The Vampire Diaries: Volumes 1-4 by L.J. Smith

This is another reread for me. I first picked up this series in 2009 when I heard that they were making a television series based on the books. Because I love all things vampire, I was intrigued by the show and quickly got hooked, which led me to pick up the book series as well. On a side note, if you haven’t checked out The Vampire Diaries on the WB, you should. Even though it is geared towards a young adult demographic, the writing for the show is excellent. In fact, I think I almost prefer it to the books, which is not something I normally say. Plus, there are a lot of hot guys in it J. But I digress…

Three years ago I read Volumes 1-4 and Volume 1 of The Vampire Diaries: The Return, which is the sequel. I had to stop there and wait for the next volume to be published, which is one thing I hate about reading a series. Needless to say in the meantime I read several other books and the series got pushed further down my “to read” list. Since I first read the series, there have been several more books published, including Volumes 2 and 3 of The Return and Volumes 1-6 of Stefan’s Diaries, a spin-off series, which means I have a lot of catching up to do! However, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a good vampire fix, so I figured it can’t hurt to start back at the beginning (especially since I can’t get my weekly fix since the TV show is now on summer hiatus and the new season of True Blood doesn’t premiere until June 10th).

**I will try not to reveal too much, but be forewarned that there may be some spoilers, so proceed with caution.** 

The Awakening introduces us the Elena Gilbert – the golden girl who is used to getting whatever and whomever she wants – who has just returned from Paris after escaping there to recover from her parents’ sudden deaths in a car crash leaving her and her younger sister orphans and in the care of her aunt and her aunt’s fiancĂ©. Elena is anxious to begin her senior year of high school and reclaim her position as queen of Robert E. Lee High School. Enter Stefan Salvatore – a mysterious and brooding newcomer with a dark secret. Stefan is a vampire. Despite Elena’s best attempts, Stefan seems determined not to become involved with the beautiful blonde as he fights to protect her from himself. However, Elena and Stefan are increasingly drawn together and fall in love. All seems to be going well until a series of murders rock the town of Fell’s Church. The townsfolk become increasingly suspicious of Stefan’s involvement in these murders, and he can’t be sure himself that he is not the murderer. There is one other possibility – Damon Salvatore, Stefan’s older brother who also happens to be a vampire, has returned. Damon is determined to seek his revenge on Stefan and to have Elena for himself, and Elena finds herself caught between the two brothers.

The story continues in The Struggle as Elena finds her world turned upside down. A new history teacher, Alaric Saltzman, arrives in town and there is something not quite right about him. The town remains suspicious of Stefan and people have become wary of Elena as well because of her association with him. Elena knows the truth – Damon is the murderer. However, any evidence she has to prove it could easily be turned against Stefan and make him look guilty. When Elena’s diary goes missing and mysterious messages begin appearing threatening to expose Stefan as the murderer. Elena becomes desperate to discover the culprit. Adding to her distress is Damon and his relentless pursuit of her. Damon is determined that Elena will be his and is not above going after her loved ones to obtain his goal. Although Elena loves Stefan, she cannot deny that she feels a certain pull towards Damon. As his pursuit intensifies, Elena finds herself on the brink of destruction, her own survival hanging in the balance.

Just when you think Elena is dead, the story continues in The Fury, with Elena waking up in the woods as a vampire. She sets off to find Damon and Stefan locked in a furious battle, and her only thought is to protect Damon. In her new state, Elena has forgotten her love for Stefan and is convinced that she loves Damon. Stefan, devastated by this turn of events, reluctantly relinquishes Elena to Damon's protection. As Elena continues to adjust to her new existence, her memories return to her and she remembers her love for Stefan. Their reunion is short lived however when strange things begin to happen in Fell's Church again. The weather changes, animals turn on their masters, and it becomes clear that the town is under attack from something evil. Elena convinces Damon and Stefan to enter into an uneasy truce as they set out to find this "Other Power" and destroy it. It quickly becomes clear that no one is what they seem and everyone is a suspect. In the battle to destroy the Other Power Elena is once again confronted by the ghosts of Stefan and Damon's past, and is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to say the ones she loves.

This part of the story concludes with Dark Reunion. Elena is gone. Stefan, in his grief, has followed Damon to Italy in an attempt to fulfill his final promise to Elena – to take care of Damon. He is summoned by Bonnie, who is descendant from witches, with a summoning spell back to Fell’s Church after Elena visits her in her dreams and warns her that danger has once again returned. Strange things begin happening in Fell’s Church and new horrors, including werewolves, threaten the entire town when Klaus, Katherine’s maker, returns seeking revenge on the Salvatore brothers. An epic battle between Klaus and the Salvatore brothers ensues, and when all hope is lost, Elena returns from the other side with the spirits of Civil War soldiers to save the day. Just when it appears that Elena and Stefan will be separated again, this time forever, Elena returns to them as a human.

After everything they have been through, a ray of light has returned to Fell's Church. The question is, will it last? The story continues in The Vampire Diaries: The Return, Volumes 1-3.

No comments:

Post a Comment