|The Return: Midnight|
|Author||L. J. Smith|
|Publication date||March 15, 2011|
|Published by||HarperTeen & Hodder|
| Preceded by|
The Return: Shadow Souls
| Followed by|
The Hunters: Phantom
Midnight is the third and final book in The Return trilogy and the seventh book in the The Vampire Diaries novel series. It was released March 15, 2011. It is also the final book in The Vampire Diaries written by L.J. Smith because Alloy Entertainment fired her.
The surviving group of Fells Church friends return to find their town in a shambles. Meredith makes a horrifying discovery in her research and Bonnie has an out of body experience which might explain all the mayhem that is going on, meanwhile they have all lost a strong companion in Damon as he has recently become human. Matt faces down Caroline, while, Elena must face the most important question of her life: who does she really belong with? Stefan or Damon? This is a question she must ask herself throughout the next few books.
At one point in the book, it is hinted at that something happens between Elena and Damon, which Damon can't remember but Elena won't tell anyone about. It is thought that they talk and possibly kiss, but nothing more. Some may interpret that they go further than this, but they don't.
With the help of charming and devious Damon, Elena rescued her vampire love, Stefan, from the depths of the Dark Dimension. But neither brother returned unscathed. Stefan is weak from his long imprisonment and needs more blood than Elena alone can give him, while a strange magic has turned Damon into a human. Savage and desperate, Damon will do anything to become a vampire again—even travel back to hell. But what will happen when he accidentally takes Bonnie with him? Stefan and Elena hurry to rescue their innocent friend from the Dark Dimension, leaving Matt and Meredith to save their hometown from the dangerous spirits that have taken hold of Fell's Church. One by one, children are succumbing to demonic designs. But Matt and Meredith soon discover that the source of the evil is darker—and closer—than they ever could have imagined...
The story continues in The Hunters: Phantom.
- The red-haired girl on the cover is Jessalyn D'AubJigne, according to LJ Smith.
- First 10 chapters