Book Review: The Vampire Diaries: Dark Reunion by L. J. Smith (Book #4)

May 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bonnie is having disturbing dreams. Elena made the ultimate sacrifice in The Fury and is trying to tell Bonnie something from the other side. But in the dream Elena’s words are riddles and her body is decaying and unspeakable things are crawling out of the ground. Before Elena can utter her warning, Bonnie wakes up screaming. I would, too.

Dark Reunion begins with Caroline planning a surprise birthday party for Meredith. Bonnie has serious misgivings about this plan and for good reason. The festivities culminate in a shocking event that sends Bonnie and Meredith on a nightmarish mission to stop the malevolent entity that is preying on girls in Fell’s Church. Using her psychic powers, Bonnie summons Stefan and Damon for help. But when the Salvatore brothers arrive, it becomes horrifyingly clear that the evil force they are facing might be undefeatable.

The fourth book in The Vampire Diaries series is told almost entirely from Bonnie’s viewpoint. It works. I’ve been curious what the hapless, reluctant sidekick who channels spirits from the other side thinks about all the craziness going on around her. Bonnie is empathetic, which we already knew, but she also shows a surprising splash of wit—

Bonnie felt control of the situation slipping away from her. This is a bad idea, this is a very bad idea, she thought. But Caroline was going on, looking dreamy and almost romantic as she talked about the good old days. Bonnie didn’t have the heart to tell her that the good old days were as dead as disco.

—and spunk:

“For God’s sake,” Bonnie whispered, outraged.

“What do you think we’re here for?” Stefan hissed back. But his fingers paused on the second button.

Bonnie watched a minute and then made her decision. “Get out of the way,” she said, and when Stefan didn’t move immediately, she gave him a shove.

Dark Reunion is, well, darker than the previous three books. It is a return to the sinister creepiness of The Awakening and The Struggle, yet its themes, such as helplessness, terrorization, and sadism, are more grim. We travel into dark underworld territory here: bargains with the devil for ultimate power and selling of the soul to boost a damaged ego. On the brighter side, signs of a fresh and exciting new connection emerged between two of the characters that is outside of the Stefan/Elena/Damon triangle. I hope this plays out in the next segment of the series, The Return.

One problem I had with Dark Reunion is that a crucial development at the end of the book came out of the blue with no groundwork or explanation and did not fit in the context of the world L.J. Smith has created. Hopefully, more will be revealed in the next book, Nightfall.

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