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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:Young Adult Fiction Review

Night World: Volume 3 by L.J Smith
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Reviewed by Callum Graham

Night World: Volume Three is a collection of stories from the Night World series published by Hodder Children’s books. Through the novels Lisa J Smith creates an interlinked world of mystery and intrigue, dominated by vampires, witches and Shapeshifters. Most are bent on the destruction of the human world but a few, lead by the secret organisation Circle Daybreak, must try to save it.

Jez in Huntress is a vampire who after a shocking revelation becomes isolated by her conscience. With the end of the world fast approaching she must try to retake control of the gang she once led, and fight to protect a girl blessed with an extraordinary power.

Maggie in Black Dawn is a human who after investigating the disappearance of her brother, is sucked into a dangerous new world. Now she must come to terms with both her supernatural adversaries and her important role in fulfilling an ancient prophecy.

Keller in Witchlight is a shapeshifter who has always accepted her station in life as a ‘grunt’. However, her leadership skills and ingenuity are put to the test when her gang are tasked with finding Iliana, a wild power. She must fight to protect but also to convince Iliana that she does have the power to save the human race. Each of the girls must overcome both physical and mental challenges on the journey to achieve there goals, not to mention falling in love and winning their soul mate along the way.

Smith writes strong female characters that can be both aggressive and sensitive, although usually their fighting instincts seem to come more readily. As well as helping to protect themselves in dangerous situations their alertness and powerful sense of danger extends into their abilities to read men. As Keller observes when she meets Iliana’s class mate Brett, ‘When he looked at Iliana, it was like watching a slug crawl over a peach blossom’.

The plots are kept from becoming repetitive by the three differing characters. While Jez is confident in her abilities, Maggie must learn to deal with the new responsibilities that have been thrust upon her. Keller, although capable must overcome her past if she is to succeed in her mission. All three have to adapt both their feelings and plans to compensate for the ‘soul mate principle’. Through doing this Smith has created three easily relatable everywoman characters, and although readers will probably have a favourite, if they enjoy one they will enjoy all the stories.

Smith’s careful observances of the rules of attraction become apparent as the protagonists become embroiled in the plots, and there are some important lessons to be learned through the situations our heroines find themselves in.
I did start to get frustrated with the protagonists insistence on falling, wonder struck or unwilling, into each others eyes. However I don’t feel this would bother a regular Night World reader, and the fairy tale love woven into the stories (although sickly sweet at times) did add a romantic innocence which could easily have been corrupted by the more physical aspects of teenage relationships.

There is something satisfying about reading a collection of fiction where the plots of the books collide to create a multilayered universe and Night World is no exception. If you have read LJ Smiths previous books then you can be rest assured this is pretty much the same reliable fair. Not intellectually stimulating but a good easy read, with plenty of love and action and enough teenage anxiety to be compelling and reassuring but not depressing.
© Callum Graham September 2009
Callum is about start his third year at the University of Portsmouth
Eagle Day by Robert Muchamore
Callum Graham
The Nazis have a new plan to ensure victory for Germany. Henderson quickly realises that he and the children are Britain’s only hope against a new threat,

NIGHT WORLDS by Lisa J Smith
Hodder Children's Books; (Jun 2009);
ISBN: 978-0-340-99663-8

Elle Mackintosh
The quest to become popular, the struggles of growing up, the hatred of the actions of those you love, and the difficulty in getting used to your new found magical powers.

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