Description (from the back of the book):
Elena Gilbert's love, the vampire Stefan Salvatore, has been captured and imprisoned by demonic spirits who are wreaking havoc in Fell's Church. While her friends Bonnie and Meredith explore the evil that has taken over their town, Elena goes in search of Stefan.
In order to find him, she entrusts her life to Stefan's brother, Damon Salvatore, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. Along with her childhood friend Matt, they set out for the slums of the Dark Dimension, where Stefan is being held captive. It is rumored to be a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live enslaved to their supernatural masters. . . .
Elena will stop at nothing to free Stefan. Yet with each passing day the tension between Elena and Damon grows, and she is faced with a terrible decision: Which brother does she really want?
This review contains spoilers!!
-Stefan is gone, so there's far less super gooey "lovely love" baby talk between Elena and Stefan, there's still some, as Elena visits him in dreams and they attempt to nauseate us with their undying love.
-Damon has a lasting chance at redemption. Damon is better than in the last book, some of the sense of humor is back.
-Elena and Damon build a much stronger bond. It was interesting to see how their relationship would go, well "interesting" is probably too strong a word.
-I liked that Damon got turned into a human at the last second of the last book and Stefan gets super pissed (Damon does so much stuff and this mistake is what Stefan wants to kill him over?). Though the way it happens is stupid (plus, I had forgotten after watching too much of the television show how much Damon does NOT want to be human, glad they changed that in the show, makes it way more interesting).
-The reiterating the SAME things over and over is really grating. "Elena is sweet, and kind, and pure and the most perfect being in existence". "Bonnie is fragile and delicate, emotional and weak". Yep, we got that the first 500 times, we do not need paragraph after paragraph of discussion about it.
-There's an exorbitant amount of time spent talking about clothes and jewelry, and what Elena is wearing, right down to her custom perfumes. This wouldn't be so bad (wait, yes it would be) if the characters hadn't JUST been talking about the urgency to save Stefan. Somehow everything they have to "get" to save him involves ANOTHER set of dresses and another 5 or 6 pages of descriptions of frivolous crap (seriously, there are descriptions of how the lighting at the various events will be, so they can accurately decide what colors to wear...). Even when "rushing" to visit Stefan, they must first waste a bunch of time making custom stuff for Elena (and others) to wear.
-The entire book is about a road trip to save Stefan from prison, and when they get to the actual rescue, it's over in half a page. The mere presence of a set of Elena's "wings" cause the plant-woman chasing them to crash into them and die (couldn't have whipped those babies out 10 pages ago when this creature started her pursuit?).
Bottom line: Better than Nightfall. About the same as the first four.