I wasn’t originally planning on putting both reviews in one post. Yet, by the end of book three I found I had nothing really new to say about the last book in the trilogy. I still have the same complaints with book three as book two.
14 points, ¾ stars
Warning: Cliffhanger (Jesus wept, seriously?)
Elena, Stefan, and the rest of the crew are off to the local college to start new lives. When they get there, they find it isn’t all they were expecting. There is death and disappearance everywhere.
Yes, you read that right. Not even a full star.
This is the second book that is released by a ghostwriter for L.J. Smith and the first full book written by one, and it really shows. This is a completely generic “going to college” story set in a world with supernatural beings. The personalities already established for every single character was ripped out and replaced with something useless. There are actually times when I wasn’t certain I hadn’t seen this book as a Buffy episode.
In fact, this book is exactly like the book embodiment of the “Beer Bad” episode of Buffy the Vampire slayer. I don’t mean the story, exactly, though there are definitely elements of that episode in this book. No, what I’m talking about is that Beer Bad and Moonsong are both stories about a girl who is just going away to college, a girl who is seeped in the supernatural world, and just wants to be normal. She wants to be normal, but every time she turns around, there is a new supernatural bad thing to deal with and she just wants to go crazy from it all. They are also both the worst in the lot. Beer Bad is infamously bad, and in the 5 or so times I’ve watched Buffy through, I’ve only seen it once. If I were to ever reread this series (and I probably never will), I would skip this book without any problems.
To start with: the story. It is truly an incredibly generic story where someone goes off to college. We have the fear and the excitement, and the not really fitting in. We have the old and new friends, and the distancing between friends. We have it all. Only, because this is a supernatural world, apparently the college is also ground zero for the worst mass murdering spree in the history of this world. I lost track of how many students went missing and were killed during the course of this book. Probably at least two dozen. In a month. This story doesn’t work at all on that simple fact, because if that many people disappear or are killed on the college campus, things would be shut the fuck down quickly in the real world.
It doesn’t make any sense. Even worse, it is utterly predictable even from the very beginning. I was impressed by the last book because of how subtle it was, even though I could see what it was doing. This book has all the subtlety of a jackhammer.
More to the point, though, the people: Every single person in this book has had their personalities from the previous books completely removed and replaced with air. Not a single character acts the way they used to. Hell, most of them don’t even do the same things they used to. For example, Bonnie doesn’t even really use her psychic powers at all in Moonsong. Damon is only a shadow of himself: the complete opposite of everything that made him Damon, made him good. It is disgusting how he has changed between the last series and this one. You might as well have just called him something else and introduced him as a new character for Elena to love. Not this horrifying mess.
Which brings me to Elena, Stefan, and Damon’s relationship. This is the worst thing about this book. The one thing about the Vampire Diaries, the ONE THING about it that people could all agree on that would never change would be Stefan and Elena’s relationship. And whoever ghostwrote this shit all over that relationship. It was the worst 180 I’ve ever seen. Nothing was written like it would have been before. I’ve been actually really happy with the way their relationship was going before this book. I hate love triangles that pit the three people against one another. The way this has been going, I’ve actually been really excited for what looked like a true love trio. Then the ghostwriter decided things were going too well, and in the middle of the book, after the slightest provocation (after everything they have gone through together, that little disappointment on behalf of the boys for her liking both of them would not have done this), she broke up with them both and ran away. What??? Every single absolute thing I know about every single one of these characters tells me that this would never happen in a million years. So why did this happen? It is the worst.
That isn’t even to talk about the rest of the characters. Randomly, even though everyone has different plans, they decide to make it so that everyone stays in the area and goes to the same college, even though it means really limiting their futures. From Kent State on a football scholarship, from Harvard to no-name local school? Gimme a break. If you are a teenager and reading this review, and anyone tries to talk you out of going to the college of your dreams, to not do the things you want to do just so you can stay together as a friend group or boyfriend/girlfriend: don’t listen to them. If there are other important circumstances, sure. But not to stick together as a group. Especially if it means turning down Harvard. This is so irresponsible of the ghostwriter.
Also, everyone who doesn’t already have someone to love gets someone to love. Only that isn’t the whole case. Those new people are all weird and have weird things going on with them. Everyone has to be special. And also all their personalities are changed so this can all happen. “Oh no, this poor person, without someone to love, better give them the weirdest options that they never would choose for themselves. That’ll make them happy”. Yuck.
This was just a dreadful book to read. Everything that made The Vampire Diaries the Vampire Diaries was stripped out and replaced with nothing special. I’m really upset. This wasn’t my favourite series. I was only moderately enjoying myself reading these. Yet, I’m still upset. I had hoped for more.
10 points, ¾ stars
Ethan survived, and now he is more determined than ever to resurrect Klaus. Elena, now certain that she was born to be a Guardian, decides to accept her fate. She learns that in order to defeat Klaus, she has to kill someone else.
I really have all the same problems with the last book as this one. The biggest problem I have is how trite it is. Elena just happens to be the one thing that they took away from her already? Gasp. Say it ain’t so! And now she has to like follow their directions and like do what they say and like oh my god! Like I just couldn’t care about any of this. At all. Everything is changed, nothing is good, nothing is happy. It is really too bad they didn’t put this series out of its misery and hired another ghostwriter for another series entirely.