SInce the majority of the books I have reviewed this year thus far have been somewhat positive, you probably think I never dislike any books I read (or have bad taste). Alas, the time has arrived for me to give a (somewhat) negative review of a book.
This isn’t something I take likely. Whoever took over for L.J. Smith to continue to write The Vampire Diaries novels has spent time working on them, and no author wants to see bad reviews. Having said this, I do feel that this book was the worst in the Stefan’s Diaries series.
Part of what I don’t like about this series is how they try to link it to the television series. You’d think this would be a smart strategy since the television series is such a big hit, but it’s not. Why, you may ask? These books come ou faster than the television episodes are written, so the histories don’t match. Being a reader who knows this going in, I can actually admit that I am able to overlook the lack of continuity with The Vampire Diaries. What I can’t overlook is the lack of continuity within this book series. For the most part I was able to enjoy the book for the fluff that it is until the author did the unthinkable – messed up one of the character’s names.
Honoria Fell is a major character in the original The Vampire Diaries books, and for this new series the new author changed her name to Honoraria Falls. I get that in the original books there wasn’t a Mystic Falls, but the town was called Fell’s Church. I get that Honoria Fell was the founder. I also get that due to the success of the television show the author felt the need to change the town from Fell’s Church to Mystic Falls like the show. What was unnecessary, however, was changing Honoria’s name. In the show her name remained the same, as it should have in this book.
Bitching about this small detail may seem trivial to anyone who is not a fan of this book series, but think about this. How would you feel if your favorite book was continued by a different author, who then proceeded to change everything the previous author had written including the character’s names? When an author takes over for another author the wish to make the characters their own is understandable. I just wish that before they make major decisions they think about the fans of the series, and how they’ll feel about such major changes.
As for Stefan’s Diaries, the story was a continuation from one that began two books ago, and had run its course by the end of book 5. My verdict: save your money, and wait to rent it from the local library.
The next book I plan to read showed up as a recommendation on my Twitter feed. Since I’m going through a supernatural lit phase, I thought I’d break away from vampires for a spell, and read a zombie book. With the end of the second season of The Walking Dead drawing near, I feel like I’m about to go through zombie withdrawal.
Plague of the Dead is written by Z.A. Recht, an author I’ve never read before so I have no prior expectations. I do think it sounds very interesting from the synopsis, which states:
The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. Death. But it doesn’t end there. The victims return from death to walk the earth. When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic. In one fell swoop, the necessities of life become much more basic. Gone are petty everyday concerns. Gone are the amenities of civilized life. Yet a single law of nature remains: Live, or die. Kill, or be killed. On one side of the world, a battle-hardened General surveys the remnants of his command: a young medic, a veteran photographer, a brash Private, and dozens of refugees, all are his responsibility-all thousands of miles from home. Back in the United States, an Army Colonel discovers the darker side of Morningstar virus and begins to collaborate with a well-known journalist to leak the information to the public… The Morningstar Saga has begun.
This sounds a little like Charlie Houston’s Already Dead with how a plague spread to create zombies, except I don’t believe Plague of the Dead also has vampires. Can’t wait to see if this is any good. If you have read either of these books, I’d be interested to hear what you think. Sound off in the comments below.