68 points/100 (3 ½ stars/5);
Warning: Cliffhanger (Seriously? A cliffhanger at an end of a trilogy? Really?)
Elena Gilbert has managed to get Stefan out of jail in the Dark Dimension. When they get back home to Fell’s Church, they find that the town has gone crazy. Children are being pitted against adults, who are getting eaten, and no one is safe. Midnight is upon us, and Elena and company have to stop it, whatever it is.
“Stefan was the one who … the one she loved. But he’d never understood that love was not singular.”
Well, that is certainly one way to end a trilogy. As a book, it was alright. I enjoyed large parts of it. As an ending, I hated it.
There are several stories going on throughout the book that are all trying to fight for air time. At the end of the last book, Damon became human again, and part of the book is focused on his drive to become vampire for a second time. The second plot is how Stefan is recovering from near death, and his feelings of inadequacy at being able to protect everyone. Lastly, there is everything to do with Fell’s Church, how all the kids are becoming killers and are roaming in packs, how Caroline accused Matt of raping her, how there is a countdown towards something major happening. There is just a lot that goes on!
The story mostly plays out how you expect it to. There aren’t any real surprises along the way. I will say that everything just happens to work out in their favour every single time, sometimes for no reason other than it had to work out like that. There are so many things that happen by pure chance. Meredith’s coming out as a vampire hunter (which was never even hinted at before) this was out of left field entirely. Out of body experiences that give the exact information they needed to know at that moment. Other information just falling in their lap that just happens to be the one thing that can solve the entire mess. It is quite remarkable how that just keeps happening.
Once again, the best part of the book was probably Damon. I love how true to himself he is being. He just wants to be vampire again, and he is willing to do anything in order to do it. And, he is just such a presence. I like Damon more than I like Stefan at this point. Stefan is much better than where he started out as, but he still has moments that just annoy me. A big part of the book is actually Elena’s guilt over liking both boys, and how she is worried about what this means in regards to them, not necessarily herself. She worries how they’ll react. She is pretty much over herself at this point, and it is all centered on how they will react.
The ending is, like I said, awful. It ends on a cliffhanger! What nonsense is that! It is a very emotional ending. Yet, I was left feeling unfulfilled. Not only because of the cliffhanger, but because of how the story ended. I was just hoping for more than what we got. Maybe it was because of the cliffhanger, because Smith expected to get more time with the story, she left so much hanging throughout the story. Stuff I was really liking, and wanted a resolution for. Stuff like Damon and Stefan and Elena.
This is the last book written by L.J. Smith. Because she signed a work for hire contract, she doesn’t actually own the rights to the series, and the publishers decided they didn’t like the direction the series was headed. At the time of writing this review, I have read everything currently (October, 2018) out, and I can say with conviction you will not get the ending you want out of this story. After this, it goes in a complete different direction. Everything is wrong, it doesn’t act right. Take this ending as an ending to the series, no matter how bad it is, because it is the true ending. There are some fanfiction written by L.J. Smith herself out there, but unfortunately they are currently incomplete and I hold to the belief they will ever finish because it has been years since the release of the last one.
Sidenote: Elena’s sister is really young, about 5 years old I would guess at the time of this book. All of the children are going insane, killing people, running in packs. And Elena has seemingly completely forgotten her sister exists and isn’t worried about her at all, just the town in general.