Mar 25, 2011

Review--The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith

The devil you know . . .

With the help of charming and devious Damon, Elena rescued her vampire love, Stefan, from the depths of the Dark Dimension. But neither brother returned unscathed. 

Stefan is weak from his long imprisonment and needs more blood than Elena alone can give him, while a strange magic has turned Damon into a human. Savage and desperate, Damon will do anything to become a vampire again, even travel back to hell. But what will happen when he accidentally takes Bonnie with him?

Stefan and Elena hurry to rescue their innocent friend from the Dark Dimension, leaving Matt and Meredith to save their hometown from the dangerous spirits that have taken hold of Fell's Church. One by one, children are succumbing to demonic designs. But Matt and Meredith soon discover that the source of the evil is darker and closer than they ever could have imagined. . . .

I am saddened to see L.J. Smith's series come to an end, at least written by her. To me this is the last The Vampire Diaries. The Return: Midnight was a great finale to what she considered the "Damon" books, in some way. Going back to her world of Fell's Church was rather easy, I expected it to be harder since I've been watching the show, but it wasn't really. Probably because I fell in love with the books first. Although, I did see Ian as Damon, just because Ian really is a great Damon!

Basically the story goes that Damon is human again and wants to go back to being a vampire. He didn't want humanity like Stefan did. So he plans on going back to the Dark Dimensions and finding a powerful vampire to turn him, and Bonnie is taken along for the trip, by accident really.

I always sensed some sort of vibe between these two, nothing like that between Elena and Damon, but still there tended to be something. What bothered me most though was that Elena--and everyone else practically--treats Bonnie like some sort of child. Just because she gets frightened easily. She's not living in a normal world anymore and I think her fear can be warranted, but I got tired of Elena treating her like a child all the time, it was sort of annoying.

What also nagged at me was Elena being in love with two vampires. I guess I just can't see how you can be in love with two people, it was like in Rachel Vincent's Shifter series, Faythe loved two guys, but she couldn't live without the other. Elena never really explored that option.

Despite its thickness, this was rather a quick read. If I had started it at the beginning of the day I could've finished it sooner. As it was I did read through it rather fast. The pacing was really good in my opinion, similar to all L.J.'s pacing. Told in third person p.o.v. from multiple characters, once you get wrapped up in one's side of the story, you're whisked away to another just at a cliffhanger and so on. But when you return you fall easily back into the moment of action.

The ending was rather surprising. I didn't really think it possible, and yet something tickled in my mind that it was possible--weird feeling that I can't really write out well. But yeah, a total shocker! I suppose it is possible for another writer to pick up where L.J. left off if that's the plan, but for me this is the series end because I don't want to read someone else's version of L.J.'s story.

To avoid rambling further, I'll end my review here. Overall rating 4/5 stars and I really only give it 4 because Elena annoyed me a few too many times, but not enough to totally diminish my opinion on the book.


  1. Awesome review Jess!

    I was so sad to find out LJ wont be writing these anymore =/

    Im a bit late and have to read the 2nd one in this new trilogy.

  2. Great, well rounded review Jess. I won this book in a giveaway so I'm excited to read it!

    I'm really sad LJ wont be writing the series anymore, and I think the reason they fired her is pretty pathetic. Like you, I don't think I'll be reading the new books.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. So I read the first four books in the series a few years ago and mentally cataloged them as being "meh-ish" books, but with the show starting last year I decided to reread them and I seriously could not get through them at all. While I love the show, I hate the books... But I really liked hearing your take on it! I always wondered what happened in the later books that I have up on (Wikipedia articles can only go so far in explaining it to me... ;) ).

  4. Great review!
    I just finished Shadow Souls, so this book is next on my list!
    I've always thought there were something between Damon & Bonnie as well, so this is going to be an interesting read!

  5. I have just finished reading the return: midnight and i have to say i hated the ending. My favorite character basically died! I think L.J.Smith is losing her touch, the begining was great but the ending was like a rushed job and was a total disappointment!!!! I hope the continuation of the story would be better than the anticlimax that this story has been. It had such great potential at the end of shadow souls and she just destroyed the entire story's ending! When u guys i have read it you would understand what i mean.

  6. L.J. Smith herself is trying to get the word out about what really happened via her guestbook. I think it explains a lot. What the publisher did is so horrible!

    Her message to fans:

    "I, L. J. Smith, fought tooth and nail with HarperTeen and Alloy Entertainment to continue writing The Vampire Diaries books. I fought until my agent would no longer take the messages for me. I fought and fought and promised to do the books for less money, to do all of the edits that were asked of me, and that the one message I got was that "sorry, we want to do things this way." And if people can't understand that I had no choice in the matter, that I was fired, that Alloy took advantage of me and that I am completely heart-broken, then they are crueler than the people who did this to me."

  7. Actually, there's "The Hunters" series coming out soon. 8)

    Damon is my favorite character....AND HE DIES?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD'X

    I'm 2/3 or 3/4 done with shadow Souls. 8)

  8. After reading different reviews on midnight i have decided to stop the readingth evampire diaries series with shadow souls, because, i DON'T LIKE THE ENDING of midnight, and i was hoping for more improvement in the relation between Damon and Elena. It's not fair at all:-(


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