The Fury (The Vampire Diaries) by L J Smith

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The Fury (The Vampire Diaries) by L J Smith

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: An interesting adventure for the 10-14 age group, with a freshly-made vampiress and a pair of ancient brothers fighting amongst themselves, and against a great evil threat.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: October 2007
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0340945032

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What are they doing, Damon and Stefan, fighting like this in the woods, seemingly to the death? What is young Elena doing getting involved, and claiming to love Damon while being engaged to Stefan? And what is she doing now, bearing a great set of fangs and sinking them into one of their necks?

All that becomes a lot clearer through the opening of this particular novel, but as it is the third in a series there is a lot of back-story to cover. It seems Elena has only that day been made a vampire by one of the brother's intervening when she was involved in a car crash and would have become one of the plain dead as opposed to undead without that help. Elena is in a bit of a rage, and the brothers have hated each other for centuries, so nobody is in exactly a good mood. They must however band together and engage with the problems their circumstances entail.

The boys are adept at passing off as living people - alright, foreign ones, but all the same - but Elena needs a certain number of people to be aware she is not resting comfortably. And all three have a greater problem on their hands, as an evil entity is disturbing the town in most unusual ways - they must tag several suspects until they can defeat this Other Power.

Being thrust in to this story where we are I could only wonder what had gone on in the first two books in the series. There is a hint that other diarists were responsible for their content, and they might not even feature Elena's evolution. If that is the case I don't think the puzzling opening here is as friendly as it could have been, but either way it makes for an intriguing look into a series I knew nothing about, even though it was first published in the USA in 1991.

And on that subject, surely the young reader's audience has not changed *that* much since then, but I was under the impression this book was intended for a 10-14 age range, until I found the heroine was engaged, had to have been of driving age, and a pair of softly smutty lines came across that hinted to a teenage audience. I still think my initial assumption is more valid.

The intrigue passes as the adventure forms itself on quickly-turned pages, and reaches a suitable height of pre-teen horror writing, with a fine urgency to the drama, a real peril during which our main protagonists maintain their well-crafted characters, and everyone finishes the book very satisfied. It might have been a slightly awkward start, but the way it builds to a richly dark, subterranean climax is well worth recommending.

As such I would suggest you take the four stars I have given the book with a pinch of salt - I would much prefer the publishers sent the Bookbag the whole shebang so I can get a clearer feel of how the reading experience for this book is improved (or not) when put properly in context.

There is still much to enjoy in this volume, which has only raised my interest in the rest of the quartet; and I am still very grateful Hodder sent a copy of this volume for us to sample.

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