Overall Impression: A pleasant way for a Vampire Diaries fan to pass the time, but certainly no new or life changing material from this book.
Ok, so the title is slightly a misnomer. The first thing you should know about this book is that L.J Smith did not actually write it. She’s credited on the front cover, however the book is written by a ghost writer. Origins is the first book from The Stefan’s Diaries series, that works as a tie into the TV series on the CW network, The Vampire Diaries. Not to be confused of course, with the original Vampire Diaries book series.
Yeah I was too. There have been so many adaption’s to The Vampire Diaries now it’s almost impossible to keep up!
Stefan and Damon weren’t always fighting or succumbing to their bloodlusts. Once they were loving siblings, who enjoyed all the riches and happiness that their wealthy lifestyle afforded to them; loyal brothers who happened to both fall for the same beautiful women.
Once they were alive…
This book is set in 1864 during the Civil War, and begins when the two Salvatore brothers Stefan and Damon are still human. Damon is working as a soldier in an attempt to defy his fathers wishes of taking over the Salvatore estate, so the responsibility therefore, lands on Stefan’s shoulders to carry the Salvatore name with pride and dignity. But when he’s instructed to propose to the bland uninteresting Rosalyn, he begins to realize this is not the future he wants. Meanwhile the beautiful and elusive Katherine arrives in Mystic Falls, and turns the Salvatore’s lives upside down. Both fall head over heels in love with her and begin to compete for her love, even if it’s at the others expense. Their futile efforts are interrupted however, by a series of mysterious deaths spreading across the town. For the general public sake these attacks are blamed on animals, but others know better. The vampires have returned, and they need to be eradicated, at any cost.
After finishing this book I’m still not really sure what I thought about it. I enjoyed it I guess, but in all honesty I felt like I was reading an upscale piece of fan fiction. It was very easy to pick up and put down, and it required little effort to read. The plot was quite slow moving, and I wasn’t really inspired to keep reading as the book was only retracing old ground. It was also lacking any kind of romantic lusty scenes that fans have come to expect from the series. We don’t really get any new insight into the Salvatore brothers past either, but instead are re-fed information we already know. The book is a compilation of several flashbacks from the first and possibly second series on TV. So Vampire Diaries fans will be disappointed if they are hoping for any form of new material with this book.
I also had trouble getting behind the characters, which may sound strange as I’m already a fan of them from the TV show. But I felt they really lacked any kind of depth in this book or likeability. Stefan came across as very uninteresting and spends most of the book moaning, and Damon is completely lacking any of his usual charm that is apparent in the TV series and original Vampire Diaries books.
The writing in this book is also very average and lacks enthusiasm and individual creativity. I feel like any Vampire Diaries fan given a brief, could have written this book. In fact, they might have even written it better. The author seems to fail to capture the essence of the characters. For instance, when reading about Stefan I had the distinct feeling that I was in the perspective of a female, rather than a 19th century male.
That is not to say I disliked the book, but there wasn’t really anything good about it either. It was a nice enough way to pass time while waiting around school for lessons to start, but I don’t think I will be bothering with the rest of the spin-off L.J Smith series.
I would recommend this book to readers that are already fans of the TV series or are fans of The Vampire Diaries book series that want to prolong the experience because they can’t get enough of there favourite characters. However fans should not expect any new material from this book.
Writing Style: 1/5
Character Development: 2/5
Would I recommend this book? Only to dedicated
Vampire Diaries fans, otherwise the book is not really worth your time.
Book Cover: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KPLYUGsEL.jpg