Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Vampire Diaries 3 (The Fury) by L.J Smith

Pages: 254
Genre: Teenage Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 01/10/2011
Originally Released: 1991
RRP: $14.99

Love can kill
Elena: with Damon at her side, and wild with her craving for blood, the changed Elena struggles to control her desires.
Damon: his hunger for the golden girl wars with his hunger for revenge against Stefan.
Stefan: tormented after losing Elena, he will do anything to get her back. Even if it means becoming what he once despised. . . .
Getting what they want may come at a deadly cost.

Normally I quite dislike books that are too different from their TV or movie representation and vice versa. Having moved onto the third book in this series you can see that with this series that is not quite the case. While it may be a little disorientating for some, I am actually enjoying something that is so different to what I thought I would have already seen.

So, yes. There are many differences. As I go further on with this series I am learning more and more about the similarities and differences. For example. Elena is already a vampire(sorry for the spoilers guys, but if you have read the previous novel you would know this) and Matt already knows about vampires. Alaric actually studied the supernatural (so far no talk of a vampire obsessed wife) and vampires now have the ability to morph into all sorts of creatures. Personally, I think all of this is quite entertaining. It's like somebody else decided to collect all the characters we know so well from TV and play barbies with them. Except of course we all seem to be forgetting that the books were written first. I think this shows great skill on both L.J Smith's part and the TV writer's part.

As far as characters go I don't think they differ too much from the show. Book Bonnie is a little bit less shocked about the existence of vampires than TV Bonnie as is Matt, but otherwise there aren't too many differences. Obviously Meredith and Margaret don't exist on the TV show(which most hardcore fans would know without having to read the book) and Jeremy doesn't exist in the books. I don't get every body's problem with Book Elena though. Many people have been complaining about how dislikeable and mean she is. In the first book Elena is definitely a little self-centred, but she seems to be becoming more kosher as the books go on. Compared to TV Elena she isn't really that different. Looks-wise they are different, but I've definitely noticed a few times where TV Elena wraps Damon around her little finger so she can get him to help her save the day or gets a little unreasonable when she can't get her way. Both book and TV Elena were quite popular girls at their high school, so if popularity meant self-centred, there is a possibility that TV Elena could have been quite the mean girl before we met her- or before she met Stefan(1st Episode).

Regardless of what I or other people think about the TV show vs the book series, there are plenty of other interesting things about this novel to discuss. One thing I particularly love is the writing style. The way the author describes things is pretty different to other writing I've seen. I don't know what exactly it is, but it seems more mysterious and a whole lot smarter than some of today's teen literature. One example is "The strange languorous lightness cradled her gently" (page 234). The author also creates effective descriptions of movement while still being concise. E.g. "She made a sharp wringing motion." (page 215) The way she writes the actions makes you think more. Instead she could have written "Moved her hands in front of her like she was make-believe twisting his neck" which isn't as effective.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the author's writing is the talking that takes place between characters. Each character has a distinctive "voice" created for them. I felt that even without the "he said, she said" I would know who was saying what because of the types of words that were used. I also really liked some of the expressions that the characters come out with. "Oh I'm starting to cry again. That's what happens when you think about life being fair" (Page 244) Is just one example of this. Damon's dialogue reminds me very much of the TV Damon- Hilarious.

One thing I really liked about Elena's queen-bee like character was all the scheming and fighting for what she believed in. This is one difference between the TV Show and book series that I really appreciated. Elena is one of those strong independent females we seem to be lacking a lot of in teenage literature. Also the scheming and snooping around that has taken place is very fitting for mischievous teenage girls. There aren't many books where the characters sit down and take out a notepad to write down possible suspects!

Overall I thought it was pretty good. Faultless, but not a favourite. I give it 5/5 stars. I enjoyed it tremendously, but I still felt a bit reluctant to give it such a high rating. It felt like it wasn't as exciting as it was supposed to be, but maybe I was just distracted by all the similarities and differences in the storyline... Or, was it the awesome writing?

The next book in this series is 'The Struggle' (Book 4).

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