Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review - The Vampire Diaries, The Return: Midnight Vol. 3

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: MidnightHaving a middle school daughter, I review all young adult novels before letting her read them.  It started out as a screening process and has turned into a bond that I will always treasure.

My daughter was so excited when the latest volume of The Vampire Diaries hit the shelves.  She kept begging me to buy it.  With Vol 2. The Return: Shadow Souls ending on such a cliff hanger, she couldn't wait to read this one.  I hope she still feels that way once she gets started.

Unfortunately, I can't say I was very impressed with L.J. Smith's latest edition to the series.  While it had some interest holding moments, it was lacking in staying power.  I never felt a connection to this book like I have with the others.

One reason being, I found it hard to understand how Stefan could need so much blood and be so weak for so long. He's a vampire getting blood from Elena whose blood is supposed to be like no other.  Then once he's in the Dark Dimension, his health issues are no longer mentioned.  Bonnie was also a bit disappointing.  She was beginning to develop courage in Shadow Souls, but in this book she did a lot of crying and was even more helpless.

Like my daughter, I so badly wanted to be as drawn-in by this book as I was by its predecessor. Both of my daughters were shocked when it took me five nights to finish this book.  They didn't even need to ask me what I thought of the book.  Taking this amount of time to read a book, speaks volumes in my house.  It'll be interesting to see what my daughter thinks.

To read my summary of the book will give away a few secrets to anyone who hasn't read the book yet.

Midnight picks up right where Shadow Souls left off.  As Elena wrestles with her feelings for the two brothers, they both have their own issues to deal with.  Stefan is slow to recover from his imprisonment in the Dark Dimension and needs scheduled blood donations from Elena, Matt, Bonnie, and Meredith.  Damon, on the other hand, is in perfect health but loathes his humanity and will do anything to become a vampire again.

All of them are hiding out in Mrs. Flowers boarding house while the children of Fell's Church continue to fall under the power of the Kitsune twins, Sinichi and Masao.  Parents are becoming more afraid of their children, and all of it will come to an end on the Last Midnight.

Damon tricks Bonnie into revealing the secret location of Masao's starball so he can use it to get back to the Dark Dimension and find someone to change him, but his plans didn't include Bonnie going with him.  This causes some difficulties for Damon who never likes to show any signs of morality.

Meanwhile, Matt can evade capture no longer and finds himself on trial in the next county over with Caroline spouting all kinds of lies.  The others get there just in time to save Matt from a courtroom full of werewolves, however, this forces Meredith to reveal her secrets to Elena.

Now with everything out in the open, it's decided that Matt and Meredith will stay behind and try to stop the Last Midnight while Stefan and Elena go back to the Dark Dimension to find Damon and Bonnie.

Once there, Bonnie informs them of her premonition of the Kitsune's Seven Treasures and the largest starball.  If they can find it, they can use it to stop the Last Midnight.  Their quest will be treacherous with no guarantee of survival, but what other choice do they have?

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls


  1. The book started out good and then dragged pretty much right through until the end. I am not a big Stefan fan because I find him just so dull, but I thought he didn't get a fair shake in this book, instead of forcing Bonnie (obviously the authors pet) into the majority of the story I would have loved to have seen Damon and Stefan show some brotherly growth.

  2. Great book!
    I was so thrilled to read it!