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Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries, The Return, Vol. 1) Paperback – Bargain Price, March 16, 2010

2.9 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, March 16, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

L. J. Smith has written a number of bestselling books and series for young adults, including The Vampire Diaries (now a hit TV show), The Secret Circle, The Forbidden Game, Night World, and the #1 New York Times bestselling Dark Visions. She is happiest sitting by a crackling fire in a cabin in Point Reyes, California, or walking the beaches that surround that area.


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Product Details

  • Series: The Vampire Diaries: The Return (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061720801
  • ASIN: B004HB1CXM
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,914,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've been an LJ Smith fan for such a long time. Like many others, I waited patiently through years of silence and years of fans asking me when Strange Fate would come out, as though I had any clue just because I had a website. When LJ Smith announced that her next book would be a Vampire Diaries sequel, I was disappointed - after all, weren't all those NightWorld fans waiting for Strange Fate? Shouldn't they come first? - but hopeful. More Damon? Hells yeah! I don't even LIKE NightWorld! Bring it on, this new Vampire Diaries!

Unfortunately, I returned this book the day after I got it, feeling nothing short of heartbreak. I know LJ Smith can do better than this, because she has done better before, and this is probably the lowest point in her writing career, by far. If she were a poorer author, I would expect it of her and excuse it all away, but she's not, and so I can't find any excuses in me. She's better than this. She really, truly is.

The book takes place a mere week after the original four. This was big mistake #1, because the original books DO have the dates in them, dating book 5 instantly to the summer of 1992, and yet everyone suddenly has a smart phone with video call capabilities, digital cameras, and personal computers. This is just one of the many gaping plot holes and inconsistencies in this book that shows just how much love and care the publishers gave it before throwing it out into the world. Did they even remember they'd just re-released 4 other books and should probably check for continuity when editing this one? I'm thinking no.

The remaining big problems with this book? The plot and the characterization. NOBODY escapes this book unscathed.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a bit of a train wreck: there's too much going on, and many events seem to make no sense. Another reviewer is dead-on in describing much of the book as bizarre. I have followed the series since original publication and recently bought the new paperbacks of original books, as they are falling apart.

Some folks may think it unfair to compare the fifth book to the other four in The Vampire Diaries, but what's the point in reading a series if not to find some continuity in the characters? Yes, I know a decade has passed, but there is little left from the previous books-- the amazing characters and their chemistry are gone. I feel like LJ Smith wanted to write another story, and just stuck Elena, Damon and Stefan in here for good measure. There are a few glimpses of the old magic, but they are very few and very far between.

I agree with much of the criticism in other posts about the book, and regret buying it. The book drags on for far too long, with tedious action/torment or near death scenes. Elena and her ever-changing powers, mentality, and "otherness" are too strange and almost absurd. And some scenes feel they were just added randomly and make little sense: the massage being a prime example (yes, I know he can be both brutal and tender.) It also seems like LJ Smith tried to cram every bit of existing folklore into this book: magic keys, angel wings, scary creatures.

To give praise where due, there are some good moments between Damon and Elena. And we do get to know more about the mysterious Mrs. Flowers. But, in the end, this book was a big disappointment. If the series continues, then I'll wait on the library's borrow list.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dear Diary,

I just finished Nightfall and was so disappointed I had to vent my frustrations to you, dear friend. I can't believe my big return was so dreadful! It makes me sad to have to relate it to the original four Diaries. Those were... refreshing. Ahead of their time. Concise. Maybe even eloquent. This was... not any of those things. I feel like Nightfall has stained the Vampire Diaries' reputation (even worse than Caroline's will be!).

If I could, I would fire the editor. What a poor job! How could he or she have let a 300 page story be bloated to 500+ pages like this? It's longer than two of the original stories combined! Far too plumped up with drawn out descriptions, repetitive situations, and endless circles in the Old Wood. Or was it a snow globe? I'm really not sure. Diary, I just couldn't see the whole story for the trees. I mean that! Mostly, we all just kept running into trees- literally!- and crazy little girls. It was kind of exciting at times, but then we did the same thing so often it stopped being exciting. I don't think we got very far, in anything. By the time we hit the climax, with more trees, by the way, I was already so bored (and maybe a little confused), I just kept flipping the pages to get to the end. I tried to throw the book at the wall to dash the snow globe myself, but sadly, it didn't work. I'm still not clear on when we got out of it. If we did.

Damon was just awful the whole time. I guess I know he wasn't himself, but then was he? I used to think he was charming, dangerous and sexy, insouciant in the best possible way. I wonder if I was wrong. It seemed more like he's just immature and vain, which is not sexy at all, especially after at least a half century of time to grow up.
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