Sunday, 27 March 2011

Night World

As someone about to leave their twenties behind, I'm not the target audience for young adult books. Even though I enjoyed the Twilight Saga, I didn't rate it particularly highly and am not searching for a substitute. I do however think there are some quality books out there in the young adult arena and they're also a nice way to switch the brain off between more taxing reads.

Having said all that, L.J. Smith's Night World series seems a little young for my tastes. 1996 was quite a long time ago now and it might be partly that expectations have changed. The average ratings on Goodreads seem pretty high, so don't let this old fogey put you off the series if you are indeed a young adult.

In the UK at least, the series is published in three bind-up editions each containing three books. I spent much of yesterday reading volume one. The first book, Secret Vampire, was a bit too sappy though did cover the practicalities of becoming a vampire. Most of the time in urban fantasy, no one considers autopsies or embalming when turning a vampire so I thought that was a unique touch. Other than the fact that it introduces Ash, who is a more interesting character, I would say you could easily skip this story.

Whilst each book is set in the same universe and there is some overlap with characters, the stories are pretty much independent of each other. On one hand this is a good thing as I would have quit if I had to continue reading about Poppy and James, however when you start to like characters, you don't get a chance to continue with their lives. In Daughters of Darkness, once again there's a vomit inducing romance but it's not the central one and the other characters more than make up for it. Ash returns in the second instalment and once again it is focussed on the vampire element of Night World. There's more of a murder mystery plot too and I really quite enjoyed it.

Which takes me onto the third book, Enchantress (aka Spellbinder), which is more of a high school drama and introduces the witches of Night World. Better than Secret Vampire but again I think it's aimed at the younger young adult. The ending hints of big changes and I'd be interested in books that follow on with that premise. I do have a copy of volume two already and despite the book being hefty, they're quick to read so I'll probably return to Night World at some point. I don't feel the need to rush like I do when a series pull me in.

Daughters of Darkness is definitely a three star book for me but the other two drag the overall rating down to two stars.

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