When I was 10 my sister borrowed a Night World novel from the library - and of course I had to read it too, being at the age where I devoured all reading material in the house, from teletext (remember those days?) to cookbooks. Right now I'm not sure which Night World novel was the first one I ever read but I remember from the minute I read it I knew it was going to be a memorable book.
Before the days of Twilight when vampire novels were not as in vogue as they are currently there were L. J. Smith novels. Most of her novels are to do with teen vampires but there are also werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and a host of other "night creatures" that create the Night World setting of her novels. From 10 up to the age of 13 I found all of her novels through the library and read every single one that was in print. I also loved The Forbidden Game trilogy but it was the Night World series that became my ultimate teen novel series of all time.
There were 9 novels in the series and there was talk that Book 10, the final in the series, would be published in 2000. Well, more than 10 years later and all the die hard fans are still waiting on that publication. I should have outgrown these novels by now, but I would have to include myself in the "die hard fan" group and say that I'm still anxiously awaiting the last novel (Strange Fate) too.
So why am I, at the age of 22, still obsessed with these teen reads? It's not that I'm gripped with the same vampire-fever that has hit all the Twilight loving teens and love the Night World simply for the vampires (though, yes, they *are* pretty nice in the Night World series too). L. J Smith novels have a distinct flavour of their own.
So, the pros of the series:
- If vampire/werewolf/witch- based fiction is your thing you will love these
- If you're a teen you may enjoy reading about the lives of other teens
- L. J Smith writes really well - her novels are short and to the point but they don't feel rushed. You are still left feeling like you know the characters and most importantly, care about what happens to them.
I know I am neither still a teen or an avid fan of the vampire fiction craze that seems to have gone global. Yet I still love the Night World series today as much as I did when I read that first novel. Even for those who don't go in for the vampire/werewolf/witch theme should give these a try - L. J. Smith isn't the average writer. And you won't be disappointed. Seriously. The only thing you will be left dissatisfied with is the fact that Book 10 - the final in the series - has taken over ten years to be published. But let's only hope that this extended deadline is proof that she is working hard writing an epic ending to complete an epic series.