Something weird has befallen the Virginia town of Fells Church in L.J. Smith's fifth volume in herÂ Vampire Diaries series,Â The Return Vol. 1: Nightfall. At the end of the last book, Elena Gilbert was back from the dead, though she still had a certain unearthly, almost angelic quality about her. That's not the weirdest thing that's going on in this small Southern town, though.
In the televised version, the gang is still wrestling with Klaus. By the fifth volume of the book, Klaus has been defeated, and a new pair of villains emerges. They're the twins Shinichi and Misao, and they'reÂ kitsune, the shapeshifting fox demons of Chinese and Japanese mythology. I first encountered such a character inÂ The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Russian novelist Victor Pelevin, and subsequently read about in "The Fifth Beauty" by Ellison James. Kitsune are rare in Western mythology, though, and their evil tricks in this book are refreshingly original and twisted.Â
"Human desire. Vampires didn't feel that. It was all sublimated into the need for the blood, always the blood...
"But he was feeling it.
"He knew why, too. Elena's aura. Elena's blood...He realized that it was a very long time since he'd felt this, and that therefore he must be quite wrong. But he didn't think so. He thought that Elena's aura would make the most fossilized of vampires stand up and blossom into virile young men once again."Â
A Caroline possessed (in more ways than one), exotic werecreatures with nasty tricks up their sleeves and Damon on his best/worst behavior makes for a fascinating addition to the Vampire Diaries canon.