THE FURY (Book 3):
So, at the end of book two, Elena had driven off a bridge. Book three, The Fury, picks up right were the previous one ended (again, making it feel like I was simply reading the next chapter rather than starting a new book). In this book, Elena awakens alone, confused, disoriented and as a vampire. This part really bugged me. She's stumbling around, confused, and very childlike in her thoughts / actions. Knowing she's been in love with a vampire for however long now, it seems like she'd be a bit more...grounded in what she is and how she became that way. But, having never been a vampire myself, what do I know?
Stefan, thinking it was his brother that caused Elena's death, goes after Damon and the two are in the midst of a pretty ugly fight when Elena stumbles upon them. Having more of Damon's blood in her system and seeing him as her creator, she attacks Stefan out of fear that he will hurt Damon. Even though, up to this point, she's hated Damon and loved Stefan. Confused yet? Me too!
The fighting finally stops. Stefan is back to his whiny self, feeling bad for himself that Elena seems to have chosen Damon over him because she must love Damon more. No idea how / why he got that impression simply by her trying to protect her creator, but okay. Moving on.... They realize she's now a vampire, too, and they help her adjust.
There's a new vampire hunter in town--Alaric Saltzman (love his character!)--which adds to the conflict. While avoiding him, Damon, Stefan, and Elena attempt to figure out what evil presence is lurking in town. During Elena's funeral, some weird stuff begins happening, like all of the towns' pets turning on their owners. This is really where the story picked up for me, and I raced through to the end. We find out it's none other than Katherine causing all the trouble in town. She didn't die as Damon and Stefan had thought, and she's out for revenge against Elena for stealing the brothers' love. Elena feels guilty, stating she never wanted this to happen or to come between the brothers. She shoves Katherine into the sunlight and she dies. So does Elena. Again. (For good this time, right? Don't count on it!) But not before she makes Damon and Stefan promise to get along.
Overall, this book wasn't anywhere near as bad as the first two. Maybe because I was getting more familiar and comfortable with the characters. Or maybe because I was finally used to the author's writing style. Either way, I eagerly started book four...
DARK REUNION (Book 4):
At the start of this book, Elena is still dead, (it's been 6 months) and the story is told primarily from Bonnie's POV. I've never really been a fan of Bonnie (especially in the TV show), so this POV shift took some getting used to. Thankfully, it was fairly consistent, so that made it easier to stay engaged with the story. Like book three, I raced through this one. It was REALLY good! Probably my favorite of the series.
Bonnie and friends summon Elena using a Ouija board, and they make contact. Elena warns them of something evil. Bonnie then summons Stefan for help. Stefan returns, with Damon in tow. YAY DAMON! More weird stuff happens. We learn there's another (unknown) vampire in town, who ends up killing Vickie. We also find out Tyler is a werewolf and is in cahoots with this other vampire. We find out it's Klaus, one of the original vampires. He's just as evil in the book as he is in the TV show, but he's flat in the book. We don't get to know nearly enough about him or why he's in town causing trouble.
We get to the big battle at the end. Elena is there in spirit and calls upon other spirits to defeat Klaus. The good guys win, and it ends with Elena coming back to life as a....ready for this... AN ANGEL! Yes, you read that correctly. She dies as a human. Turns into a vampire. Dies again. Then is brought back as an angel. Everyone is super happy Elena is back. Happily-ever after. Roll the credits. The book is over.
But wait! HOW did she come back as an angel? WHY? What happens next?!?
It's never explained. We are left with more questions than answers. I mean, I'm glad there was a happy ending--who doesn't love a HEA?--but seriously. To just end with a human turned vampire turned angel and not give us any explanations? Shame on you, Ms. Smith! Now, I'm already peeved with this ending, but if I had been reading these books as they released, I would've bordered on ragey. But, thankfully, it's not the end :-)
Stay tuned for my review of The Return: Nightfall....