Vampire Diaries: Shadow Souls review

Shadow Souls (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #2) Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Firstly, I actually want to give this book 3.5 stars, but it’s closer to three than four, hence the star rating.

This book was…not what I expected. Maybe because it’s been a while since I read the last book, but everything about this book seemed different. I do remember having problems with the last book, but because I was so excited to have the series back, I think I excused those issues. This time I’m not.

My main issue was the editing in this book. I don’t remember the original books having so many editing problems. Things like over describing, scene jumping, thoughts being jumbled, character inconsistencies, bad setting description. One minute, a character would be in a car. The next, standing outside. But we would not be told they’d moved. It was very jarring to read, and more times than not, I would have to reread the last few pages to see if I’d missed something. I hadn’t. Also, there were pages upon pages of description based on what the girls were wearing. We really didn’t need to know exactly how their eye make up was done to match their outfit. A few lines each would have done.

Another issue I had was with the outdated characters. I’m aware that the series started almost two decades ago. But in order for it to be realisitc, the teens really do need to speak more like teens. Elena is the most old fashioned teenager I have EVER read about or heard of. I would loved to have seen more Elena from the first couple books. She was a much more interesting character then. And so was Damon as a matter of fact. Oh, and if I have to read about Stefan calling her ‘Lovely Love’ again, I’ll throw up.

Gah. Bonnie was in this book. I hate book Bonnie. I much prefer TV Bonnie. At least TV Bonnie has some kind of strength to her. We’re constantly told that book Bonnie is always fainting, but yet we’re also told she’s very strong because she sees things in the dark. You’d think after four books, she would have grown a pair.

The plot to this book, I had to say, I enjoyed. Travelling to a new dimension to save Stefan was something I liked to read about. I enjoyed the new characters introduced, and I loved the action scenes. In particular, the Balls where they had to find the keys, and the rescue of Stefan. The book got a whole lot more exciting in the last third of the book, and then I couldn’t put it down.

The love triangle is ever more present in this book, but all it made me do was hate Elena. And I actually had her down as one of my favourite female protagonists before this book. The love triangle was done in a way that made me feel like she was incredibly selfish for leading Damon on while claiming she wanted nothing more than Stefan. And to tell Stefan that she hadn’t given Damon anything that wasn’t strictly Stefans…I struggle to see what that is. Kisses? Nope – Damon got that. Blood? Nope – Damon got that. Holding her? Nope – Damon got that. And Elena was practically half dressed a lot of the time around him. So I guess full nakedness is the only thing as her virginity is spoken about a lot, so neither brother has that!

Meredith for me, stayed the same. And for that I was thankful. Out of all the characters, she has consistently been easy to read about and well defined. I’m glad she was in it. Damon, however, I felt has changed for the worse. Yes, he’s in love, and yes, he’s learning to trust people more. But I miss fun, sarcastic Damon. Gotta love a bad boy.

All in all, this book was an okay read. I feel like the next book might be a lot better, especially with the twist revealled at the end. More Stefan, though, please! And less sappy love. I also really enjoyed Caroline’s creepy scenes, and now the story is based back in Fells Church, we might get to see more! I just hope the editors of the next book don’t allow LJ Smith to get away with some of the stuff she did in this book. I’d like to actually understand most of whats happening, thanks!

View all my reviews >>


5 thoughts on “Vampire Diaries: Shadow Souls review

  1. I LOLed at “You'd think after four books, she would have grown a pair.”
    Too bad a series you love has gone on too long and turned sour. That's always so disappointing.


  2. There is always the risk of a series going this way. I hoped this wouldn't be one of those. But it was, and now I'm depressed. But, alas, I'll continue to read and hope it picks back up.


  3. I found your blog over at Kristin Creative! I love it! I love meeting fellow writers on their journey to publishment!

    Great review, I've never read this book but it's on my list. I'm glad I have it farther down since not so many stars were given!

    I look forward to following your journey!


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