Saturday, 18 December 2010

Review: Night World vol 1 by LJ Smith

New/Old Read: New
Date Read: 17th December 2010
Times Read: 1

Synopsis: Vampires, werewolves, witches, shape shifters - they live among us without our knowledge.  Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules.  And falling in love breaks all the rules of Night World. (from Goodreads)

Review: This volume comprises the first three Night World books - Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness and Enchantress - so I'm reviewing each separately here.

Secret Vampire - I read this when I was a teenager (16?) and although I did start to reread it when I got the compilation volume - my single copy of this title is in a box somewhere - I found that I could remember the story well enough that I didn't want to reread.  This may be telling in itself, as I am not one to hesitate to reread a book I enjoyed first (or fifteenth) time around, but I do remember enjoying the book when I read it.  So, even though I didn't reread it this time, that shouldn't be taken as a bad sign - and I'm now tempted to read it because I vaguely recall people from the later books rocking up in it.

Daughters of Darkness - I got a little stalled on this one, again distracted by something shiny, but also because I found it a little weak.  Though I think possibly if I'd read it in one go like I did Enchantress I would have enjoyed it more.  There is the problem that I find in a lot of paranormals that the main characters fall in love so fast I'm surprised they don't have whiplash, but here it's at least explained away as them being soul mates, rather than someone just having an amazing fragrant freesia scent.  And the characters here fight against it, they don't want to be that much in love and it scares them, which is completely believable.  There always wasn't a completely neat happily ever after, which filled me with glee.  Definitely good for people who want a bit more realism in their paranormal romance.

My main issue was the plot, which was a little weak.  It wasn't, fortunately, just there to make the protagonists have to fight for/rescue each other, but it was a bit too simple.  A whodunnit that was a little obvious, as the culprit was found, questioned, cast as innocent and then oh noes it was him all along!  Saying that, the final confrontation was awesome.  Writing this review I'm realising that I preferred the latter half of the book much more than the beginning.

Enchantress - witches!  Yay!  I have a soft spot for witches, possibly because of Jill Murphy*, and this book was also heavy on the feminism and the strength of women which is a definite plus.  Blaize was a bit too much of an omgsogorgeous, but a lot of that was explained away by magic.  Again, the main romance was a bit rushed, but again it was because of the soul mate thing and again the protagonists tried to fight it.  And the consequences of it were massive and dealt with in a serious way.

The plot in Enchantress was also a bit simple, as we knew which sprit had been released and was wreaking havoc, but the tension then came in how they could stop it.  The ending was, again, fantastic, with everything crashing together at once.  It was also realistic, though a bit neater than the end of Daughters of Darkness.  It also makes me want to buy the next volume, as I suspect a deeper plot arc emerging and I want to read it.  If the characters from these books show up again in later volumes and there's a wider issue at stake, I will be very happy.

Rating: 6/10

* There's a fifth Worst Witch book?  How did I not know that?  I am going to have to get that.

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