Another awesome book review from Shira (@shirarose1). Stefan’s Diaries: Vol. 3 The Craving. And as always I will caution those who have not read the book yet and also that the book may lead to possible spoilers within the TV series….SPOILER ALERT.
So… we made it…. to the end of the Stefan’s Diaries trilogy…or not. Funny thing happened on the way to what was supposed to be the end of Stefan’s Diaries – rumors turned out to be true and another book in the series has been announced: The Ripper. (Available for pre-order on Amazon, due out November 8, 2011). For anyone who read The Craving, this development makes total sense. The Craving reads like the beginning of a story, not the end, and that’s probably because it is – the beginning of Vampire Stefan’s new life. In Origins, we met human Stefan and Damon and saw two boys coming of age, falling in love and ultimately experiencing their first betrayal. In Bloodlust, we saw Stefan running rampant as a newbie vampire like a kid in a (very bloody) candy store until he ultimately realized (with Lexi’s help) that he had to fight his vampire impulses and embrace what was left of his humanity. Simultaneously, his vengeful, betrayed brother Damon was learning to embrace his vampire nature and bury his humanity. And now, in the Craving, we see Stefan and Damon as we first saw them in Season 1 of TVD: a brooding loner on the outside of humanity trying to fit in without harming humans and his impulsive, charming, older brother who treats humans like used tissues and is bent on revenge against the little brother who turned him and sent his lover to her death.
The Craving felt like current Stefan and Damon’s first of many dances that go something like this: Stefan moves to a new city to start over where no one knows who or what he is; he starts to make friends just in time for Damon to show up and wreak havoc; people die; Damon smirks; guilt ridden Stefan broods; an outside danger threatens one or both of the brothers; and they work together to save each other despite their stated hatred for each other. Sound familiar? The Craving was TVD Season 1 de ja vu. And, just like in Season 1, despite Damon’s purported hatred for Stefan and despite the havoc and pain Damon brings into Stefan’s life, neither brother Is capable of (or really wants to) kill the other one. Because ultimately, as we have seen over and over again, the Vampire Diaries (and in turn Stefan’s Diaries) is all about family.
One of the first things Stefan does in The Craving upon showing up in New York is to become part of the Sutherland family. Despite Damon’s unknown compelling of that family to accept Stefan, Stefan could have found a way to leave them – but he didn’t. His need to be part of a family dynamic again was stronger than any fears associated with getting to close to humans. Even once he discovered Damon’s machinations and schemes connected to the Sutherlands, he still could not bear to leave them…or Damon. He was never so clear about his greatest weakness (and his greatest strength) than when he admitted to himself that no matter the death and danger that goes along with allowing Damon to live, he would never be able to kill him because he was his only remaining family. But, Stefan’s not the only one that can’t rid himself of his brother.
Despite his repeated desire for vengeance against the brother he supposedly hates, it becomes obvious that Damon can no more kill Stefan than Stefan can kill Damon. In fact, at the first sign of danger (surprisingly, by one of Klaus’ minions as supposed revenge for killing Katherine), Damon works to save the life of his brother (with Lexi’s help – welcome back lady!). Because, while only Stefan will expressly admit it, Damon’s biggest craving is also to protect what he loves – and at the top of that list is his baby brother.
For those who read my first two reviews (of Origins and Bloodlust), you know that my belief is that the central love story in the Vampire Diaries is the one between Stefan and Damon. The journey these two embark on together (and apart) are all in service of one purpose…finding a way back to being brothers. When it comes down to it, if either brother must choose between each other and anyone else (human or supernatural), they always pick each other. In The Craving, Stefan chose Damon over the Sutherlands. And, as we saw in the end of Season 2 of TVD when Stefan chose to give up his life with Elena for a cure for Damon…they always will. At the heart of it, The Craving is not about craving human blood (although obviously Stefan fights that craving every day). Rather it’s about craving family, relationships and someone who knows you and loves you anyway…no matter what.
Some interesting notes about the Craving:
*We meet another witch (Margaret Sutherland), but unlike Bonnie and the Martins, she doesn’t seem to come from a family of witches; she is the only Sutherland Damon is unable to compel, and, like witches throughout time, gets entangled with the vampires and ultimately helps save their lives. Will we someday meet a Sutherland witch descendant?
*Klaus’ minion tries to entomb Stefan forever, supposedly because the Salvatores were responsible for Katherine’s “death”. This raised three interesting points: First, it is inconsistent with the t.v. series in that Stefan and Damon in Season 2 were surprised when Rose first mentioned Klaus and Damon called him an urban legend – having run from his minions once before, you would think they would have immediately recognized the danger Klaus presented.
*Second, the minion’s reason for coming after the Salvatores seems to imply that Katherine meant more to Klaus than simply her usefulness in breaking his curse (since once she turned into a vampire, she was useless as a doppelganger). If the minion was telling the truth, it appears Klaus may have sought revenge for Katherine’s death, which would mean…Klaus may actually felt something for her that would justify taking vengeance on her behalf. It also implies Klaus kept tabs on her and knew she was in Mystic Falls, but didn’t kill her… perhaps the apparently asexual Klaus actually does have a thing for the impossible Ms. Petrova/Pierce. (After all, at the end of Season 2 of TVD, he let her go rather than kill her…that woman has more men wrapped around her finger than killer shoes…)
*Third, despite his supposed desire for vengeance on the Salvatores, Klaus chose not to have them killed; rather, he had Stefan entombed. . .perhaps whatever plan he has for Stefan that he is now putting into play on the t.v. series was intended back then, so that killing Stefan was not an option (perhaps the plan also required Klaus to break the curse first, or he could have set it in motion back in 1864…)
*Finally, Lexi’s back! Lexi’s back! Lexi’s back! Anything to talk about my favorite all-time vampire diaries character! (Hopefully, her presence in The Craving means more Lexi flashbacks in the t.v. series!)