|The Hunters: Phantom|
|Publication date||October 25, 2011|
|Published by||HarperTeen & Hodder|
| Preceded by|
The Return: Midnight
| Followed by|
The Hunters: Moonsong
Phantom is the eighth book in The Vampire Diaries novel series and the first book in The Hunters trilogy. It was released October 25, 2011.
Before buying this book be aware that it was NOT written by L. J. Smith but by an anonymous GHOSTWRITER. A regular on national bestseller lists, having sold well over three million copies, The Vampire Diaries series is a classic of thrilling paranormal romance. The Vampire Diaries series has captured the hearts and imaginations of readers—and the CW network TV show that it inspired has introduced millions more to the chills, thrills, and heart-stopping romance. Phantom begins a new trilogy in this breathtaking saga of love among vampires.
Since meeting the irresistible vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore, Elena Gilbert has been to hell and back. Now that she and her friends have saved their hometown from a demonic spirit, everything can finally go back to normal. But Elena should know better than anyone that Fell’s Church will never be normal. In Phantom, a dangerous new threat sets its sights on Elena. And this time she can only count on one Salvatore brother to protect her.
The story continues in The Hunters: Moonsong.
The group explores the restored Fell’s Church, but they are still sad that Damon has died. Elena is reunited with her family, which has hired Caleb Smallwood to work on their yard. He says that he’s Tyler's cousin and that he’s been staying with Tyler’s parents since Tyler “ran away.”As the friends leave to pick up Alaric and his friend, Dr. Celia Connor, at the train station, a rose that had appeared at Elena's doorstep cuts Bonnie. The blood pouring out of it spells "Celia" on her arm. At the train station, Celia is almost killed when her scarf gets caught in the train door, but Stefan saves her by ripping the scarf. The shreds spell "Meredith." Meanwhile, on the Dark Moon, Damon crawls out of the mountains of liquified ash. Sage finds him, helps Damon remember who he is, and lets him use the Mystical Elevator to return to Fell's Church. Up to this point, Damon has appeared to Elena in dreams. Elena sees him in her room one night, and he tells her that the energy from Inari's Star Ball gave him life. Elena goes to the cemetery to visit her parents and sees Caleb, who has also lost his parents.
Stefan shows up and throws Caleb against a tombstone out of jealousy that he might like Elena. He says that he discovered evidence that Caleb is evil. Later, Bonnie knocks down Mrs. Flowers' knitting, which spells "Bonnie" on the ground. She tries to do a spell to contact Damon, but ends up in a coma after being overcome by darkness. When Elena tells Damon, he investigates by letting the darkness take him. His consciousness ends up on the Dark Moon. Stefan takes Elena to the Smallwoods' shed, and they see that Caleb had collected many photos and newspapers about them. They detail both realities - of the events that actually happened and everyone's fabricated memories. Stefan and Elena conclude that the Guardians just changed these, but Caleb can see some of them for what they really are because he is supernatural. He is descended from werewolves and possesses some witchcraft abilities. Stefan and Elena go shopping, but Elena sees people from high school and becomes jealous that they have normal lives. Darkness overtakes her, and she passes out after Stefan notices a shopkeeper's hair flowing in the shape of the name "Matt." Stefan takes Meredith and Matt to the Smallwoods' house to confront Caleb. Matt faints out after he thinks about Tyler's popularity. Caleb says that he deduced that the group of friends was behind his contradicting memories and gave Elena the rose, hoping to get closer to her so that he could find out where Tyler went.
At the boarding house, Mrs. Flowers says she believes that a phantom that is feeding off of jealousy may be the culprit. They perform a spell to summon the phantom. Meanwhile, Elena meets Bonnie in the land of the flowers that can hold special spells. Matt also arrives, and Elena tells them to look for the way out, which they find. They see Sage in the nexus room and run to the Dark Moon, where Damon is battling a misty blue figure. They all start fighting it, and suddenly they end up in the garage of the boarding house. Damon says that the creature is one of the original phantoms, which is much more powerful than an ordinary phantom. The original phantoms were trapped on the Dark Moon by the guardians, but Elena destroyed their prison, and the phantom of jealousy followed them to Fell's Church. The phantom tells everyone why they should be jealous of others, pitting Stefan and Damon against each other in a brutal fight. As the rest of the group admits their jealousies and casts them away, weakening the phantom, Elena makes the brothers reconcile. Damon throws a candle at the phantom, setting it on fire, and Elena reaches into the creature's core and pulls out the rose inside, destroying the phantom. Damon gives Elena his blood to heal her burns as the fire department arrives to put out the fire. Everyone then looks forward to the future.
- After L.J. Smith wrote Phantom, Alloy Entertainment replaced her with a ghostwriter and told the ghostwriter to rewrite everything. More information is on L.J. Smith's website.
- The book has a number of misspellings and number of anachronisms, though they could be Alloy's versions of things.
- Meredith's last name is changed to Suarez, instead of Sulez–but in Moonsong it's back to Sulez.
- The book says Mrs. Flowers was a little girl in 1948 but that's accurate.
- It also says that Caroline is pregnant with a child - not twins.
- In addition, it doesn't bother to tell us what happened to Caroline or Tyler.
- The stones used in the Salvatore's talismans are changed form lapis lazuil to sapphire.
- Read first 80 pages
- The girl on the cover is a representation of Meredith.
- The girl on the cover is Bojana Desnica, a Serbian model.