International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:Young
Adult Fiction Review
World: Volume 3 by L.J Smith
Publisher: Hodder Childrens Books
Reviewed by Callum Graham
Night World: Volume Three is a collection of stories from
the Night World series published by Hodder Childrens 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 Ilianas 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
Smiths 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 dont
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
Day by Robert Muchamore
The Nazis have a new plan to ensure victory for Germany. Henderson
quickly realises that he and the children are Britains only hope
against a new threat,
NIGHT WORLDS by
Lisa J Smith
Hodder Children's Books; (Jun 2009);
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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