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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Review–The Vampire Diaries–The Fury (#3) by L.J. Smith

Love can kill .

Elena: with Damon at her side, and wild with her craving for blood, the changed Elena struggles to control her desires.

Damon: his hunger for the golden girl wars with his hunger for revenge against Stefan.

Stefan: tormented after losing Elena, he will do anything to get her back. Even if it means becoming what he once despised. . .

Getting what they want may come at a deadly cost.

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My Review:

The Fury, volume three of The Vampire Diaries was meant to be the final installment of an outstanding series in 1991. Through the entire book, there is a sense of finality to it. The big bad or “Other Power” as they call it is about to be announced. Lives have changed, not always for the better and different sides of characters are surfacing.

The book begins with Elena. This isn't the Elena we have come to know and love in the first two books. This Elena is primal and has lost herself thanks to her mysterious death. She has awoken a vampire and is relying on the id, her basic and most instinctual drives, to get up once again and move on. She feels a pull to a deadly battle between the Salvatore brothers. Stefan's grief, brought on by the pain he felt as he held her frozen, dead body in his arms, brought him into action. He began a fight with his stronger and power-filled brother because he felt Damon would be the only person with motive to kill Elena.

Elena finds the brothers battling. It is a destructive and terrible scene of bloodied bodies and strength beyond human capabilities. Disoriented, Elena wants the fighting to stop so she can protect the brother who called her for help. Surprisingly, she attacks Stefan in order to save Damon. She pushes Stefan to the ground and rips into the artery at his neck. Stefan, realizing it is Elena attacking –and that she is alive- loses all struggle because he refuses to hurt her. Eventually, after a couple minutes of gnawing at Stefan, Damon calls Elena off his brother.

While I understand and love both brothers, this scene is one I longed to read. Damon, trying to figure out what in hell is actually going on, begins to ask Elena a series of questions. Where are we? Who is it that you attacked? Then my favorite line of them all, "And who am I? Do you know who I am?" Elena smiles up at him, showing him her pointed teeth. "Of course I do. You're Damon, and I love you." I literally jumped from the couch and did a victory dance. No matter how short-lived, it was one of the greatest moments of my existence. Of course, Stefan didn't feel the overpowering excitement I felt over those words.

Stefan's brooding and self-loathing nature hits an all-time high after that moment. I am sure seeing your undead fiancée hanging on your older brother as if he is a celebrity might do that to a man. He complains more to Damon on how he must be a liar, and how he knows he killed Elena, how this is exactly what he wanted. (Blah, blah blah, blah...) It finally boils down to the fact Elena is a vampire. She is dazed, confused, completely not herself and the only person on the earth she trusts at the moment is Damon.

Damon, being uncharacteristically kind, has taken Elena under his wing. He and Stefan work together in finding her a McPerson for breakfast so that she can finish her transition and begin on eternity with the brothers. Right? Not quite. Problem is, Bonnie and Meredith were with Stefan when he pulled Elena's body from the water. They -along with everyone they told- believe she is dead. Because no one knows of Stefan and Damon's true nature, there are no thoughts of her return. In fact, because she began her transition into a vampire, there is now a missing body to deal with which leaves Stefan (once again) as a suspect for a murder/kidnapping. Poor guy doesn't get a break! Luckily, Stefan does get away to convince Matt to be Elena's first meal. After a little instruction, there is less gnawing and more feeding. It is kind of nice to know their school's dark room is used for such wickedly taboo purposes. This is also the moment that one of Elena's friends finally gets let in on the secret identity of the brothers.

Feeling sleepy after her first bite to eat, Damon takes her to rest in a place he has been hiding – in Alaric Saltzman’s rented home. He gives her instructions to watch out for Alaric because he doesn't trust him, shows her to a mattress in the attic, and covers her up for a four-day long nap. The scene is sweet in so many ways. Damon has the opportunity to continue playing the “bad guy,” he could take advantage of her in many ways. She is so ready and willing for anything Damon tells her, it wouldn't be difficult to make her his, but he refrains. He shows amazing restraint, especially after telling her this was exactly what he wanted from her. She finally sleeps and he slips out.

Four days later, Elena awakes and she is no longer disoriented. She misses Stefan and is horrified when she remembers how she attacked him. Searching for either of the brothers, she stumbles upon the old church she used to attend. Once inside, she finds she is listening to her own wake. Now, I have to say, if you are ever undead and need a pick me up, going to your wake seems to be an awesome idea. Nobody has anything negative to say about you. It is all just love and praise. It would make any undead girl's day. Luckily, before she got a big head about how wonderful she is, Stefan, followed by Damon arrives. Elena flings herself into Stefan's arms and all is right in her little world. Well, for about three minutes.

Outside of the church, something evil is brewing and causing the local dogs to act weird. After a standoff and a complete halt on the ceremony, the dogs attack. It is gory and brutal. Stefan rushes to help, but he is weaker than Damon. Elena pleads with Damon to help. ("Then I can't go. But you can. Why don't you do something?" Damon continued to look out the window, eyebrows hiking up. "Why?"

"Why?" Elena's alarm and over excitement reached flash point and she almost slapped him. "Because

they need help! Because you can help. Don't you care about anything besides yourself?") By the time Damon thinks it over and agrees to help, it is all over and the people had saved themselves.

By this point, they realize there is something in Fell's Church that has a serious vendetta against the people in the town and it isn't Damon. The three of them name it “The Other Power” and decide to search for it. Before I go further, I have to say that one of my favorite lines comes from their conversation to stick together. Being a southern girl and growing up watching and reading Gone With the Wind, I am a sucker for references like, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn about anyone else," Damon said charmingly. Oh yes, he said enough of it to get me squealing like a kid at Christmas.

As always, the story progresses from there. They have a plot and a purpose and it is their job to find this “Other Power” and destroy it. What is cool about this book is Elena's friends all find out about the vampires. Like I predicted in the review for The Struggle, Meredith had picked up enough clues from watching Elena and Stefan's interactions to figure out what was going on. (I knew that girl was too observant.)

They systematically go through each suspect they have thought of when it comes to the bad guy causing so much trouble. It is a fun, yet emotional roller coaster. Being in Elena's head for two books gives you a feeling of understanding. It is easy to put oneself in her place and go through the emotions of lost, suffering, happiness, confusion, triumph, agony, and numbness. It felt like for every step forward the character took, there was always something trying to pull her back.

The Fury, in my humble opinion, is at a solid four and a half kisses. While it is just short of the five kiss mark, it is only missing that half point because of the “Other Power”. While I am not at liberty to divulge the name, I will say it is not the person I expected it to be and personality wise it is not someone I expected the love interests to have anything to do with. The character was too childish, annoying, and lacking real substance. When I was reading, I kept getting pictures of Baby from 2003's House of 1000 Corpses in my head.

The giggle, the pirouette...it was all just too much. With that being the only fault I personally had with it, this is a great read and an excellent way to spend a cold, rainy winter's night.


  1. Tons of suspense! Yay!
  2. Dealing with a deeper level of complexity with each character, which is helping with number 3.
  3. Love, lust and friendship lines are being crossed it's led to some seriously interesting conflict.
  4. A ghost! There are new supes coming into the mix!



1. Really not fond of the “Other Power” characterization. While it makes sense in a way, it is too stark of a contrast from what I believed it would be like.



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