Thursday, August 4, 2011

Colleen’s Guide to L.J. Smith’s Night World Series

This is a guide that breaks down L.J. Smith’s Night World series to new readers. The book already explains a lot in modern YA (Young Adult) Fiction/ Urban Fantasy, but I want to make a guide to break it down easier for new readers. A lot of authors who write YA Fiction/ Urban Fantasy follow the same set of guidelines when writing their books. I will be making a guide for a few really good books that have a lot of content that gets shoved down your throat. My goal is to break it down and help new readers understand YA a little easier.

In L.J. Smith’s Night World series there are two laws Night World creatures have to live by: 1)Never allow humans to gain knowledge of the Night World’s existence and, 2)Never fall in love with a human. Whoever breaks those laws will be killed. Old powers are stirring causing Night World creatures to find their soulmates; who are humans. In each one of L.J.’s stories, the protagonists are always fleeing away from the Night World Laws and try to find peace and sanctuary with their soulmate; and they try to find other people who are in the same predicament. In the end, all of the protagonists band together creating a secret society that has to fight off the dawning apocalypse. 


·        Night World: It’s all around us. It’s not somewhere you can find, it’s the people and places that make up the Night World. How you know someone or some place is part of the Night World is when a black flower appears on clothing or on building (ect.) or someone is named after something natural/ from the earth. Ex: Someone named Lily could be a Night World creature. Ex: “Black flowers are symbols of the Night People.” James, page 187 Book 1. Also, humans are not allowed in the buildings and clubs that are part of the Night World; unless they want to get killed. All clubs are named after flowers. The Night World consists of Vampires, Werewolfs, Shapeshifters, and Witches.

·        Night World Laws: 1) Humans must never learn that the Night World exists. 2) Members of the Night World must never fall in love with a human. Violate the laws and the consequences are terrifying.

·        Night People: The people & creatures who are a;; around us. They’re beautiful and irresistible to humans. Your best friend could be one – so could your crush.

·        Elders: The leaders of the Night World. They make the rules and make sure people stay by them.

·        Soulmate Principle: “It’s something that happens with people who belong to the Night World. It means that there’s only one love for everyone who exists. And when you meet that love, you know them. You know you were meant to be together, and nothing can keep you apart.” Page 156 in Book2. Being a soulmate is involuntary – you don’t even have to like the person when you meet them. They may be completely wrong for you in every way – wrong species, wrong temperament, wrong age. But you know you’ll never be completely happy again without them.” Some soulmates don’t even stay together, some just can’t handle it. Soulmates can read eachother’s minds with ease because they have such a strong connection.

·        Safe towns: a whole town that’s controlled by the Night World. No humans except the ones who are kept to feed on. No one can leave except for some nmen and boys who are completely trusted.

·        Redferns: are from prehistoric times. Founders of safetowns back in the sixteenth century. Hunter Redfern had a blood feud with witches since the 1600’s. but he couldn’t have children, and he needed a witch to help or the whole Redfern family would end with him. So he apologized to the witches and did a kinship ceremony; and had all daughters. Redferns are vampires and they are forever in debt with the witches.

·        Decendents of Maya: are Lamia.

·        Decendants of Hellewise: are Witches.

·        Hellewise and Maya’s story: They are the two first witches and are dated back to prehistoric times. Maya wanted to immortal and turned herself into the world’s first vampire (technically a curse). Hellewise hated the way Maya did it and they had a massive battle. Hellewise cast Maya out of the village to forever wander the earth.

·        Bloodtie (kinship ceremony): a simple exchange in blood. Only a few drops are needed. Person A takes a bit from person B, and visversa. There can be effects like night vision or better hearing, until the blood is out of the person’s system.

·        Lamia Vampire: a born vampire who can have kids and can age. They could be so old they can be traced back to prehistoric times. They have names that are connected to the earth. Traditionally named after natural things – gems, animals, flowers and even trees.

·        Blood Exchange [1] & Making a Vampire [2]: [1]Is another way for a person to become a vampire. The vampire bites them, drains the human then the human drinks vampire blood. A few exchanges are needed for someone to fully become a vampire. [2]The human will die, and then they need to be buried. Then the creator has to wake them up by calling upon them. And then the new vampire will have to dig their way out of the earth or the creator can help (no actual rule against it). And then the creator better have blood ready for the new vampire because they will be hungry.

·        Blood Lust: The longing/craving/urge vampire get when they need to feed. It can’t be satisfied until the vampire drinks blood. They need to feed once a day to stay healthy. Or else vampires will cramp up, and have a heard time “breathing” because their cells start to die from oxygen starvation. Vampire blood doesn’t have oxygen (see Creature Chart below)

·        Pawn: is a human that’s pretty much brainwashed and they live with vampires but they don’t know it because of the mind control.

·        Inner Circle: is the witch government/ Elders who organize and keep control of the witches.
-    Circles:

·        Circle Daybreak: Back in time, witches took human men as husbands to make up for the loss of witch men. (Naturally, there will always be more witch women than men). The circle tried to teach magic to humans. Rumors of witches and other Night World creatures are starting it up again involving the Soulmate principle. They want to forget the “Burning Times” and are those who are rebels and don’t hold up the Night World Law.

·        “Merry Meet”: Official way to greet other witches.

·        “Merry Part”: Official way to say good bye to other witches.

·        Vampire Hunters: “Humans who found out about the Night World... and they can’t get people to believe them so they hunt us. They’re supposed to know as much about the Night World as Night People do.”

·        Bloodfest: It’s a feast for vampires. When they completely drain 3 humans and then they become the most powerful are at full strength. It’s very illegal in the Night World.

·        Slave Trade: was a practice in the old days where vampires would take humans as slaves and have them in pens like animals; and treated like animals.

·        Shapeshifter Houses: Are the heads of Shapeshifter society. Each house represents a different royal Shapeshifter family.

·        “Other Side”: is to be where people “cross the veil” and it’s a form of the After Life believed by Night People.

·        “Narrow Path”: The wooshing path that brings you to the Other Side (also known as crossing the veil).

·        Spirits: an unhappy dead person. “An earthbound spirit that’s a damaged soul”. 
·        Two ways to summon a spirit: summon them with a spell that brings them across the veil OR go fetch them yourself. By dying  and bringing them back with you.

Creature Chart
Legend: Skills and Powers  Subject  Definition  Weaknesses
Amazing Senses: Smell, taste, hearing, seeing and feeling are all enhanced.
-Physically very strong
-Can move at inhuman speed
- Have claws, long sensitive fangs, usually paler complexion, and always look like the perfect human (looks wise).
-Are able to Shapeshift if they are very old and powerful.
-Can walk into people’s homes without being invited, garlic has no effect.
-Needs to fed at least once a day.
-More blood = more power.
-  Blood heals fast, and can regenerate flesh very fast.
-Live off of little oxygen because their cells are so “resilient” (strong).
-Vampire blood has everything but oxygen = reason why they need to feed.
Skill: Mind Control
-eyes turn slit-like like a cat’s when they attack and become vicious (and hungry).
-Most powerful at night, weaker during the day.
-Vampire blood tastes good to humans.
-When people are bitten, they go into a dazed ectasy.
How Vampire blood makes a human into a Vampire:
“The two types of blood fight eachother inside. Vampire blood destroys the hemoglobin (red cells) in human blood. When it destroys enough red cells, you don’t get enough oxygen to your brain. When it destroys more, you don’t have enough to live.” (Page 126-127 James, Book1) Thus causing the human to die and be reborn into a vampire.
Reason why Vampires need Blood to Live: They still need a bit of oxygen to survive. “We take a little, carries oxygen through our bodies until our own blood destroys it. Then we take a little more.” (Page 127 James, Book1)
Bloodlust: “It’s not like being thirsty – it’s like suffocating. Your cells start to die from oxygen starvation, because your own blood won’t carry oxygen to them. It’s the worst pain there is.” (page 176 James, Book1)
Two Types: First is Lamia who are born vampires. Second, are made Vampires.
How to recognize a made-Vampire: Black Roses
Weaknesses: Wood, being burned or having stakes to the heart.
-Can cast spells, hexes and curses, summon spirits, make potions and magical charms.
-There are always more female witches than male. No on knows why More girls survive during birth and survive to grow up. Unbalanced ratio in the Witch community.
-Hecate is the Witch-Queen, who had two daughters Hellewise and Maya. Descendants of Hellewise are witches.
Two types of witches: 1) Ones who know about their heritage & are trained. 2) have latent powers and humans call them psychics, and aren’t even powerful enough to even find the Night World.
Black Dahlias: represent the witch community.
Inner Circle: The council that judges court, and makes laws and upholds the laws.
Crone: Most powerful, all knowing, head witch of council.
Different Circles: Circle Twilight (white magic users), Circle Midnight (Black magic users), Circle Daybreak (humans & Night World creatures).
“Unity”: It was the age-old greeting of the witches, the symbol of their harmony and their oneness.
“Hearth-Woman”: direct descendants of Hellewise.
Hecate: the most ancient witch of them all, goddess of the moon & night and sorcery, to ring spirits from across the veil.
Across the Veil: A saying about crossing over to the witch heaven.
Crescent moon with three stars: the symbol for witches.
Cup of Lethe: if you drink the potion in it, for forget everything that has to do with the Night World.
-They kill every time they hunt because they have to eat. Sometimes a whole animal, but always eat the internal organs; heart and liver. They have to do it, it’s just like how a vampire has to drink blood to live.
-Traditionally werewolves and vampire hate each other and vampie look down werewolves as if they are “econd-class”.
-Werewolves are usually very gentle people, and eat only when they have to.
-They don’t always turn into wolves. They’re wolves who sometimes look like people.
Strict Law: Can only eat animals
Foxglove: represent the werewolf community.
Weakness(es): Silver

Clearly, Werewolves are not as developed as vampires and witches.
     -Can see in infrared (seeing body heat) and have awesome night vision, intense sense of smell, can feel things 10 times normal human intensity and could feel around in a dark room just by feeling the air pressure, can hear extreme high and low pitches better than any human, and can move over 500 muscles voluntarily in extreme speeds.

Changing: Is a painful but pleasurable process. During the change you feel like a fluid; like pure energy that morphs into a physical animal form.

Shifter Clothing: is made up of dead shifters and if you wear it, it will also morph with your Change. If you wear normal clothing, your clothes will rip off when you change, and when you change back, you’ll be naked.
Formal way to greet a powerful and royal shifter:
Taking the person’s hand and putting it onto your forehead.

Which animal you get: You’re born to an animal and have no choice to what you will be.

Shifter head house: The first head house of the shifters were made of Dragons. And the family was known as the Drache Family. Anyone who was direct bloodline from the Drache family had the power to take shape to whatever animal they choose. They have extra senses about all animals.

History: “’It started back in the days humans were still living in caves…The shapeshifters ruled then, and they were brutal. In some places, they were just the totem spirits who demanded human sacrifices, but in others...’ He searched though the parchments, selected one. ‘This is a picture of a breeding pen, with humans in it. They treated humans exactly the way humans treat cattle, breeding them for their hearts and livers. And the more human flesh they ate, the stronger they got.’…They were stronger than anyone…Humans were like flies to them.’ …‘What about vampires?’ ‘There weren’t any yet… the first was Maya-Hearth-Woman, the sister of Hellewise Hearth-Woman…the dragons are naturally immortal, and they were the undisputed rulers of the planet…’ ‘ but all the shapeshifters weren’t like that, were they?’… ‘They were all bad…The dragons were the worst’…’Hecate Witch-Queen organized a fight, and they went after the shapeshifters’…Geological records show that volcanoes all over the world erupted around then. The dragons did that’…’they tried to destroy the world and the other shapeshifters helped.’…’witches managed to win, and they buried all the dragons alive…in the deepest places in the earth.’…And the shapeshifters have always been…the lowest of all the Night People.’…” Night World Book 3, page 642.


-Have telepathic mind control powers, have all of the abilities like a shapeshifter but even more stronger, “A dragon only has to touch an animal and it is able to assume that animal’s form, know all that the animal knows, do all that the animal can do. There is no limit on the number of shapes it can master. Therefore, it is a true shapeshifter and the only one worthy of the name.”

-Have black opaque eyes, roars, dark energy surrounds them, red-black aura, oldest most powerful shifters.

-How to recognize them: by it’s horns. “No matter what form it takes, a dragon maybe always be known by it’s horns… A dragon has from one to three horns on it’s forehead, and in some rare case four…These horns… which are the seat of it’s power are the most cruelly removed by the witches to capture them, to steal from them the power of changing.”
Dark Ninjas: An elite group made up of vampires and shapeshifters, the Night World experts at sneaking an killing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Night World Book 3: Huntress, Black Dawn and Witchlight

Watch my book review on YouTube:
Book Title: Night World Book: 3
Author: L.J. Smith
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Copyright and Publication Date: Huntress & Black Dawn - 1997, and Witchlight - 1998
Recommended Age Group: 12+
Type: Paperback
Pages: 752
Rating: ****/5
Warning: I might go into depth with the book.
Night World's two most important Laws: 
1) Never allow humans to gain knowledge of the Night World's existence and,
2) Never fall in love with a human.
The apocalypse is drawing near. But four Wild Powers can save the world from impending doom. circle Daybreak, an underground secret organization with both Night World and human members, is searching for the four who can stop the darkness.
A vampire hunter - who is half vampire - stalks her own kind to protect humans in Huntress.
Main Characters: Jez, Morgead, Hugh and Claire.
Supporting Characters: Iona, Thisle, Val, Raven, Pierce, Lily, Azarius and Uncle Bracken.

In black Dawn, Maggie stumbles upon an old Night World kingdom where the ruling vampire prince is both an enemy and an ally.
Main Characters: Maggie, Cady (Arcadia), Jeanne, P.J., Hunter Redfern, Delos, Sylvia.
Supporting Characters: Slaves, Gavin and Bern.

And Circle Daybreak hires Keller, a shapeshifting panther, to guard a new Wild Power in Witchlight. But when Keller falls in love with the Wild Power's Soulmate, her love could destroy everything.
Main Characters: Keller, Galen, Iliana, the Dragon, Winnie, Nissa and Jamie.
Supporting Characters: Alex, Brett, Shifter House Heads, Mother Cybele, Circle Daybreak.
My Summaries:  
 Night World Book: 3
Jez is a vampire who hunts humans as a sport.She even runs a gang who helps her out and loves the senses of a chase as much as she does. But when she finds out her other half, she has an epiphany and runs away to live with distant relatives. The end of the world is coming an only the four Wild Powers can save us all and fight against Hunter Redfern and his evil army of Night World creatures. But when word is out about the Wild Powers, Circle Daybreak wants to save them - and Hunter Redfern wants to destroy them. Which side will jez choose? Will her Soulmate kill her for the descissions she makes or will her protect her?
The truth lies in Jez's blood. Quite literally.   
Black Dawn:
In Black Dawn a girl named Maggie gets kidnapped by slave traders and is brought to a Night World kingdom high up into the mountains. She's with other girls named Arcadia (the witch Ambassador), Jeanne (and escaped slave) and P.J. (another human). Maggie finds her Soulmate who is also her enemy. While Maggie finds a way to free the slaves, she has to find her brother too. Will Maggie's Soulmate kill her? and will she ever find her brother? 
Circle Daybreak hires Keller to find the Wild Powers and protect them. Keller is the best of the best, with helpful back-up of a fighting witch Winnie, and a smart and kick-ass vampire Nissa. The three are the best there is. But when Keller falls in love with the Wild Power's Soulmate, the entire operation could fail. They also fall into a race with The Dragon, all hell breaks loose and this "end-of-the-world" thing becomes very real; and close. Will Keller's love make her weak? Can Keller and her team defeat the Dragon? And most of all, will the Wild Power even want to help?
My Thoughts:
  •  I loved this book the most! Witchlight and Huntress could be an enitre book on their own. I really wish that could be true, then the story could be longer and better!
  • Finally we get to the heart of Circle Daybreak and their plans. And we meet the most wicked antagonist - The Dragon. 
Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters - they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in loves breaks all of the laws of the Night World.

Night World Book 2: Dark Angel, the Chosen and Soulmate

Watch my book review on YouTube:
Book Title: Night World Book: 2
Author: L.J. Smith
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Copyright and Publication Date: Dark Angel -- 1996, The Chosen and Soulmate were both in 1997
Recommended Age Group: 12+
Genre: Teen Fiction/ Urban Fantasy
Type: Paperback
Pages: 688
Rating: ****/5

Warning: I might go into depth with the book.
Night World's two most important Laws: 
1) Never allow humans to gain knowledge of the Night World's existence and,
2) Never fall in love with a human.

In Dark Angel, Gillian is saved from drowning by her guardian angel. Only visible to Gillian, Angel will fulfill her heart's every desire. but when Angel starts making strange and sinister requests, Gillian must question who he truly is and where he came from.
Main Characters: Gillian, Angel, Melusine, David
Supporting Characters: Amy, Tanya (and the rest of the "popular kids") and Paula Belizer

Armed with a wooden stake, martial arts, and the will to resist a vampire's mind control, Rashel struggles to avenge her mother's death in The Chosen. Then she meets Quinn, her soulmate, who is part of the world she has vowed to destroy.  
Main Characters: Rashel, Quinn, Hunter Redfern
Supporting Characters: Lancers, Daphne, Kyala, Ivan and Lily.

Hannah receives notes warning her of her incredible danger in Soulmate. But if death is her destiny, is the Lord of the Night World's love strong enough to save her?
Main Characters: Hannah, Thierry, Maya
Supporting Characters: Lupe, Chess, Paul, Circle Daybreak.

My Summaries:

Night World Book: 2
Dark Angel:
This story is about a girl named Gillian who dies by falling into a river. When she dies, she went to a meadow - the "in between place"  between the living and the dead- and she meets Angel. He sends her back to Earth and he came with her, to guide her and become a new person. He helps her finally get the guy of her dreams to notice her and she begins a new life. But when things just keep getting better for Gillian, she backs away from her old life completely. But when Angel starts making strange requests of Gillian, she begins to question who Angel really is, and where he came from. Will Gillian lose her old life completely? Will Gillian be able to save Angel from his past?
Everyone around Gillian is in danger, but most of all, her Soulmate.

The Chosen:
Rashel watched her mother die and had her best friend taken away from her at the age of five; by none other than Hunter Redfern. From then on, she dedicated her entire life to finding Hunter and killing him. She became the best vampire hunter and is known all over the world; and feared by the entire Night World. Rashel finds her Soulmate and let's his escape before he could be tortured. Rashel then gets a lead to where and entire vampire enclave is, but the only way to get inside, to be chosen. Without the help of her fellow vampire hunters, she needs to make new friends to help her. Will the vampire hunters ever forgive Rahel? Will she die trying to take out an entire enclave? Can her and her Soulmate ever fins each other and ever find peace?

Hannah has never lived passed her 17th Birthday in all her lives. Hannah starts getting apocalyptic-like dreams and keeps finding notes that warns her about her future. And it doesn't help that she has this creepy feeling like she's being watched all the time. She goes to a physicist to figure out what's happening to her, and she discovers and adventure of many life times. Hannah finds her Soulmate and he's one of the most powerful creatures that lives in the Night World. As the two try to find each other and discover who they are, they're being hunted by the most powerful vampire of them all; the one who was first cursed. Will Hannah live to see her Birthday? Can the Cycle be broken  for once and for all? when Hannah discovers the truth in her past, will she even want to be with her Soulmate?
The answer to Hannah's past lies in the birthmark across her face.

My Thoughts:
  • These stories, I think, are even better than the ones in the first book because the pace is fast and the stories are more intense, and the plot keeps getting bigger and bigger!
  • In The Chosen I felt like L.J. Smith could have taken that story and make an entire book book out of it; instead of making it just a short story.
  • I also think that Soulmate could have been on it's own as well!
Overall, I really liked this book much more than the first. the second one goes more in depth  with vampirism, weres, shifters, and witches! I just love how the plot keeps getting bigger and bigger and you're finding out more and more with each story! This series is the best for new-readers because it explains so many things in the world of fiction and fantasy!  
Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters - they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in loves breaks all of the laws of the Night World.