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The Chosen by L. J. Smith

The Chosen (1997)

by L. J. Smith

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The fifth installment of L.J. Smith's Night World series, which features a secret world of vampires, witches and shape-shifters, The Chosen follows the story of teen vampire-hunter Rashel Jordan. Traumatized in her childhood by the death of her mother at the hands of a vampire, Rashel had dedicated her life to hunting the undead. But when she faces off against the Night World's ultimate bad-boy, the vampire Quinn, something wholly unexpected occurs. Is it possible that an ice-cold, human-hating vampire, and a lethal vampire-slayer could be soulmates? With the revival of the Night World slave-trade, and the disappearance of young girls from Boston, Rashel knows she has to act. But will she be able to defeat this unusual enemy?

I will confess that the Night World series is something of a guilty pleasure for me. It debuted in the mid 1990s, while I was working in the children's section of a large bookstore, and I picked up the first title (Secret Vampire) largely out of curiosity. I had never read any vampire fiction before, and wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I discovered an engaging collection of stories, compulsively readable, and highly entertaining. There's plenty of teen cliche here, but Smith also creates some wonderful characters, and her girls are always smart and strong. These books are infinitely preferable, in this respect, to the more recent (and much more well-known) Twilight saga, which also features the story of supernatural love. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 26, 2013 |
The Chosen was the only Night World novel that I had vivid memories of reading in my adolescence; I'm fairly certain that it's the first one I found, in K-mart, without a doubt. I remember the cover, with Rashel lifting her wooden sword over her head, well. At twelve, I only read a few in the series. My reading habits were not nearly as methodical in those days; I had no problem with reading books out of order--in fact, I preferred it--or not finishing a series entirely, or even skipping a book if it struck me as subpar. I remember that none of the other books in the Night World sequence captured me the way The Chosen did, so I didn't read much further after that, instead moving on to Smith's now soon-to-be-rereleased Dark Visions books.I had assumed, in those days, that the rest of Night World seemed less well-written and dangerous because I read The Chosen first. Having worked my way through five of these books as an adult, I can say with certainty that The Chosen seems better written because it is.Rashel, a vampire hunter seeking revenge for the death of her mother when she was five, isn't quite as vividly drawn as some of Smith's other heroines. However, the narrative doesn't rest so squarely on Rashel's shoulders as it does on the heroines of other Night World stories, either. This novel traces her exploration of a secret vampire enclave, where teenaged girls have been kidnapped. It's the most action packed of the Night World novels so far, and it's filled with werewolf-battles, wooden-sword-fights and explosions. Smith could have easily let the action sag during the novel's more tender moments, when Rashel discovers her vampire soulmate, Quinn. But instead, their romantic encounters are set during the action, an appropriate choice considering their violent back stories. The lively movement of the plot also lessens what I've come to see as painfully stilted and slightly didactic world building within the Night World universe. Up through The Chosen there is always a requisite scene where the action stops completely in favor of awkward conversations about "the soulmate principle" and "Circle Daybreak." Smith doesn't linger on these fairly simple ideas here, and it's to the credit of the novel. If you want to try just one volume in the Night World series, I'd easily recommend The Chosen. The fast pace helps to smooth over the series' larger flaws. ( )
  PhoebeReading | Nov 24, 2010 |
This has always been my favourite Night World book. The characters are strong and the plot is compelling. It begins the process of the series moving to explore the intricacies of the world it presents, especially its politics. ( )
  medea | Jun 29, 2006 |
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It happened at Rashel's birthday, the day she turned five years old.
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Seeking revenge on the vampires who killed her mother, martial arts master Rashel Jordan rescues Daphne Childs from near death and is swept into the Night World slave trade, where she is evaluated by the irresistable Quinn.

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