Apr 4, 2010

Review--Shadow Souls


Elena Gilbert's love, the vampire Stefan Salvatore, has been captured and imprisoned by demonic spirits who are wreaking havoc in Fell's Church. While her friends Bonnie and Meredith explore the evil that has taken over their town, Elena goes in search of Stefan.

In order to find him, she entrusts her life to Stefan's brother, Damon Salavtore, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. Along with her childhood friend Matt, they set out for the slums of the Dark Dimension, where Stefan is being held catpive. It is rumored to be a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live enslaved to their supernatural masters...

Elena will stop at nothing to free Stefan. Yet with each passing day the tension between Elena and Damon grows, and she is faced with a terrible decision: Which brother does she really want?

Back in Fell's Church, Bonnie and Meredith have made some dire discoveries. They hastily try to follow Elena and warn her--only to be caught up in Elena's most dangerous adventure yet.

Just finished Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls, long name yes, this morning. Read it pretty quick too, near 100 pages a day since it read so fast. So don't let the 599 page count scare you. Really, the more pages the better in my opinion!

It is to be noted, even if it isn't already known, that the book series is different than the TV series. So just be aware of the vast differences if you are new to the series, but then again, if you are already this far into the book series, you know this already.

The book picks up where the last one, Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall left, off. Elena is set on entering the Dark Dimension, a world that is quite scary filled with vampires and demons, all who are not nice, but not all are purely evil as well. Plus there are scores of humans forced to be enslaved. How the humans ended up there is never clearly state, perhaps they just made bargains with the demons and were traded about.

Regardless, Elena, Bonnie, and Meredith act as if they are Damon's slaves to enter the D.D. and give themselves protection from the other inhabitants. Elena will stop at nothing to freeing Stefan from his prison and a task is already set, she must find 2 halves to a fox key that will open Stefan's prison.

Elena is still adjusting to her powers, which have seemed to gone dormant since the last book, but here and there she does something, like communicates with Damon with her mind and she must learn to control her aura so it doesn't shine so brightly.

We also see an entirely different side to Damon this time. While we might have hated him from the first set of books, maybe, you totally sympathize for him now. We get to see more of what's inside his mind, literally. He really isn't that bad of a guy either. History just repeated itself again, where once he and Stefan both loved Katherine, they both love Elena now.

Although, once again, as we saw in the last book, there are one or two moments where Damon seems to be looking at Bonnie more. Helping her a bit more when it wasn't necessary. I don't know if anyone else noticed or not and I don't know what to make of it. I think there was even a SS on L.J.'s website about Bonnie and Damon too. Hmm...interesting. I wonder if this means something.

The story is well paced as we ease the characters into the D.D. They have to prepare and once they get there, there is still more to be done. Elena and the gang even help out a poor woman who turns out wasn't so poor, but still was a slave. That event there is what helped put everything else into motion.

Back in Fell's Church we get glimpses of the town falling apart. More deaths, the kitsune are still about causing chaos and Caroline is just one big freaking mystery. The girl is going even crazier from the last book. Tyler wasn't there, as we found out last time he's a werewolf. I wonder if he'll pop up in the next book next year.

Overall a very good book if you've been following the book series. Since it was just reprinted prior to last year and again this year with covers from the TV show, people are talking about it. Hopefully they know that this series predates Twilight by a long shot. I read the series when it was 10 years old in 2001 or so, the books were printed in the early 90s remember. I have the trippy 90s covers on my first set and I LOVE them!

Told in 3rd person, the narrative jumps around a bit, but you don't get lost. There is simply a page break that indicates a change in scene or narrator/perspective. I like it this way because it lets us know what's happening everywhere.

And the ending! Holy Cow! The ending leaves you dying for more yet again! L.J. definitely knows how to work the cliffhanger endings! Sad that we have to wait a year for the next installment! Argh. The ending was a total shock, but in one teeny-tiny aspect you would've thought that the "thing" would've come up since it was important in the last book.

Vague I know, but it's spoiler-like since it is the end! So I will just let you guys find out for yourselves what I mean. It's definitely a must read and a GREAT read. High recommended as is the rest of the series if you haven't started it yet. And luckily if you are new to the series you can buy the first 4 books in 2 volumes. So there's less to buy. And all but this one are in paperback as well! So have at it!

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