The Return: Shadow Souls - L J Smith
Elena Gilbert is once again at the centre of magic and danger beyond her imagining. And once more, Stefan isn't there to help! Elena is forced to trus...
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Review of "The Return: Shadow Souls - L J Smith"
This is the second book of the new series of Vampire Diaries and continues right after Nightfall. With Damon as their guide, Elena sets off to the Dark Dimension with Matt. However, half way through the journey, they have to split up to create a diversion. And Matt secretly goes back to Fells Church. To her surprise, Bonnie and Meredith turn up.They enter the Dark Dimension via one of the gates and end up in a savage world. The Dark Dimension is a world where vampire and demons roam free and humans are slave. To free Stefan, they have to look for 2 halves of a key to Stefan’s cell. As disguise, the girls become Damon’s slave. They pretend to “settle down” into the society of the Dark Dimension while beginning their mission. After a lot of effort, they finally manage to rescue Stefan.
On the other hand, back in Fells Church, Matt joins forces with Mrs Flower to investigate the strange events happening in Fells Church and try to find out the plan of the kitsune twins who are behind that.When the gang return to Fells Church, Stefan receives a gift from the good kitsune who shared the cell with him in the Dark Dimension. However, Damon’s curiosity seals his fate. When he opens the package, he is turned into human.
It’s a good but long read. This book explores more on the kitsune legend as the gang have to understand what kind of creatures the kitsunes are, in order to solve the riddle given by the kitsune twins which gives the location of the keys to Stefan’s cell. Being an Asian myself, kitsune legends are not new stuff to me but it’s interesting to hear about the legend from the Japanese approach. We are also introduced to the new world of Dark Dimension and its inhabitants as previous books focus on Fells Church.
On the other hand, there is further development between Elena and Damon. They put more trust on each other and get closer. They even exchange blood a few times throughout the story and this deepens their connection. This is going to give interesting dynamics to the love triangle as the story moves on. I quite like the way the author describes Damon’s inner conscious as a little boy after Elena exchanges blood with him, how he buried his deepest feelings. Elena being able to leave her body and meet Stefan in her dream is also a good creation.
However, I do feel like the author put too much emphasis or effort on the Dark Dimension adventure, rather than balance out on accounting what’s going on in Dark Dimension and Fells Church. We only get a glimpse on what Matt is doing on the outside world. And I am not sure if I want to know every single detail of the girls getting ready for party and the design of their dresses!!I do feel a bit bored during middle of the story until the climax in the end and the pace of the story picks up again.
Last, but not the least, the biggest shock comes in the end of the story when Damon becomes human again. This is such as big cliffhanger. Obviously the gift is intended for Stefan as he wants to become human again to be with Elena. I guess we will find out in the next book.
Product Information : The Return: Shadow Souls - L J Smith
Manufacturer's product descriptionElena Gilbert is once again at the centre of magic and danger beyond her imagining. And once more, Stefan isn't there to help! Elena is forced to trust her life to Damon, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. They must journey to the slums of the Dark Dimension, a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live as slaves of their supernatural masters. Damon's brother, the brooding vampire Stefan whom Elena loves, is imprisoned here, and Elena can only free him by finding the two hidden halves of the key to his cell. Meanwhile, the tension between Elena and Damon mounts until Elena is faced with a terrible decision: which brother does she really want to be with? The drama, danger and star-crossed love that fills each Vampire Diaries book is in full effect here, with Elena Gilbert once again filled with supernatural powers.
Title: The Return: Shadow Souls
Author: L J Smith
Release Date: 06.05.2010
Listed on Ciao since: 09/03/2010