-on trilogy, I was torn between excitement and apprehension - I tend to feel that series that have reached a natural conclusion should be left alone. As a result, I put off reading this for ages until I finally saw it in a charity shop and cracked.

First things first - this is not as good as the original trilogy and I'd have preferred the author to leave this series alone and write something new. That said, it's still a fun and interesting read and won't ruin your memories of the series. If anything, I'd say it's better than the fourth book which suffered terribly from the absence of the main character, Elena, who's back here. It also has quite a different feel to the earlier books. Anyone expecting a classic vampire tale is likely to be disappointed. Where the originals were very much in the "girl meets vampire" mould (and to my mind the best example of that genre), this is more like a horror story about demons and possession, in which some of the characters who are affected happen to be vampires. It's also at times quite surreal - I for one could have done with less of the main character having a variety of magical wings!

Nonetheless, there are flashes throughout of some of the things that generally make LJ Smith books a cut above most teen paranormal fiction - fantastic romance scenes, touches of humour, attention to detail and strong, realistic supporting characters and depictions of friendships. It's just a shame that at times they're in danger of getting buried under too many weird plot devices and slightly cheesy moments.

Finally, a couple of people have mentioned the fact that the old series was set in the early nineties and these books appear to be set in the present day without any time having passed for the characters. Yes, this is a bit bizarre, but didn't really affect my enjoyment. A nineties setting was never crucial to the plot and if anything, writing a book now that is meant to be set twenty plus years ago would have felt equally artificial, with forced descriptions of clothing etc.

Overall though, I enjoyed this much more than I was expecting and am going to give the next book a go.
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