Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Night World series by LJ Smith

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- 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 laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.

Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.

In Dark Angel, Gillian is saved from drowning by her guardian angel. Only visible to Gillian, Angel will fulfill her heart's every desire. But when Angel starts making strange and sinister requests, Gillian must question who he truly is and where he came from.

Armed with a wooden stake, martial arts, and the will to resist a vampire's mind control, Rashel struggles to avenge her mother's death in The Chosen. Then she meets Quinn, her soulmate, who is part of the world she has vowed to destroy.

Hannah receives notes warning her of incredible danger in Soulmate. But if death is her destiny, is the Lord of the Night World's love strong enough to save her?

A vampire hunter -- who is half vampire -- stalks her own kind to protect humans in Huntress.

In Black Dawn, Maggie stumbles upon an old Night World kingdom where the ruling vampire prince is both an enemy and an ally.

And Circle Daybreak hires Keller, a shapeshifting panther, to guard a new Wild Power in Witchlight. But when Keller falls in love with the Wild Power's soulmate, her love could destroy everything....

First Sentence: Well since this is technically a review of nine books, I’m not going to include the first line. But, I will include my favorite quote from the series. “You don’t love someone because of their looks or their car. You love them because they sing a song that nobody but you can understand.” –Night World 1; Secret Vampire

Originality: I love how original this series is. Most of the time, an author will focus on one or two ‘monsters’ at a time. Well, I suppose that is what LJ Smith did. In each addition, there’s usually just one type of monster as the main character. They still tie in with each other in the end, and even throughout the book, because they all live in the Night World- made of vampires, witches, werewolves, shape shifters, and, most recently, humans.

Characters: So many characters to fall in love with. I was really hooked with the first book, Secret Vampire, with the story of Poppy and James. And then in Daughters of Darkness my love for the series grew even more. Though I love every single person in these books, my favorite characters would have to be Hannah and Thierry, from Soulmates. Their love just stands through the test of time, no matter how many problems they run into.

Content: I love love love all the monsters featured here. The only part that bothers me is that werewolves are considered low class in the Night World, almost as low as vermin (aka humans). The Night World council hates vermin so much that they’ve made a law against a NW citizen to fall in love with a human. The punishment? Death. That’s really what this series is about- forbidden love and the awakening of the “soulmate principle”. Only, towards the end of the series, the plot changes to stopping the apocalypse. And even though I still loved those stories at the end, it bothered me a little. It’s like how I feel with the TV show, Supernatural. I absolutely loved it when all they did was travel around killing the monsters, but lost interest when it started being all about the apocalypse. If you’re not into the whole “end of the world” thing, then you could still read the first two books.

Setting: Well, the setting is all over the place. Its nine books, with different main characters in each, so one can only expect several settings. If I had to say only one place though, I’d say “the Night World”. Except...that isn’t a place exactly. It’s just the hidden society of all things magical.

Overall Enjoyment: This is my…fifth time?...reading this series. So obviously I loved it. Sure, it was best the first time I read it, but I still enjoy it. Since I was re-reading it this time just to freshen my mind and write this review, I sort of skimmed through a lot of it (shame on me!). These books were originally published separately (so, not 3 books in each one) in the ‘90s and I’m actually still waiting for the last book to be re-published. I picked up these books in 2009 and the release date for NW4 was supposed to be around that time. I guess they just haven’t republished it yet, or aren’t going to. But, if anyone knows information about this, please let me know. If you haven’t read this series yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

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