Reviews for Nightfall

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 June

Gr 9 Up--This first book in the new story arc in the "Vampire Diaries" series features the same characters who appeared in The Awakening and the Struggle (2007) and The Fury and Dark Reunion (2008, both HarperTeen). Elena Gilbert has been reborn but is trapped in a childlike state, suffering from amnesia. She not only possesses extraordinary superpowers, but is also a magnet to vampires everywhere. As she regains her adult mind, she loses the ability to control her powers. Damon, who never truly leaves at the end of Dark Reunion, becomes determined to have Elena all to himself. At the same time, a new evil descends on Fell's Church, something far worse and more sinister than anything the town has encountered before. This villainous creature possesses humans, particularly young teenage girls. Even worse is its possession and manipulation of powerful Damon, who is trusted by Elena and her friends. Controlled against his will, he inflicts harm on the people he has promised to keep safe. Smith writes from several different perspectives, which adds some dimension to the plot but it is disjointed and hard to follow. The story is dark, full of suspense, and, at times, extremely creepy. Unfortunately the magical and horror elements are not thoroughly convincing, and this new evil seems to come right out of a Japanese anime comic. Purchase where Smith has a fan base or there is a strong vampire following.--Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

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