Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: Dark Visions by L.J. Smith

Dark Visions is made up of the three books in the Dark Visions series: The Strange Power, The Possessed, and The Passion

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Kaitlyn Fairchild has always felt like an outsider in her small hometown. Her haunting eyes and prophetic drawings have earned her a reputation as a witch. But Kait's not a witch: She's a psychic. Tired of being shunned, Kait accepts an invitation to attend the Zetes Institute, where she can have a fresh start and study with other psychic teens.

Learning to hone her abilities with four other gifted students, Kait discovers the intensity of her power -- and the joy of having true friends. But those friendships quickly become complicated when Kait finds herself torn between two irresistible guys. Rob is kind and athletic, and heals people with his good energy. Gabriel is aggressive and mysterious, a telepath concealing his true nature as a psychic vampire, feeding off of others' life energy. Together, Rob and Gabriel's opposing forces threaten the group's stability.

Then one of the experiments traps the five teens in a psychic link. A link that threatens their sanity and their lives. And Kaitlyn must decide whom to trust...and whom to love.

Below is the synopsis for each separate book from L.J. Smith's

Dark Visions, Volume I: The Strange Power

Kaitlyn is an artist, but not an ordinary one. She draws pictures of things that are going to happen in the future. Everything she draws come true—but sometimes she can’t figure out what she’s drawn until it’s too late. Kait is only too happy when Dr. Xetes, a scientist who is studying psychic abilities, invites her to come to California and join his school of similarly talented individuals. There Kaitlyn meets golden boy Rob, a healer, and the dark lone wolf Gabriel who apparently wants nothing to do with her. But with so much supernatural energy going around, it’s hardly surprising that the psychics develop a telepathic link that can’t be broken.

Dark Visions, Volume II: The Possessed
Kaitlyn and her buddies are on the run. Having learned the dark secrets of the psychic institute they head north, looking for shelter, not daring to even contact their parents or old friends. They’re on their own in a race for time, when Kaitlyn discovers Gabriel’s dark secret: he’s a psychic vampire. He needs to drain other peoples’ life-force to live, and he hasn’t been doing it. What to do? Kait volunteers—and finds the experience not entirely unenjoyable.

Dark Visions, Volume III: The Passion, Pocket Books
Back at the lab, captured like animals, Kaitlyn and her friends must face the true meaning of what the link means, and what their lineage is. They also have the fight of their lives on their hands, as Dr. Xetes does his best to do them in. But the real question for Kaitlyn is: Rob or Gabriel? Sunlight or darkness? Kait has to search her heart for the answer.


I had a hard time getting into Dark Visions. The storyline could have been interesting, but the characters did not deliver it for me. Kaitlyn's relationship with Rob and Gabriel felt platonic and forced. I did not feel the spark between them at all. I also thought that the ending was way too perfect. Everyone ending up with their perfect other half was a bit too cheesy for me.

To me, many parts were rushed. The characters would be doing one thing and do a complete 180 and start doing something completely different. Other parts, like the relationships between the characters seemed forced. I loved the idea of the characters having a psychic link between them where they could mentally speak to each other. A great relationship could have really developed between the characters, even an intimate one, but it felt to me like their relationships were forced.

One thing about this series that really bugged me was how the author constantly switched from referring to Kaitlyn as "Kaitlyn" in one paragraph and "Kait" in the next. I felt like it should have been one or the other, not both. I finally got used to the name switching in The Passion, but there were times when I just had to stop reading because it just did not flow for me.

At some parts, especially in the first book, The Strange Power, I was screaming at Kaitlyn in my head. I could not believe some of the things she did. If she just kept her mouth shut at times, then certain situations could have been avoided completely. She definitely was not the brightest character because she did some stupid things that were completely avoidable.

I know many people love this book, but I just could not get into it. I have read and enjoyed L.J. Smith's Nightworld series, so I think it was the story that I did not like, not the writing. Anyways, I would suggest you give it a try if you want and form your own opinion about it.

Rating: 2/5

Swords are for fighting,


  1. HeHe, I quite enjoyed this series, but have to admit that you make a lot of valid points ... especially about the lack of spark, between Kait and Rob in particular, there was just nothing there ... at least with Gabriel there was some angsty "no I can't be with you cos I'm so bad!!" ... also, the ending was cheesy, especially when Rob and the other girl got together, that was kind of out of nowhere, LOL ... but I liked that Gabriel and Kait finally worked it out :) .. but I am also just a sucker for happy endings :D

    I have to be honest, though, I MUCH prefer Dark Visions to The Darkest Powers (Kelly Armstrong) ... the story-lines are very similar, but after reading these books, I couldn't HANDLE what I consider a much more boring version of pretty much the same plot, lol.

  2. I actually like The Darkest Powers better than Dark Visions. I never thought of similarities between the two series, though. Now that I think about it, they are very similar.

  3. Excellent review. Your points are very good and well taken as well. I've not read this series (but gosh do I love series books!). It is also encouraging as I try to get the strength to start my own novel, considering that one thing I do WELL is write characters and relationships. The author has to feel it in order for the reader to feel it.

  4. What a shame - the premise of the book sounds so interesting. I just noticed you reviewed Fallen too, which I just started this week. I'll have to check that one out too. :)