In the long, long ago when I was a teenager (ok, so not that long ago) I was in love with a series by L. J. Smith called the Night World. Recently I have had several L. J. Smith encounters, not with the actual person but with her work. In the bookstore I noticed that one of her other series, Vampire Diaries, has been rereleased and was on display. Then her books came up on the Ya Ya Yas blog and she even guest blogged on their site. All this L. J. Smith action rekindled my Night World love and I had to track down the books!
What is the Night World, you ask? Each book begins with this description:
The Night World isn’t a place. It’s all around us. It’s a secret society of vampires, werewolves, witches, and other creatures of darkness that live among us. They’re beautiful and deadly and irresistible to humans. Your high school teacher could be one, and so could your boyfriend.
The Night World laws say it’s ok to hunt humans. It’s okay to toy with their hearts, it’s even ok to kill them. There are only two things you can’t do with them.
- Never let them find out that the Night World exists.
- Never fall in love with one of them.
These are stories about what happens when the rules get broken.
Dum, dum, dum.
While the description seems to suggest that all supernatural creatures are evil this is not the case. While many adhere to the rules of the Night World there is a faction of supernaturals who are fighting for peace between all creatures and the equal rights of humans. This organization is called Circle Daybreak, the antithesis of the Night World. The books are not simply about the clash between the Night World and Circle Daybreak but center around a prophecy that predicts the possible end of the world as we know it with the new millennium. Four wild powers, all born the same year, hold the power of the world in their hands. They have the special power of the blue light which is both extremely destructive and incredibly healing. Together they have the ability to save the world but first they must be found, for they do not know of their power, and they must be convinced to join Circle Daybreak in their fight for humanity. The four powers are:
One from the land of kings long forgotten; One from the hearth which still holds a spark; One from the Day World where two eyes are watching; One from the twilight to be one with the dark.
The other major concept of the series is the idea of soulmates. Each book has a couple who are inextricably linked by their destiny to be with one another. When they touch, skin-to-skin, they are sucked into each other’s mind and connected by an ephemeral cord. While many of the couples are opposites, often on the opposite side of the fight, and resist the connection, it cannot be ignored and often brings about the betterment of one or both characters.
According to L. J. Smith’s website, there are currently nine books in the series with the finale yet to be released. I am pretty sure I read somewhere (but it’s been awhile so this may not be accurate) that the author was having trouble getting the final book published which is sad because it should have come before the millennium and been well-timed but now it is after the millennium and we (the readers) will have to pretend we might not survive if Circle Daybreak doesn’t win. :)
- Secret Vampire
- * Daughters of Darkness
- Dark Angel
- * The Chosen
- * Huntress
- * Black Dawn
Check out the booklist page on L. J.’s site for summaries of the books. I own Daughters of Darkness, The Chosen, and Huntress and have reread them so many times over the years. They all involve tough women and reformed (or to-be-reformed) bad boys. Yum. I just read (or reread, I can’t quite remember) Black Dawn and Witchlight, and I am going to try to get ahold of a copy of Soulmate. The books are being rereleased in 3 volumes. Check them out on Amazon: volume 1, volume 2, volume 3. Three books in one for $9.99, not a bad deal! I’m not sure how I feel about the new covers but they are better than the mid-90s versions which, as you can see, are a bit outdated now.
If I haven’t hooked you yet, read this awesome description of the final book, Strange Fate, and you will definitely want to read all of the books so you will be prepared for this finale:
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Strange finds life a mass of contradictions. She’s an ordinary-looking girl, and yet two of the most popular guys at school form her circle of friends. Kierlan Drache and Mal Harman, who are as unalike as any two people can be. That ought to make her happy, but recently she’s been having romantic feelings about each of them—and has seen two silver cords: one reaching from her to Kierlan, and one from her to Mal. What’s going on? In addition, every night she dreams of a future where dragons and vampires rule the world, and of a brave child called Crispy. For a girl who hasn’t even heard of the Night World yet, Sarah has a lot to handle! Even worse, the Apocalypse has finally come—and even the Wild Powers see only one way to stop it. This is an epic volume, which stars all the most beloved Night Worlders from the other books. Be prepared, though, because seven go on a mission to save the world . . . and only two come back. (From L. J.’s site)
A love triangle (between a Harman and a Drache — you’ll have to read the books to understand what those names mean), an epic battle, and ONLY TWO COME BACK?!?!?! I’m there.
I have not read any of L. J.’s other series, of which there are many. All the descriptions are on her site on the booklist page and many of them are in the works for rerelease though I am sure you can still find the original pubs at your local library.