Review by The Princess of Cups, submitted on 9-Oct-2001

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L. J. Smith. This is part one in a three part series. The other two will be The Struggle and The Fury. (No hint of when they will be out.)

Published by Harper, ISBN #0-06-106097-6. Marketed as Young Adult. Cost $3.99. PB September 1991

I'm not entirely sure what is "young adult", but I guess this qualifies. The heroine is a high school senior who is "queen of the school". I didn't much like her at first, but she improved in the last 50 pages.

The vampire is a Renaissance Italian who for some foggy reason has decided to go to high school. His name is Stefan and he is, of course, absolutely beautiful.

Elena, the heroine, sets her sights on Stephan but is repeatedly humiliated by his rejection of her advances. Little does she know that she reminds Stefan of his first love--the lady who made him a vampire. Stefan is attracted to her, but refuses to give in to temptation.

Most of this story takes place in present time, with an occasional flashback to Stefan's mortal days. During the course of the books it becomes clear that Stefan's older brother, Damon, is also in the town and after Elena. Stefan and Elena do get together, but not for long.

Because Damon feeds on humans, his powers are much stronger than Stefan's. The first book of the trilogy comes to a close with Damon attacking and easily defeating Stefan, then leaving Stefan immobilized, and slowly dying. Elena almost suffers hypothermia looking for him in the first snow storm of the season. Finally she turns to one of her friends who somewhat psychic and the reader is left with the final image of Stefan's tortured and starving thoughts.

I'll admit this book was pretty light. Even the print is a little large so I managed to get through all 311 pages in about two and a half hours. The plot is a little weak, the characterization of only moderate depth, but I still liked it.

More than anything, this book reminds me of my beloved gothic books from the 1960's and early 1970's. There is nothing obviously wrong with it, but it's certainly not to be taken seriously. The violence level is low. The sexual content is limited to innuendo and a couple of passionate kisses. The blood drinking scenes are a little steamier. (I guess it's OK for young readers to get hot and bothered over drinking someone's blood, but not over a more normal expression of sexuality. *humorous sarcasm intended*)

If I couldn't get the Wal-mart's 25% discount on books, I might hesitate to get the other two parts of this trilogy. As it is, I'll probably buy them.

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

Drawn to Vamps?

Vol. 3 No. 2
The Vampire Witch
Vol. 1 No. 15
Death Of A Monster!