Saturday, 25 June 2011

Dark Visions by L. J. Smith

I really like, and have done for quite a while, Smith’s style of writing – with just a few magical, spellbinding words she is able to create entirely new worlds; most remarkable of all is that they are believable and it is a complete outrage that she has been firedDark Visions is a trilogy consisting of The Strange Power, The Possessed and The Passion (I do love book titles with random-artistic-names-that-have-barely-anything-to- do-with-the-story), which were written in 1994/5 and recently republished so that all the books were binded up – a great idea, but it was ridiculously tiring reading them back-to-back, resulting in me losing interest in the entire story about halfway through, so unless you're utterly engrossed, I would perhaps recommend you read a different book in-between so you don't get bored, should you choose to read Dark Visions.

There was an amazing amount of twists and turns, most of which took me completely by surprise, but there were so many that I began to feel like Smith was trying far too hard to give the story life. The Strange Power starts off interestingly enough, drawing you into the premise; Kaitlyn, the central character and sort-of narrator, is your average unpopular teenager, except she draws the future. Miraculously, the Zetes institute has heard of her and offers to help her with her psychic abilities, along with other teens like her. She fits in there perfectly, (and of course the two good looking boys there soon lust after her) until they find themselves in a dangerous psychic link and discover all is not as it seems…, but the other two stories dragged quite a lot for me.

I didn’t mind Kaitlyn too much at first, but her narration soon got on my nerves, and although we hear her pretty-much-every thought and feeling, she didn’t appear to develop much of a character, whereas Gabriel’s point of view proved a very refreshing change and enabled the reader to learn more about his motives and character; though I also found that bad boy Gabriel was remarkably similar to bad boy Damon from The Vampire Diaries (which was written before this trilogy) whilst other characters like Anna and Lewis were not explored at all, and appeared to only be there to move the story along and so there was not just Rob, Kaitlyn and Gabriel at the institute.

        However, it was incredibly imaginative and very well-written throughout, with both the mystery and the romance elements well-played and I think many people would enjoy it, especially fans of Smith and similar authors.
[SYNOPSIS: Kaitlyn Fairchild has always felt like an outsider in her small hometown. Her haunting eyes and prophetic drawings have earned her a reputation as a witch. But Kait's not a witch: She's a psychic. Tired of being shunned, Kait accepts an invitation to attend the Zetes Institute, where she can have a fresh start and study with other psychic teens.
Learning to hone her abilities with four other gifted students, Kait discovers the intensity of her power -- and the joy of having true friends. But those friendships quickly become complicated when Kait finds herself torn between two irresistible guys. Rob is kind and athletic, and heals people with his good energy. Gabriel is aggressive and mysterious, a telepath concealing his true nature as a psychic vampire, feeding off of others' life energy. Together, Rob and Gabriel's opposing forces threaten the group's stability.
Then one of the experiments traps the five teens in a psychic link. A link that threatens their sanity and their lives. And Kaitlyn must decide whom to trust...and whom to love.


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