Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book 16: The VD Craziness Continues

*Spoilers Ahead!*
The latest book in LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries series is Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall. Yes, that's actually the full title. Smith has decided to continue the series with a new trilogy which picks up 7 days after the older books left off, with Elena back from the dead.

This book was pure, undiluted batshit insanity. Really.

The book is confusing right off the bat for anyone who read the old series. When Elena returned from the dead at the end of Dark Reunion, she was human and seemingly had all her faculties. At the beginning of the new book, Elena is mute and childlike, having woke up that way the day after she came back from the dead. This is never explained, just that she was fine when she came back, but woke up a "spirit child" the next day.

Elena is doing the vampire version of getting it on with Stefan, despite the fact that she seems to be lacking some mental faculties, which is not very honorable of St. Stefan. She also floats around, glowing like a life-size lightning bug. Really, she even bumps into windows while she floats around. And she has powerful magical powers. And she has trouble remembering people so she gives them a big kiss (yes, girls too) to get to know them.

Suddenly, all the characters are using all this technology. They all have internet capable, video cell phones, and they know all about computers. This would make sense in the context of the current time period, but it throws the reader off since none of this technology existed in the other books, but suddenly it appears here.

The plot of the book starts when Damon is approached by a mystical fox thingymajig, who offers to get Stefan out of the way so that Damon can pursue Elena, but the fox has ulterior motives. Fox thingy gets his minions, the malach, to possess Damon. Stefan is kidnapped, with possessed Damon's help. Elena finally snaps out of her mute "spirit child" ways (but not before Stefan tows her behind his car with a clothesline). It becomes clear that something is possessing the young women of Fell's church. Much hijinx ensues while Elena tries to figure out what is wrong with Damon, and the fox and his sister (also a fox) try to destroy the town with their malach (bug like creatures who possess people). Really, there's more than that, but its all very nonsensical.

Elena and her friends, with Damon's help, eventually drive the foxes away from Fell's Church, but the foxes refuse to give them the keys to free Stefan, only giving Elena some cryptic clues about where to find the keys. The book ends with Damon, Elena, and Matt as fugitives (a pregnant Caroline has accused Matt of raping her to cover up her out of wedlock conception with the crazed werewolf Tyler from the original books) determined to figure out how to free Stefan, despite Damon still pursuing Elena to be his princess of Darkness. Really. That's how it ends.

This book was completely insane to the point that I couldn't read more than a few chapters at a time. I rationed out the Crazy over about a week. It was confusing and outrageous, but in the end that's kind of the point of reading LJ Smith. Its all about the insanity. And the mocking. Definitely the mocking.

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