Age: Young Adult
Series: A Shade of Vampire #1
Interest: Vampires/Author Request
Source: Bella Forrest
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's 17th birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.
Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.
Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.
Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks? (Summary from Goodreads.com)
I was given a copy of A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest in exchange for an honest review.
A Shade of Vampire was a book I enjoyed for the most part. A secret vampire island with many amenities, powerful magic and a sleeping beauty-esque curse, the book had some pretty awesome elements to it. I liked the idea of tree house penthouses to make it harder for enemies to attack.
The characters were a little too black and white for me. Sofia alternated quickly between being a "pity me teenager" to a victim to a leader and lover. I could understand her need to constantly adapt and evolve as her situation changed, yet I would have liked to see more of the change taking place. There weren't many scenes I could find full of character development. Derek was very obviously meant to be this tortured soul, fretting over his immortal existence. I loved when he was told not to view himself as a victim, because he was too powerful, with too much influence for that. Over all, he came off sweet, but not very tormented. I could see a bit of his struggles, but I did not really car about it. Vivienne and Corrine caught my interest the most. As somewhat removed secondary characters, they still managed to pull off strong female leadership vibes. Yet there were some unbelievable moments involved, like Corrine diagnosing someone with an obscure disorder very quickly. I could tell from start to finish what Lucas was. I knew he needed to be taken out from his first appearance.
A Shade of Vampire's pace was a little all over the place. The beginning started off slow and solid. Yet near the middle, events and affections started to speed up and rush to where they needed to be for the ultimate climax. I felt the story would have benefited from more detailed scenes of Sofia's life in the shade, especially when she goes through huge moments like her sessions with Corrine and learning self-defense. Those were important to me to see.
Many enjoyable elements are included in A Shade of Vampire. The shadow hunters (not to be confused with Cassie Clare's characters) seemed interesting. I wanted to know more about Derek's past as one of them. Vivienne's precognition intrigued me too. I wanted to know more about this great world, especially after the cliffhanger ending.
Overall, A Shade of Vampire was good, but not great. I'd recommend it to someone with a free afternoon that wanted a fast and simple story. The writing as a whole is not super amazing, but Forrest's descriptions can be quite beautiful. Those tired of vampires, don't pick this one up. However, if you're new to the dark side, this might be a good introductory book for you.
Teaser Lines: "I'd never felt so unsure of what the future held than I did then, but there was one thing I knew for certain:
Blood would be shed."