Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Vampire Diaries: The Fury (Book 3)
L.J. Smith

rating: 7 out of 10 "books"

*** WARNING: Contains Spoilers!!! ***

At the end of “The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle,” Elena is being chased by some sort of “Power” that causes her to accidentally drive Matt’s vehicle into the river while trying to escape over water (one thing vampires cannot cross over). The book ends with Elena drowning and waking up as a vampire. If you remember the events of the second book, Elena not only exchanged blood with Stefan but also with Damon. Because so much vampire blood was in her system at the time of the crash, instead of dying Elena became a vampire herself. It is also somewhat coincidental, if not ironic, that this double exchange is very similar to the events that occurred between Damon and Stefan centuries ago when both brothers linked themselves with Katherine. Elena of course, is almost an exact replica of Katherine and the two could be mistaken as twins, except for the minor detail that Katherine would be over 500 years older than Elena had she not taken her own life to stop the feud between Stefan and Damon over her.

The third book in the series, “The Fury,” is about Elena trying to come to terms with what has happened to her, as well as her trying to get a grasp on her new powers. The beginning of the story was somewhat confusing: Stefan and Damon are fighting and Elena comes to Damon’s rescue, saying she loves him, and pretty much trying to kill Stefan. It’s not specifically mentioned, but the author implies that Damon is essentially Elena’s “creator” since he gave Elena more of his blood than Stefan in their exchanges with her. I was confused for awhile, especially since Damon denies having anything to do with what happened to Elena. It is only after Elena reads one of her old diaries that she remembers who she really loves and who she used to be. There’s a passage in “The Fury,” about her diary that I think really sums up Elena’s character. This passage is as follows: her diary, “was the story of a girl who’d felt lost in her own hometown, in her own family. Who’d been looking for…something, something she could never quite reach…” I think it’s a really well written transition into Elena’s current state and how she feels about being a vampire. Later in the story, Elena reflects on this and the diary entry and thinks, “I was searching for something, for some place to belong. But this isn’t it. This new life isn’t it. I’m afraid of what I’ll become if I do start to belong here.”

Like any of the books in this series, nothing in Fell’s Church can remain calm for long. Strange things are happening again, and it’s not just with regards to Elena. At a memorial service for Elena, the town’s dogs show up outside the church and start attacking the townspeople. Elena is suspicious of the new man in town, Alaric Saltzman, as well as the ever mysterious, Damon who, although repeatedly denies being involved, doesn’t appear all too innocent. Elena is set on finding the true culprit in order to save the town and avenge her death. But what she finds is nothing she could have ever imagined…

I really enjoyed this book, much more so than any of the others in the series. This is probably the most stripped down we’ve seen Elena in the whole series. Completely gone is that “Queen of the school” type attitude, and replacing it is the desire just to be normal again. The quote “you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone,” totally applies to this story. It was kind of sad seeing Elena reading her old diary and realizing not only how lost she was in her life, but also how completely desperate she is in her death. She didn’t ask for what happened to her. She didn’t want to die. Her life was taken from her and she has no idea why, or who did the taking. In this way, “The Fury,” somewhat reminds me of “The Lovely Bones,” with the main characters looking back on their lives from the other side, and having to see their family and friends going through the grief brought with their deaths. Of course, the major difference between the two is that Elena is still physically present in Fell’s Church, and not just looking on in the afterlife. But the feel of the two stories felt very similar to me.

My final thought is that if you are interested in reading only one of the books in this series, this is the one to go with. However, in order to understand many of the events that occur, in other words, to get the background details, I’d recommend you read them all! Stay tuned for my review of the final story in the original “Vampire Diaries” series entitled “Dark Reunion.”

No comments:

Post a Comment