Daughters of Darkness (Night World #2) by L.J. Smith

Daughters of Darkness is the second book in the Night World series by L.J. Smith. Mary-Lynnette and Mark Carter live in a small town named Briar Creek in Oregon. Nothing exciting ever happens in Briar Creek. Nothing until three mysterious young girls move into town to live with their aunt. Mary-Lynnette soon realizes that something is not quite right about their new neighbors, and she and her brother soon find themselves caught up in the Night World because Rowan, Krestrel, and Jade are vampires.

Mary-Lynnette cannot walk away now. Mark has fallen for Jade, claiming she is his soulmate, and they have to figure out who murdered the sisters' aunt. The truth is they are all in danger. The strict laws of the Night World have been broken...Mary-Lynnette and Mark, who are humans, know the secret, and Jade has fallen in love with a human. There is not turning back. Mary-Lynnette's world is further turned on its axis when Ash (you will remember him from book #1) shows up with the intention of returning his sisters to the island from which they came. One touch confirms it - Ash and Mary-Lynnette are soulmates. Only Mary-Lynnette is not sure whether or not she is ready to join the Night World, to always live in darkness. After solving the mystery Ash leaves to smooth things over with his father so that his sister can remain in Briar Creek, promising to return for Mary-Lynnette in a years time. The question remains...will Mary-Lynnette be ready?

I enjoyed this book just as much as Secret Vampire, and possibly a little more. Again, this is a total quintessential Young Adult Fiction novel, so if you are not into that, don't pick it up. I have to admit that the hopeless romantic in me is loving the idea of the "soulmate principal" - the idea that each person has a perfect match that understands them and completes them. Having never actually experienced this principal myself, the skeptic in me still finds myself rolling my eyes at the idea that it only takes one touch for the characters to realize they have met their match, while the 13 year old hopeless romantic is sighing...it's an interesting dual experience of emotions. I especially loved it when it happened to Ash, who we met in the Secret Vampire. I liked watching his character struggle with the new feelings he experienced - guilt, compassion, love. They stand in stark contrast to the usual reactions we get from him and plays so nicely into that notion that love, true love, is transformative and can overcome any obstacles. It will be interesting to see how Ash and Mary-Lynnette's love story plays out in future books as they both are still experiencing some hesitation, unlike the love story we saw in book #1 with James and Poppy.

On to book three: Spellbinder!

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