REVIEW: “The Craving,” Williamson & Plec
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Title: The Craving (Stefan’s Diaries #3)
Author: Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec
Published: May, 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 234
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Blood brothers . . .

After his brother, Damon Salvatore, betrays him in New Orleans, Stefan starts over in Manhattan. Vowing never to harm another human, he roams the streets, trying to disappear into the city’s chaos. But just when he thinks he’s left his past behind, Stefan discovers that he can never escape his brother. Damon has grand plans for the vampire Salvatore brothers—whether Stefan likes it or not. Together, they take New York by storm. When their exploits end up on the society pages, an old enemy resurfaces—one hell-bent on revenge.

Final Thoughts:
Compared to the first two books, it’s a little lacking in the plot department. Stefan and Damon are at each other’s throats, literally. There is more of the same you’ve come to expect from those two. Fans of the TV series will enjoy this. As Lexi remarks of Stefan, “I can tell you’re going to be quite the brooder.”

The publishers have been very cagey as to who wrote these books, there are no authors listed on the inside. It’s most likely a ghost writer as all the cover says is that they are based on the novels by L.J. Smith and the TV series. And unlike the original series, Stefan’s Diaries actually follows the new universe created by the TV series. Here Stefan grew up in Mystic Falls during the 1800’s with his father before Katherine came along and changed his life. If you’ve watched the show, you could liken these books to the flashback episodes seen throughout the first season. Although I haven’t reviewed the first two books on my blog, I do recommend them if you’re a fan of the TV show as it helps expand Stefan’s character and lets you see Katherine in a different light before she went…how she went.

I didn’t find this particular instalment as interesting though as the previous two. Stefan’s still relatively new to the vampire life, having gotten over his initial killing spree (which I enjoyed) in Bloodlust. Now he’s hiding out in the depths of nineteenth century, Central Park, caught up in his own remorse while snacking on the occasional furry animal. Determined never to drink from a human again, his resolve gets tempted when an almost dead body lands in front of him. Returning her to her family, Stefan gets caught up their world of high society. When his older brother, Damon, comes lurking, posing as an Italian Count, Stefan finds himself a pawn in Damon’s cruel games.

I was kind of let down, nothing particularly new happened to the characters, but maybe that’s due to my knowledge of the show. Damon’s particularly evil, enjoying every minute of his brother’s torture. It’s not for no reason, he’s still holding a grudge for being forced into vampirism against his will and partly for Stefan’s hand in Katherine’s death. I think the writers here, managed to capture the characters’ essence perfectly. Damon is still as snarky, and not concerned at killing a few people here and there. And if you’re an Elena-hater, you should be right at home with this, just the Salvatore brothers to keep you company. There is action, but nothing really picks up until toward the end. What took away from it though, was the fact that being set in the past, we already know who will live. It was fun though, with lots of chasing through the streets of New York.

I think I would have enjoyed this one more than I did, had the side characters been more likeable. These ones felt dry and annoying, only Margaret holding any sort of interest. The previous two novels at least had romance with the likes of Katherine and other strong willed characters. Also something I noted was the excess descriptiveness over things that had little relevance. It seemed a whole page could be taken up describing every piece of tapestry in a room, when I’d rather it just hurry to the plot. I did enjoy all of the references to TV characters such as Lexi and Pearl though. It even adheres to the title, with various diary entries by Stefan spaced throughout. There were also hints being thrown about through this one, that if you’re familiar with the TV series, you will pick up on. For what this series is, a TV tie-in, it works well enough.

Recommended to:
Those already addicted to the CW series, who want to get a look into Stefan and Damon’s past.