Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Book 3: LJ Smith really loves blood whores

My third book for the challenge was Secret Vampire, the first book in the Night World No. 1 volume by LJ Smith. I'm counting the volume as 3 books, since Smith intended each one to be a book and each one is about 200 pages long.

I think this story has the good things about Smith's Vampire Diaries series and is missing some of VD's flaws. I love Vampire Diaries and I'm not saying this book was better, but it was definitely better written. In VD, Smith was not as adept at explaining the vampire mythology she was employing. At the end of the fourth book, I was still confused about how one became a vampire and what life as a vampire was like. In Secret Vampire, the reader isn't left wondering any of that. Smith's plot was just as solid as her characters in this one.

Smith's ability to write great characters seems to be her strong point, but her heroes and heroines are a little too similar. Secret Vampire's Poppy is very similar to VD's Elena, right down to being a trampy blood whore (for you, Lew). The hero, James, is mysterious and sexy, just like Stefan. And the paradoxical bad boy Ash reminds me greatly of Damon, VD's resident mystery man. I'm not really complaining, because Smith still makes the characters interesting, but I wonder if it will get old after reading several more Smith books.

Just like VD, this book left me wanting more. Smith has a habit of not giving the reader enough closure at the end. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I'm an adult reading a YA novel. In adult romances, the books usually end with the couple getting married or at least having sex. Since this is a YA book, there was none of that, although perhaps there might be in later books. Anyway, so the couple rides off into the sunset without even a real kiss on the lips, and I am left feeling a little bereft.

But I am looking forward to the next book in the volume, Daughters of Darkness. I'm not sure all the books have overlapping characters, but they are all set in the same universe, so hopefully they'll be equally entertaining.

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