Cassie Blake and her circle of witches are back, but not exactly as you might remember them from when we last left off in L.J. Smith’s “The Power,” which was book three in the original Secret Circle series. It had a good ending too. The pure and altruistic Diana had given Cassie and Adam her blessing, thus allowing them to be together without guilt. Not very realistic, but this was how Smith created Diana and I’m pretty sure I am not the only one among her cult-like following of fans that loved Diana for her goodness and divine-like nature. After all, how many times was she compared to the goddess Diana? Jump to the latest installment in Smith’s series, although it was not written by her, and color me confused.
Early in the book a newcomer comes to town and while Cassie instantly feels a connection with her, Diana perfunctorily snubs the girl. Cassie notes that Diana is sometimes like this with outsiders. (Really? I think not.) Meanwhile, Cassie tells Nick she misses him and whether she means it to sound friendly or not, she comes off sounding flirtatious and self-centered. After all, he’s nursing a broken heart while she’s off making out with Adam. Then there’s the Faye and Cassie relationship. I’m pretty sure that in “The Power,” Cassie had overcome all fear of Faye after facing down her centuries-old dark witch of a dad. Faye was small potatoes after that. And yet, in the newest installment we find Cassie still finds it hard to meet her golden gaze. Screeching halt.
As much as I loved the original books, I’m not a huge fan of adding on to a series years after it ended. It would have been much better to set the books in present day, with the coven now in their 30s. I also abhor the fact that L.J. Smith is not the writer on this sequel. But what makes it worse is the new writer didn’t even keep the integrity of the characters intact. I have better things to say about the Vampire Diaries latest installments, with the last one being written by a ghost writer. The writer on that series did a better job of sounding like her, although it’s obvious it wasn’t Smith’s handiwork.
So anyway, Cassie meets a girl and becomes friends with her, but Diana and the rest of the circle don’t want her hanging with outsiders because there are witch hunters after them — which is feeling all too reminiscent of the television adaption of the “Secret Circle.” I could summarize this book more, but I’m just going to tell you that if you’re an L.J. Smith fan, a true fan, then you probably won’t like this. I got through the first couple of chapters and then switched to another book because I found it so generic. I eventually ended up reading the entire book, but the only reason I did it was so other Secret Circle lovers wouldn’t feel compelled to read it too.
Here’s my advice: if you loved the original series, don’t read it. It’s disappointing and sad to think that a beloved young adult author like Smith could actually have the ownership to her books taken away. And that’s all I could think about while I read this drivel. If I didn’t write a book review blog I wouldn’t have given it the time of day. It’s generic, and when it comes to books the brand is always better.