With the final Vampire Diaries book that was written by L.J. Smith I had given up on the series. I felt that Smith's writing had been progressively going downhill over the course of her most recent Vampire Diaries books and Midnight had been the last straw. The writing was weak, the characters were overemotional and whiney, and the plot was so all over the place that I felt as if I had entered another dimension. So once I was done I claimed I was finished with the series even though I knew there would be more books coming out that would not be written by L.J. Smith.
My determination not to read the series broke pretty much the moment Phantom came out. I had time to get over my annoyance of the previous book and I had to admit I was curious about how the characters would be handled by new authors.
Well, the book was still a little left field with all the dimension stuff but the majority of it was steadily focusing once more on the main characters and their town. Through it, the characters are fighting to achieve normalcy but I found the book to be very normal. IE: like the start of the series.
It moved along quickly, to the point where I felt (while reading) that it was too fast, but by the books end the pace seemed to have been perfect.
The book is a quick and effortless read that has a steady plot that eventually comes to a neat point and then is resolved. The writer(s) brought back a glimmer of what formerly was The Vampire Diaries and gives me hope for future books. And there will be future books and I might actually continue reading them.