Sunday, November 21, 2010

Book Review: The Vampire Diaries: The Fury/Dark Reunion

The Fury/Dark Reunion
(The Vampire Diaries, #3 and #4)
Author: L.J. Smith
Paperback, 520 pages
Published January 1, 2007, by Harper Teen
Reading Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

In the two books included in this second omnibus edition, Elena Gilbert, the pivotal character of the series, is transformed from a vain, egotistical girl into a radiant being whose compassion and goodness save the lives of her friends, Matt, Meredith, and Bonnie, as well as that of her boyfriend, Stefan, the mysterious boy who turned out to be a vampire in the first book, The Awakening.

I started the series utterly disliking Elena. By the end of The Fury, I actually liked her -- a lot. At the beginning of this book, she has been turned into a vampire, and returns to the town of Fell's Church.  At first confused and dazed, she mistakes Damon for her true love, even attacking Stefan. She has, in other words, become temporarily insane, as a result of her transformation.  Thankfully, this is only a temporary condition.

In this installment of the series, which I liked more than the previous two, Elena joins forces with her friends, as well as Damon, in discovering the identity of another mysterious Power now haunting Fell's Church.  The resulting battle is harrowing, and has a tragic end, which will only be resolved at the end of Dark Reunion .

In the second book, the friends join forces again, to combat yet another evil power that has come to Fell's Church.   Unfortunately, two deaths occur before they are able to stop the villain, with some very unlikely supernatural help -- the unquiet spirits of Fell's Church.

Dark Reunion closes on a miraculous event that brings the star-crossed lovers, Stefan and Elena, great happiness. They are joined in their joy by their loyal friends, as well as by Caroline, whom Elena has forgiven for her attempts at getting Stefan accused of murder in The Struggle .

Sadly, Damon remains outside the group, refusing to be touched by Elena's love and goodness. Throughout both books, certain events take place that give the reader more of an insight into Damon's personality. He is not, after all, totally evil, as Elena turned out not to be entirely selfish and arrogant. However, there is something in him that prevents him from completely embracing the light. He prefers to remain in the darkness instead, proudly asserting his independence from those whom he has reluctantly come to care for.

These two books are not only action-packed, but also give the reader a deeper look into the characters. They really come to life here, bonding with each other to achieve a common end -- the elimination of all evil from their town. Bonnie's psychic skills play an even greater role in these books, and especially in the second one.

When I began reading this volume, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it greatly exceeded my expectations! These two books are thoroughly addictive, even if they do contain some rather horrific events, which would normally not appeal to me.

L.J. Smith has that magical, storytelling ability that can keep one turning pages, even if the reader initially has difficulty connecting with one or perhaps more of her characters. Her fertile imagination ensures suspenseful, heart-pounding moments, yet everything is satisfactorily resolved in the end.  She is a superbly talented writer!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this series. I enjoyed it at first, but lost interest toward the latter half of the series.I read this entire series and ended it off on a really bad note by reading the fifth book, which seemed more like fan fiction. I started off liking the series, though, but have since realised that the author's writing style doesn't manage to grab my attention. I've just finished the first book in The Secret Circle trilogy (which also started off on a positive note for me) but by the end of the book I found that I wasn't looking forward to the next in the series. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this series:)


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