Written By: L.J. SmithGrade: A-
The Fury is the third book in The Vampire Diaries series. The book picks up post-Elena’s death and what life is like now for everyone that loved her. Vampire brothers and enemies, Stefan and Damon, are now brought right back to what caused their rivalry years ago when the love of their lives and the girl who turned them both in to vampires committed suicide in hopes that they could get along if she wasn’t around for them to fight after. Of course, they just blamed each other. They are now back at that place they were centuries ago, except this time if they kill each other they won’t go on living in any form. As Stefan is so much weaker than Damon now, we realize that we may have to say goodbye to the two characters we felt for the most.
Aside from this there are major revelations going on in the small town of Fell’s Church. Damon says that he wasn’t the one who killed Elena and soon we learn that there is some other power in the town that is working against everyone there. Weird things seem to be happening everywhere. The dogs seemed to be possessed and they turn on everyone including the owners and viciously attack them. Elena’s 4-year-old sister’s cat seems to contain evil as well and attempts to inflict pain. Damon and Stefan use Elena and what happened to her to piece together who this could be and what they are capable of. They also explain things to Meredith and Bonnie, Elena’s two best friends. Together, they draw some suspects who seem to be acting weird including the new history teacher who might know about the vampires in the area and who they are. The only question is who he really is and what he plans to do when he finds what he is looking for. The landlord of Stefan’s building, Mrs. Flowers, and Elena’s Aunt Judith’s boyfriend, Robert, have been acting very strange and seem to be involved with the attacks. Bonnie’s psychic premonitions do help getting some answers, but the more she uses them the more the dark forces use her. They still don’t know what they are dealing with and even with them working together, this force seems to be much stronger than they are.
The Fury has incredible character development for nearly every character. The evil seemed to really consume Damon, not even leaving room for another side. His character was somewhat more thrilling and forbidden adding on to the suspense in The Struggle, but here we get to see another side of him that we never thought we would. He still thinks as a hunter and embraces that part of his nature, but we begin to see him showing concern and caring for others. Damon and Stefan even seem to be a bit more civil with each other although the majority of the book, especially at the beginning that hatred and rivalry is actually at its’ peak. Through Stefan we see an extremely tortured soul. As soon as he is given happiness, thinking that he will finally get to be with the one he loves for years to come, this is taken away from him. He holds Elena’s lifeless body and is forced to face the reality that she really is dead. This brings him to an all-time low, lower than he has been in centuries. Things get much worse, to the point that he can barely keep his sanity yet as what’s going on still involves Elena, he has to go on for her.
In the last book, Elena grew a lot and we realized that she had become a vital part of the series; we began to live through her during the course of that book. From the end of that book it is hard to imagine the rest of the series without Elena, still the book takes a pretty interesting direction and her presence is still there, just in a much difference sense than before. Meredith and Bonnie, but especially Bonnie, are given a much more important role in this book than they have in the past. They are not just Elena’s friends here; they help uncover the truth in what is going on in Fell’s Church. By the end of the book we learn things about Meredith that she never told anyone. We also learn what the meaning of Bonnie’s visions are and where they came from. Even Caroline, Elena’s ex-friend who turned against her and was harassing her in attempts to get Stefan pinned as a murderer, seems to have grown.
There are a number of great twists throughout the entire book, starting at the very beginning and leading up to the shocking end. It goes everywhere you don’t expect it to. The Struggle deals more with the essential vampire romance themes and is a bit more thrilling and alluring, dealing with forbidden temptation and essential love. The conflict couldn’t stay there forever and The Fury is a great turn for it to go. What it really does right is less in its accomplishments as a vampire novel and more in its accomplishments of developing the characters, opening up new possibilities for the characters and realities in the story itself.
So far, this is probably the book with the most action and as a lot of it is happening from unknown powers; the sense of any security is gone. After all how are you supposed to stop something that you know nothing about? A lot of the questions are in the first two books are answered here and we get a better sense of understanding the world that L.J. Smith has created. Some of the answers we are given we thought we already knew and are given a new found knowledge on the reality of what occurred. The Fury experiments with a lot of different approaches in continuing the story. It begins in a mindset that is completely different than anything found in the first two books. It’s a point of view that is somewhat astonishing, but also very unsettling. There are a lot of changes throughout the book, especially in the very last chapter. This is the first book that didn’t end in a major cliff hanger. It’s hard to swallow what has happened, but the last chapter makes us accept it through a completely different narrator and perspective.