Vampire Diaries - The Return: Nightfall (book 5) by L.J. Smith

Elena Gilbert is alive - again. When Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her she was consigned to a fate beyond death. Until a powerful supernatural force pulled her back. Now Elena is not just human. She has powers. What's more, her blood pulses with a unique force that makes her irresistible to any vampire. Both brothers still want Elena to be theirs, but something bigger and more powerful than all of them may want her more...

First to sum up the 4 previous books.
Back in 1991 wrote 4 books – the original Vampire Diaries; The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury and The Reunion, which are basically about vampires, eternal love and devoted friendship. I read the first two in my early tweens, but never got hold of the others and I didn’t find the entire quadrilogy till January 2010 where I reread them. Book 1 and 2 had me wondering why I had liked them so much, book 3 I thought was a decent end to it all, and then came book 4 and destroyed the whole thing. An utterly mind-baffling resurrection of something that would have worked just fine as a YA trilogy, book 4 kept a book series alive that had served its duty and deserved peace.
Now, to be clear, the trilogy I think is good. The writing was a bit weaker than I remembered but still enjoyable. The 4th book seemed a bit redundant, but I went along with it though I had the nagging feeling that it was written only because the author couldn’t bear to say goodbye.

So onwards to 2009 where book 5 suddenly appeared. Called The Return: Nightfall the story picks up a few days or weeks after book 4 ended and to be perfectly honest with you, the book is an utter mess. It was impossible to make sense of what was going on and jumps from one thing to another, and changes point of view quicker than a cheetah can run. It is often difficult to discern who says what and just to add to the general confusion, there are new villains at play. These are some obscure Japanese characters/demons who mostly just gave me the feeling that Smith has recently become a fan of animes and just *had* to include something from that genre as several of the characters have also suddenly taken to using Japanese expressions whenever they can to support the thinner and thinner plot.

The main character, Elena, has Mary-Sue branded to her forehead (whereas in the first 3 books, it was more just the label of her clothes). Everybody loves her, she can master anything and everything, having been dead twice over, vampyrical and back, and is now apparently bursting to the seams with [and I quote] >>magic of the kind all humans possess, but don’t know how to use.<<

The character development in the book is horrendous and only Elena actually has something beneath the surface, little as it may be – the rest aren’t any deeper than the paper they’re written on. The love both brothers have for Elena and their different ways of handling just seems like a joke by now and the thought, that some youngsters will grow up with these books believing this is how love works, makes me cringe.

Overall I was disappointed by this book, but at the same time I never set my expectations very high for it. The writing feels weak and it’s just too much.
To drive home my reason for only giving this book 1 star, have another quote from it.

>>I’m the hell Shinichi, the other boy replied. His hair was the strangest Damon had seen in a while. It was smooth and shiny and black everywhere except for an edging of uneven dark red at the tips. The fringe he tossed carelessly out of his eyes ended in crimson and so did the little wisps all round his collar – for he wore it slightly long. It looked as if tongues of dancing, flaring flame were licking at the ends of it, and gave singular emphasis to his answer: I’m the hell Shinichi. If anyone could pass as a devil come up straight from Hell, this boy could.<< (L.J. Smith - Nightfall, p. 142)

471 pages / published in 2009
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2010


  1. This might be so bad I just have to read it out of curiosity.... I recently read the first four after falling in love with the TV series and was quite disappointed.

  2. @mummazappa Yeah, the tv series seems to have little if anything to do with the books (I only saw a few episodes before changing channel in disgust)
    I can recommend book 5 if you want a good cringe :p

  3. I totally agree. I really liked the first 3 books when I was younger and the first season of the show was kind of my guilty pleasure but I tried reading the 5th book and had no idea what was going on.


Tilføj en kommentar

Lån løs på eReolen