Vampire Diaries: The Fury / The Reunion

Vampire Diaries 3 + 4

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier novels in the series. You can read my review of these novels [here].

Over the last few months, I’ve reviewed quite a few paranormal romances. We’ve seen girls being seduced by fae, voodoo ghosts and the devil himself. I think it’s probably a good time to take another look at the mother of all vampire romances – Vampire Diaries.

The original Vampire Diaries series consisted of four novels: The Awakening (1991), The Struggle (1991), The Fury (1991) and The Reunion (1992 – published as Dark Reunion in America). The series regained popularity in the late 00s, following the success of both Twilight and the Vampire Diaries TV series and three further trilogies hit the shelves – The Return Trilogy (2009-11), The Hunters Trilogy (2011-12) and The Salvation Trilogy (2013-14). For the purpose of today’s review, I’ll be looking at The Fury and The Reunion only.

Following on directly from the events of The Struggle, Elena Gilbert has awoken in the woods to discover that she is now a vampire. Stumbling through the trees in a daze, she soon discovers Stefan and Damon in the middle of a duel to the death. Interrupting their fight, Elena finds herself confused. Although she has some dim memories of her promise to Stefan, she now finds herself drawn to the freedom and darkness that Damon represents. She agrees to stay with both of the brothers until she decides which she wants to spend eternity with.

Yet they will have little time to get use to this situation. An ancient evil still stalks Fell’s Church, one with the power to send animals into vicious frenzies. Realising that it was this entity and not Damon that ended her life, Elena bands her friends together to find out what it is and how they can stop it. But the being is far more powerful than they could ever have imagined and not all of the party will make it out of the final battle in one piece…

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Vampirates: Blood Captain

Vampirates - Blood Captain

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels [here] and [here].

Wow, back to Vampirates at long last. It feels like a long time since I’ve last talked about this series but let’s find out if there’s been any improvements since Tide of Terror.

Blood Captain was written by Justin Somper and first published in 2008. It is the fourth instalment of the Vampirates series, following Demons of the Ocean (2005), Dead Deep (2007) and Tide of Terror (2007) and preceding Black Heart (2009), Empire of Night (2010) and Eternal War (2011). The series is set in a future where rising sea levels have flooded most of the world, allowing pirates to rule the oceans once again.

Lorcan still refuses to take blood and grows weaker every day. In a final attempt to cure him, the Vampirate Captain sets sail for Sanctuary. This mountain-top haven is home to Mosh Zu Kamal, a legendary vampire healer who believes that any vampire can be taught to control their bloodlust. Naturally, Grace goes along with her friend to assist with the treatment and soon finds that Mosh Zu wants to take her under his wing, seeing that she is a natural healer.

Aboard the Diablo, Connor’s life has grown more complicated. In an attempt to distract his brother from seeking revenge against the Vampirates, Molucco Wrathe has planned a rather ambitious raid. Unfortunately, this has forced Connor into direct contain with Wrathe’s obnoxious nephew, Moonshine. Babysitting Moonshine almost drives Connor insane and he thinks that things can’t get much worse. Yet, as the raid goes horribly wrong, he is forced to question exactly what it means to be a pirate and whether he has what it takes to continue his career.

And all the while more vampires join Sidorio’s cause, choosing to indulge in their hunger rather than control it…

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Sunshine

Sunshine

Sunshine was first published in 2013 and is the debut novel of Nikki Rae. It is a dark paranormal romance that focuses a teenager called Sophie Jean who suffers from a rare allergy to sunlight. Sunshine forms the first part of The Sunshine Series and is followed by Sun Poisoned (2013) and Sun Damage (2014).

Sophie, known occasionally as Sunshine by her friends, has not had the easiest of lives. Her allergy has left her pitied or mocked by many of her classmates, her mother is ashamed of her and a history of abuse has left her scarred both physically and mentally. Despite her trauma, she is working hard to get her life back on track and has no desire whatsoever in starting a relationship with anyone.  That is, until Myles Lott comes into her life.

Although Sophie has no interest in Myles, she soon finds that he seems to be everywhere that she goes and merely grows more persistent when she tries to give him the cold shoulder. Yet there is something about the teenager that draws her back to him and she soon finds that she is beginning to open up to him.

Frightened that he will abandon her if he discovers more about her past, Sophie is torn between starting a relationship with Myles and running away but she quickly begins to discover that she is not the only one with secret. Myles has mysterious powers and harbours a secret that is far more unusual that her own. Suddenly, Sophie discovers that the monsters of her past were just men and that the real monsters stalk the night, hungry for blood…

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New Moon

New Moon

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for its prequel, Twilight. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last nine years, I expect you’ve probably heard of the Twilight Saga. This series was written by Stephenie Meyer and focuses on the forbidden love between a vampire and a human. The first novel, Twilight (2005), was swiftly followed by New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), Breaking Dawn (2008) and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010). The immense popularity of the series sparked a trend of paranormal romance novels – an effect that can still be seen in the market today. For the purpose of today’s review, I’ll be looking at New Moon only.

A few months have passed since the events of Twilight and Bella Swan is finding herself constantly tested by her relationship with Edward. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she releases that she will continue to age while he remains forever seventeen and the thought of this horrifies her. After an accident at her birthday party almost leads to her death at the hands of Jasper, Edward comes to the decision that his world is just far too dangerous for a human. After painfully declaring that he no longer loves her, he and the rest of the Cullens leave in the night, never to return.

Bella is plunged into depression and finds it impossible to come to terms with his departure. Discovering that she has vivid hallucinations of Edward whenever her life is in danger, she begins to perform increasingly dangerous acts just to hear his voice again. Her daredevil lifestyle leads her to a new friendship with Jacob Black, beginning with a mutual desire to repair a motorcycle and gradually blossoming into something more.

However, all is not well in Forks. Bella is still haunted by nightmares about Edward and is plagued with confusion with regards to her growing feelings for Jacob. On top of this, Victoria has returned to town, harbouring a bitter resentment for the death of her partner at Edward’s hands. Driven by her desire to take Bella’s life – a mate for a mate – she begins to mercilessly hunt the teenager. With the Cullens long gone, who can protect her from a messy end at the vampire’s fangs?

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The Saga of Darren Shan 1-3

The Saga of Darren Shan 1-3

I reviewed the first two novels of Darren Shan’s The Demonata a couple of months back but this series was not his first foray into the genre of horror. To this day, he is probably best known for his debut young adult series, The Saga of Darren Shan.

The series spans twelve novels, further divided into four trilogies – Vampire Blood (2000 – collecting Cirque du Freak, The Vampire’s Assistant and Tunnels of Blood), Vampire Rites (2001-2002 – collecting Vampire Mountain, Trials of Death and The Vampire Prince), Vampire War (2002-2003 – collecting Hunters of the Dusk, Allies of the Night and Killers of the Dawn) and Vampire Destiny (2003-2004 – collecting The Lake of Souls, Lord of the Shadows and Sons of Destiny). Since publishing, it has been translated into 30 different languages and is still in print worldwide. For the purpose of this review, I will be looking at the Vampire Blood Trilogy only.

In Cirque du Freak we are introduced to a school boy called Darren Shan who enjoys nothing more than playing football with his best friend, Steve “Leopard” Leonard. The two boys’ lives change drastically when they receive tickets to a secret freak show. They both find themselves drawn to one performer in particular – the mysterious Larten Crepsley. Steve is fascinated by the man himself, realising immediately that he is a vampire, while Darren only has eyes for Madame Octa, the deadly spider that Mr Crepsley uses in his act.

Desperate to become a vampire himself, Steve begs Mr Crepsley to turn him but the performer refuses as he believes the school boy to have bad blood. Darren, however, is far more successful in his endeavours and manages to steal Madame Octa. At first, he seems to have gotten away with his crime but during a tragic accident Steve is bitten and the spider’s venom leaves him in a critical condition. Knowing that he needs to save his friend, Darren approaches Mr Crepsley for the antidote and is offered a terrible choice. Mr Crepsley will only save Steve if Darren agrees to become his half-vampire apprentice…

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Vampire World

Vampire World

Today’s novel was kindly provided by the author in exchange for a fair review. I just thought I would make that clear immediately before I continue. I say on the FAQ page that I do not believe in praising a novel where it is not deserved and, to be perfectly frank, I believe that this novel is an example of what I consider to be a frustrating story – one that has a pretty interesting concept but fails to be compelling over all. More on that shortly.

Vampire World was written by Rich Douglas and was first published in 2013. Although this novel reads as though it is the first book in a longer series, at the time of writing this review there have been no further instalments announced.

Marissa is a beautiful and popular teenager who has scored herself a handsome boyfriend and is looking forward to making out with him on their next date. However, as they park on a lover’s lane, their car is attacked by a vampire and Marissa is bitten as she tries to escape.

Waking up in a horrendously cruel vampire orphanage, Marissa finds that she has no memory of anything that happened before that day. Now called Janice, she is told that her parents were killed in a car accident and her only hope of leading a happy life is to be adopted into a kind vampire family.

This rescue comes shortly afterwards in the form of Mr John FreeCut, an elderly vampire who has always wanted children. However, Janice’s problems have only just begun. With no knowledge of how Vampire World functions, she struggles to find a job and make new friends. On top of everything else, a mysterious stranger has begun to leave her messages, hinting that there is a deep conspiracy surrounding her existence. Just who exactly is she and what are the TriFang?

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Vampire Diaries: The Awakening / The Struggle

Vampire Diaries 1 + 2

With the release of Twilight came a boom in popularity for the paranormal romance sub-genre. Its roaring success encouraged many authors to churn out cheap carbon-copies in the hope of making easy money, but also lead to the re-releases of older titles that also focused on forbidden romances between human girls and boys who were far less ordinary.

The original Vampire Diaries first hit the shelves fourteen years before Twilight, though became better known following the release of the TV series of the same name in 2009. The initial series was written by L.J. Smith and consisted of four novels: The Awakening (1991), The Struggle (1991), The Fury (1991) and The Reunion (1992 – titled Dark Reunion in America). In recent years, this original run has been followed by three further trilogies titled The Return Trilogy (2009-11), The Hunters Trilogy (2011-12) and The Salvation Trilogy (2013-14).  For the purpose of today’s review, I will be looking at the first two novels.

Elena Gilbert is used to having things her own way. As the most popular girl in Fell’s Church, she has always been idolised by girls and had her pick of the boys. When she first sets eyes on stunningly handsome Stephan Salvatore, she knows that she must have him. Yet Stephan shows no interest her whatsoever, even going out of his way to keep his distance. For Elena this is unthinkable and it just makes her want him all the more.

Yet what Elena does not realise is Stephan hides a terrible secret. Although he looks like an ordinary teenager, he was actually born in 15th Century Florence and is struggling to resist Elena (who reminds him of his lost love). What Elena also does not realise is that Stephan is not alone. Another figure from his past has also come to Fell’s Church – his brother, Damon. While Stephan is desperate to fit in and live an ordinary life, Damon wants the opposite. He possesses a terrible power that Stephan does not and is intent on using to make Elena into his Dark Queen…

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Twilight

DSC02003

Twilight really is a novel that needs no further introduction. It was written by Stephenie Meyer and published in 2005. Rapidly gaining popularity worldwide, it caused a boom in popularity for “paranormal romance” novels – typically books that crux around the relationship between a human girl and a boy who is far less ordinary. Twilight was rapidly followed by three sequels: New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007) and Breaking Dawn (2008). It also has one short spin-off novella based around a character introduced in Eclipse, titled The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010).

The story is told from the perspective of Isabella “Bella” Swan, a teenage girl who has chosen to move away from her beloved life in Phoenix to live with her father in Folks, Washington. Although she is initially depressed by the thought of living in such a remote area, she is quickly accepted by the locals and finds that she fits in well at her school.

Although she is approached by a succession of boys who are all interested in inviting her to the school dance, Bella finds that she only has eyes for one. Edward Cullen, mysterious and beautiful, quickly comes to occupy her thoughts. The only problem is that he seems to be utterly repulsed by her, going at great length to avoid any kind of contact.

However when Edward manages to impossibly save Bella from being crushed by a van, Bella begins to suspect that he is actually hiding some sinister secret. How is it that he can be so impossibly strong and fast? And why does he seem so intent on pushing her further away? As she investigates Edward and his strange family, she quickly comes to realise that the answer is far stranger – and more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined.

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