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The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls Paperback – March 15, 2011 by L. J. Smith (Author)

Oh my God. I completely loved this book! It was all about Damon and Elena, and that’s what I loved about it. It shows a softer, more vulnerable side to Damon he only shows around her, and she begins to realize that maybe Stefan isn’t her only world. The Dark Dimension story plot with the kitsune keys was fascinating. What I do have to complain about is everything that’s happening in Fell’s Church. The book is mainly about Damon and Elena getting Stefan back from Shi no Shi, right? So why add the random story plot about what’s happening back in their small town? And the thing with Caroline turning into a werewolf and having puppies or whatever was really unneeded. Not too many people care about that character enough to see her in the book. And I also hate the ending of the book. I felt it was a little rushed. It’s like I barely knew what was going on. I didn’t feel it was necessary to have that in the book, she could have waited until the last book to put that story plot in and explained it a little better, because it seemed to move way too fast and with little notice. But otherwise, completely great novel. My favorite so far!On the run . . . 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 Salvatore, 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 captive. 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 heronly to be caught up in Elena’s most dangerous adventure yet. Check it out!

From School Library Journal Gr 9 Up–This second installment in a “Vampire Diaries” subseries picks up exactly where Nightfall (HarperTeen, 2009) left off. The evil kitsune twins, Shinichi and Misao, have descended on Fell’s Church and inflicted pain and suffering on the community. Even the mighty Damon was tricked into helping them kidnap Stefan and imprison him in the “Dark Dimension.” Damon regrets being involved in his brother’s demise and agrees to take Elena with him to rescue Stefan from his hellish prison. This trip isn’t easy and the riddlelike clues are twisted and confusing. They are joined by Meredith and Bonnie and enter the “Dark Dimension,” a place where humans are the slaves of vampires, demons, and kitsunes. Allying themselves with all sorts of characters, they must find Stefan, launch a rescue mission, and somehow get themselves back to Fell’s Church. Smith’s tale lacks the intrigue and appeal of the original series. The plot is disjointed and confusing, making certain parts slow and difficult to follow. The most promising development is between Elena and Damon. Damon shows his vulnerability by revealing to Elena the true depth of his feelings for her. As they become closer, Elena must come to terms with her feeling for both brothers and where her love truly lies. Purchase where Smith has a fan base.Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. –This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls Paperback – March 15, 2011 by L. J. Smith (Author) Review

I am on break from college so I decided to sit down and read the entire series and here are my thoughts at this point. The GoodThis has been my favorite book in the series so far. I loved the other dimension. The descriptions of this world captured my imagination and the author’s imagination marvelous. The characters have done a lot of growing up and have depth not really explored in the other books. The end of this book is a hoot. The BadOne thing that bothered me: Where are these kids’ parents? I think getting to see what Bonnie’s, Meredith’s, and Matt’s parents reaction to their children’s absence and what was happening around town could have made the novel much better for us old folks. I still feel like these books were written for younger adults. The UglyDon’t expect the books to be like the television series. The books have more imagination and are aimed at a younger audience. I recommend this series for older teens and young adults that aren’t looking for a way to accentuate the television series because the books are very different. Happy reading my fellow bookworms. -Read Reviews-

I know that some are going to disagree with me, but honestly, I am really struggling with liking this trilogy. I have just finished re reading all three books since I was hoping that I would like them better the second time around, but I can’t. This book was extremely frustrating to read since the characters are still not acting like themselves and at times the story is just plain corny. SPOILER ALERT!:Okay, I know I cannot be the only one who was gagging while reading the whole “Peter Pan and Wendy” scene. I put the book down after reading that first chapter and did not pick it back up for a month. The following scenes did not get any better. “Velociraptor sisterhood” are you kidding me? I found myself skipping through these scenes (hence the reason for going back and re reading the series). In addition to this I also found the whole “Delena” thing forced. In the original books (okay, not actually until book three) there is a possible love triangle introduced and you get a sense that Damon really does care for Elena and that she really does care about him – even though he forced her to drink his blood one too many times! I felt that LJ handled this love triangle very well initially since we could see that Elena loved Stephan but had to admit that she also forgave and cared for Damon. This complex inner struggle was one of the things that captivated me in the original series but now, it just seems to be about hormones. Finally, I know that this book was meant to be about Damon and that since Damon is fixated on Elena she would be the primary focus of the book, but Elena’s friends are barely even mentioned in this book. Bonnie is almost killed when she goes to see Caroline but this is only given a brief mention yet four pages are dedicated to describing how beautiful Elena looks. All I can say is, wow, uhm, what happened?

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