September 19, 2011

Search for Salvation • Shadow Souls

Shadow Souls book cover
Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith
Series: The Vampire Diaries #6
Previous Books: The Awakening + The StruggleThe Fury + Dark Reunion, Nightfall
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 1, 2001
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

Elena Gilbert's love, the vampire Stefan Salvatore, has been captured and imprisoned by demonic spirits who are wreaking havoc in Fell's Church. While her friends Bonnie and Meredith explore the evil that has taken over their town, Elena goes in search of Stefan.

In order to find him, she entrusts her life to Stefan's brother, Damon Salvatore, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. Along with her childhood friend Matt, they set out for the slums of the Dark Dimension, where Stefan is being held captive. It is rumored to be a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live enslaved to their supernatural masters.  Elena will stop at nothing to free Stefan. Yet with each passing day the tension between Elena and Damon grows, and she is faced with a terrible decision: Which brother does she really want? 

Clearly, I should have read this series a long time ago because I just can't stop giving it such rave reviews! Shadow Souls is another brilliantly crafted book, which is a perfect addition to the rest of The Vampire Diaries series.

There are many new turns that the story takes, what with a road trip to find the doorway to the other dimension Stefan is trapped in, the continuing possession of young girls in Fell's Church and the growing romantic tension between Damon and Elena. I initially thought that, with these two separated plots, the story would become too complicated and intricate to properly get absorbed in it - but I was proven wrong when L.J. Smith delightfully made things happen in conjunction with the original plot.

I enjoyed reading about the alternate dimension that they journey into to rescue Stefan, despite the fact that technically, as a mere human, I should be afraid of it (and if you read Shadow Souls, you'll understand why). It was just refreshing to be in a world away from Fell's Church, where things were completely different and fantastical enough to suit my imagination.

I liked the new characters we meet in Shadow Souls, especially Lady Ulma and Sage. Lady Ulma was just a fun, fanciful character - she was the daughter of a jeweler, and she had a fascination with creating beautiful, fashionable dresses (which does come in handy in the story). Sage, on the other, was an utterfly fascinating, extremely savage (or at least in my imagination, he is) vampire, who also has a soft spot for Elena and is friends with Damon.

As for the old cast, I still harbor a soft spot for Bonnie and my affection for Stefan, Elena, Matt and Meredith still holds strong. But, as always, it is Damon that I find myself utterly fascinated with and this book has, if this is even possible, made me love him even more than I already do. We see his utter vulnerability, his incredible love for Elena and his even more touching affection and love for his brother Stefan. I just couldn't help but keep gushing over him while I was reading Shadow Souls; this is probably why I'd mark this one as my favorite of the series. Gripping read, much more than Nightfall, though it ended slightly strangely. But I'm anticipating reading the next book very, very soon.


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