Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Night World, No. 1 - L.J. Smith

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.

Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.


Aw, crap. More teenage vampires that attend high school and fall in love with mortals as opposed to eating them. These at least didn't appear to be of the sparkling variety, so I thought I would give them a shot.

I knew what I signed on for the instant I read the preface and learned the two rules of the Night World: don't tell mortals about it, and don't fall in love with mortals. Thanks for spoiling the ending. There was a bit of sameness about all three stories and I started rolling my eyes at the repetition of the soul mate principle, but overall it made for fun, quick reading.

Secret Vampire
What can I say? This one exceeded my expectations. I like the idea of born vampires and made vampires because I haven't seen that one often enough for it to feel boring yet, and I haven't seen the need to drink blood going beyond simple thirst at all. Poppy was spunky but not insufferable, and I liked twin brother Phil, but I felt in the middle of the road about James. He wasn't what I would call a bad character, but he didn't jump out and grab my attention. The mental link during the actual blood drinking was my favorite part and I liked the conflict about Poppy's transformation, but the ending just felt too easy for me, like Smith suddenly got bored and decided to wrap things up as quickly as possible and took the path of least resistance. Too feeble! I loved Poppy's reaction to James confessing what he is. If I had a terminal illness and the best friend I grew up with claimed to be an immortal vampire, I'd be pissed, too. Nice start, lousy ending...I'll give this one a three.

Daughters of Darkness
Shucks, more vampires. I thought there were more creatures in the Night World! This one was the exact opposite of Secret Vampire. It took me forever to get involved in it, but I actually liked the ending. Rowan, Kestrel, and Jade never made it past two-dimensional for me, but I liked Mary-Lynette a lot and Ash was a lot more appealing on the whole here, lazy, arrogant smart ass and all. Theirs was the most interesting plot line of the lot, though I had brief doubts when Jeremy became a major player. In fact, I could have done without the Mark and Jade love story entirely. Come on, two sets of soul mates among the same two sets of siblings? It seemed obnoxious and redundant. But the ending! I must return to the ending! I was sad to see it come to that conclusion all around, but it was a nice, solid finish that made up for the slow start. I'll give this one another three.

This one was the strongest of the book. It grabbed me and didn't let me stop until I read the whole thing...which I did in one sitting. Ugh, again with the instant soul mates thing that seems to be some sort of epidemic in the Night World, but I like how this one played out the best. Blaise was the most complex, unpredictable character by far, the subplot of a vengeful spirit on the loose actually supported rather than detracted and distracted, and the love story reminded me pleasantly of a book I read years ago and enjoyed quite a bit. Score! Aside from the insta-love that strikes within the first three chapters, I have no gripe with this one. It started good and ended even better, and even if the first two stories let me down this one made the whole book worth it. I give it a five!

So, calculating the overall rating based on the individual ratings and rounding up according to the decimals, I give volume one four stars out of five, and I stand behind it. Now get me volume two!

Your humble book nerd,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Come on, talk to me! Don't be shy!