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Ok, first not a book for Stelena fans. But at least they had almost every book and 6 years right? That said, the book flowed nicely and was closer to the older series that I have ever felt. Everyone got a story, you felt things move along, you felt sad, you felt resolved. For me, this was more of a home coming. Now on to the spoilers.
Spoiling, you've been warned
-So Stefan is not coming back. There were key things about the past, Elena being between dead and such with the whole reunion book. This is sort of implied as to why she came back. We know Damon came back, so what about dear ol stefan? No. We learn that he moves on, and in that, we learn that he does see a type of heaven. So SE fans, or Stefan fans know, Stefan is never really forever gone. (Quick, guardian's don't know this or simply refuse to bring vampires back as said in Midnight that they could not). So Elena never fully crossed over and that is how she became human once more. Remember also Stefan bought her old house. Despite many attempts by Bonnie, she cannot reach him. That falls to Elena and when she is ready to face him.
Stefan has moved on, and he came to her when she was ready and went to her old house. She is so sad that she is stuck Immortal, yet her love has died. It was so sad, I cried. LOL. I really wish he hadn't had to die, but then by after all the ghostwriting and such, it kinda had to. One thing about Stefan is that he was never strong early on. He simply got used and hurt alot. In the other series, we see more of it, but it never seemed to poof for some of us. The exception to that is when he attempts to kill Damon for hurting Elena and takes the form of a falcon. That was a perfect scene you just didn't get after the first trilogy. Furthermore, we see he is a ghost, so yes, they move on. He is sweet and says he will always love her, and to be with Damon if it makes her happy. There is a closure that happens that Elena RESPECTS. Yes, you heard that right. I think she chose to be loyal to her man, despite loving another. To her its not a matter of who was first, who was more. It was who she had placed her loyalty in in that way as her "love" as opposed to what Damon became to her. And really DE would never evolved because her resistance actually helped Damon feel if you think about it. I liked this because while I loved their scenes in Shadow Souls, it was distasteful (sorry LJ) that her lover was being tortured and starved and she was doing that. The fact he was gone, left, missing was just enough for that too. She even did more after the fact. She never stood on her own and pined, she tossed herself between. Well, not now. My friends, ELENA GREW UP.
On that note, the feelings shared with Delena are always surrounded by guilt with respect to his memory. TASTEFUL. Elena again says she loved them both, but that she made a choice. She grew, she maintained, and she also respected STEFAN and mis memory! She waited to see him to move on, to have her goodbye, and you will cry, my god. It's not that she needed permission, she and he needed closure. He was ripped from her in such a sudden moment, she couldn't bare to hurt his memory. It was nice to see her respect it. You feel it with a renewed understanding. This girl truly loved them so much, so differently, and I feel she had made the right choice even if I wanted to toss the other books out a window because they circled SE and always put in Damon missing the mark. It got old to many readers. I don't feel SE really had a happy ending either way. That was the tragedy of the whole thing. Their whole lives they had nothing but trouble coming at them, so its kind of sad to see they never got much time together. But they did get around 6 years before Jack slaughtered him. The reason behind it is as dumb as the vampire Jack used. None as depth as much as say...Klaus. They seem a little flat and evil. More like words describing someone. Not a big deal.
Damon was awesome. The OLD Damon at heart. He wasn't too pining, and he wasn't too stubborn and he was not her slave, haha. You got the sense of growing up, how he saw his little redbird off married to Zander was sweet. It put everything in its spot. Bonnie loves Zander, and Damon never got over Elena. Stefan will always be loved by D and E. Mariedeth was sad, but beautiful. I like this vampire twist because its an oxie moron and a bit of drama. Over done from the misplaced past people forgot, and I almost wish we hadn't gone through that rewind as it seemed unneeded. Hunter now a vampire, right? She grieved and you were with her each step. Damon saw her first, and he kept her secret and even felt pity for her.
Eventually others find out, and she is so struck by the misery it brings her self esteem. Poor Alaric. Elena gave Alaric the eternal water so they could live forever together. I thought it was odd, but its foreshadowing i bet. Elena felt how alone she would be forever without her friends, and felt a bit more positive about forever with her best friend as she was. She extended that forever to them by giving Alaric water. They are married as well before this all even started. For now they end searching for a way to cure the science vamps. Alaric is asked to wait to take it, and he says they will find a cure. TBA on the rest of that.
You understand how and why Jack did what he did, how he used a real vampire to do it, and the sucker (ha)met his doom. I almost scoffed at it all personally. Like, that was it. The vampire he used was pointless, but needed. There were a couple of points kind of tossed in there, but it felt more for closure than just being random. I'm telling you, it makes a huge difference. I dunno if LJ helped a. Clark with the characters or what, but it was almost dead on. Of course they grew up, so...its not like LJ's first series, but it feels like she took the time with the characters and understood them. LJ has a spark, and no one will ever dead on that. Despite that hidden aspect, the book came together nicely. I miss that spark of word combos, but this was very close. Very. It felt good to read it and it had some life, unlike the last series that just fell flat to me personally.
Matt gets a girl, and she is smart. How happy am I about this?!!! He also moved forward.Yay!
There was a comment about guardian earthy powers being so random. (quirk-they took em away before, so...they were bad a$$, but too strong lol)
Damon and Elena grow close. I am loving this connection they have, and its almost like it took the place of the mind reading ability she once had.
She offers him blood when he is really bad off from a fight, and it stirs up old feelings for both. Its referred to how their souls always try to combine. They are literally almost one as their aura's merge. Foreshadowing? i hope so, soul mates do that much like her tendrils to Stefan in SS are a common trait. Damon goes as far as to say its like being closer than lovers, this knowing, this sensation. He damn sure wants it, not for lust, but yes on desire because he loves her and her essence. Its the way he feels when he is close to her he desires most. He loves how she makes him feel inside and comments on her light. So he doesn't seek to make her evil or powerful, he simply understands that its an innate quality (her strength).
They even talk about the first time she was a vampire when talking about Meridith, which again I felt was foreshadowing. She admots that without hi, she wouldn't have made it. The way they bond is so cute. It is like they-at the core-always want to merge. he actually tells Elena NO for taking blood when she offers, because it is too much for him one of the times. He doesn't want that connection that draws them in, mind to mind, heart to soul, after feeling Stefan is between them. He admits it feels wrong. Isn't that beautiful? And it's a thing of guilt and or sadness. You feel he doesn't want to want her, it is something that simply exists all on its own. Again, tasteful, though sad because he does hope she moves on someday. Their mind to mind connection is like how SE shared blood. Very intimate. And I thinks its foreshadowing, which I'll get to later. Every time Elena and Damon are close (and its not much of course) her powers surge into focus. He's attacked a few times, and it makes her realize she may loose him as well. Kind of ups the anty without distaste.
He tries the Stefan diet often trying to be good, or as a way to be close to Stefan. I went awe to this. Elena understands how she and he are so much alike, and how he will get her in a way Stefan couldn't. In now way does this diminish her love of Stefan. And did we really want Elena to ever forget him? NO, I loved BOOK de from day one. But I do have a certain respect for the order of how things happened relationship wise. It gained my faith back In Elena 100%. How the hell Aubrey pulled this off when the other series did not???? I thank you. You did a wonderful job. I felt the Nightfall Series, while beautiful and wonderful, may have went a bit too far on some aspects. I apologize for saying that, again a personal observation.
Now on to the last thing which will surely leave people moaning and groaning.
Damon kills Jack. Why is this a big deal? If Damn kills any human, Elena is forfeit and will die. It was foreshadowed that the guardian who tasks Elena with her duty says they are not vamps earlier in the book. So they do watch out for this. So when he kills jack you are just waiting for the shoe to drop. It doesn't. 3 weeks later? oddly, it does.
I call red herring.
Elena came back from that childhood house, as I addressed earlier, after seeing Stefan and she admits, to Damon who almost died by Jacks hand (self defense), that she loves him, that she always has (and she will always love Stefan too, but he's gone and told her to move on). He told her the same as he was dying. "I love you, always have."-as he lays on the ground nearly dead,s I swooned.
You want my opinion?
Elena was more interested in her goals, or her (new ability which was awesome)own task than the guardians. Isn't that her way? I think the guardians see that Elena and Damon will remain steadfast in this connection they share. I wonder if it was the eternal water thing she gave Alaric, how she hunted Jack, or simply her pain that changed their minds. But she cannot remain duty bound and be the way she is-especially the way she feels for Damon. The fact is Elena never listens to these guys. Either she is a threat, or the reason she was given this life once more, served its purpose with most of the originals dead. My guess is that the time laps of three weeks means something. Maybe they wanted to see her choice? Maybe nothing. Why would they kill their guardian, even if its an oath, three weeks later? She was doomed as a vampire, perhaps she must become one again? Or oddly, their supernatural reach cannot really kill her.
Damon has a choice to make, and you already know what that is. He killed what the guardian's considered a science vampire-a human being. Elena starts to die. Unless there is some serious twist going down, I want Damon to be happy. I want Elena happy. They all nearly die every book. it is nice in passing to know someone will not come back, but I really wonder if this is another SE in heaven thing or a turn her into a vampire thing. Sure Elena cannot die from supernatural things, but (quirk)aren't the court that? Aside, the only way to strip her of her ability, would be for her to turn because then she is something else. Then she will be like the man she loves. Then maybe both will be truly free of the court and the rules of the bond??? And you know she will turn. Damon was saying he would not let anyone take her, or hurt her, and by any means necessary. I want him to save her. I really hope this isn't a science vampire ploy either. I mean this book really captivated my interest and hope forward. So we feel like he'll turn her to save her. I mean he just got together with her. Will she accept that? Who knows, I hope so. I'd like Elena to accept it if it is something he offers her to save her life. We know they are not damned. It is my odd hope that SE in TV stay together, and book DE stay together.
DE in book are as epic as SE feel they are in the show. Midnight blew my mind, and I was sad about shadow souls being the way it was while her man was suffering. To this day, Damon and Elena are at the top of my list. They have reached this place that is good for them given the circumstances that life dealt them. No, I am not happy Stefan died, but he is at peace. He will not be hurt. I wanted that for him. This makes it perfect in the only way it could be. At realistically this happens in life where close people will often come together after a significant other has passed. I didn't feel Stefan was robbed of his dignity either. He was a pure and good soul who deserved peace and happiness. He found it with Elena for a few years (6 they were together after the last book). He had her to himself. I want Elena to be with Damon as Bonnie's spell said. I like confirmation about 'confusion' after turning which was loosely talked about in the other series. No, Elena loved Damon, she simply buried it because she also loved Stefan. She loved Stefan first and she grew to respect that and wait for the sureness that it was ok to give in to that love if he was forever gone. Trust me, its not about hoping the next train for either of them. Equally, but different. Its much life and death for Elena, after just having lost someone, yet she handles this with time and pause. it helps her focus in on her true feelings. He was her first man, the one she loved first. Even Damon wonders if he would have won Elena over if they had met first. I think not.
I just don't want to see Elena have to die, go be with Stefan again, and go back to the old plots. The girl loves two people. She cannot have an epic love story that finishes right unless one is gone. SE was epic, but tragic and story book and beautiful. DE was epic, but realistic, and I like underdog stories. LJ wrote so many of those woot woot. We get both this way. Keep it this way and move on. Plus I felt like when Damon died in Midnight, she would never be able to go on. In this book, after a time and peace from Stefan, she is able to. I am sorry that SE fans lost their Stefan. Part of me feels like he needed that small happiness before it was his time. It does feel like he got randomly and quickly robbed of the life he wanted, but the peace...not being a vampire...that is just too good to pass up.