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I Belong


Review: Night World, No. 1: Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith

Title: Night World, No. 1: Secret Vampire

Author: L.J. Smith

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Night World (Books 1-3)

Publication Date: June 3, 2008

Format: Paperback, Omnibus, 729 Pages

ISBN-10: 146974504 (SimonPulse)

ISBN-13: 978-1416974505 (SimonPulse)

Reviewed by: Anjelica

Synopsis:

Includes:
Book 1 – Secret Vampire
Book 2 – Daughters of Darkness
Book 3 – Spellbinder

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters — they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy’s only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.

Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It’s a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.

Quick & Dirty: Summer is usually a time for friends and fun, but for Poppy, this year isn’t shaping up to be quite right. An illness sends her to the hospital and terrifying news has her leaning heavily on her best friend James for support. Fortunately for Poppy, James has some life changing news of his own.

Opening Sentence: It was on the first day of summer vacation that Poppy found out she was going to die.

Excerpt: No

Review:

The bluntness of this first sentence should have prepared me for a very quick and straight forward story, but since it didn’t, I found myself disappointed by the end of it all. There are not very many characters in this story; Poppy, her parents, her brother Phil, and her best friend James. A short list could have really provided a lot of opportunity for some serious relationship development and character growth, but again I was left disappointed.

From the very beginning we see that Poppy has a happy, healthy relationship with her family. I’m all for representation of good family values since I find the angst ridden teenager struggling with parents that will just never understand their pain, just a bit played out. Poppy and her brother Phillip tease each other gently, but Phil plays the strong, over productive brother role well. His protective side shows most when Poppy’s best friend James wanders into the morning routine. The boys don’t get along and that just doesn’t change, even when James is trying to help save Poppy’s life. I think their dislike for each other is supposed to come from a pretty lame alpha male type battle situation. James and Poppy are the basic, best friends turned secret crushes. Theirs is really the only relationship that develops with the plot as they struggle with their feelings.

This story kept me attentive because I wanted to see how it would all play out. James goes through so much to save his friend, and I just had to know if he could pull it off. However, I can’t stress enough how annoyingly basic this story is. The only real twist is James’s secret but even the title of the book gives that away, so basically we are just reading to find out how Poppy reacts, and how things fall into place. Luckily, this story doesn’t really set the tone for the rest of the series. They are all pretty quick reads, but the character and plot development branch out into a bigger picture that satisfies my need for a certain amount of depth behind the things I read.

Notable Scene:

He’d always been afraid of hurting her. She looked so fragile, and he could hurt somebody much stronger if he wasnt careful. That was one reason he kept a certain distance between them.

One reason. Not the main one.

The other was something he couldn’t put into words, not even to himself. It brought him right up to the edge of the forbidden. To face rules that had been ingrained in him since birth.

None of the Night People could fall in love with a human. The sentence for breaking the law was death.

Night World Series

1. Night World, No. 1: Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness & Spellbinder

2. Night World, No. 2: Dark Angel, The Chosen & Soulmate

3. Night World, No. 3: Huntress, Black Dawn & Witchlight

4. Strange Fate

FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of Night World, Vol. 1. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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