Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Review: A Shade of Vampire by 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?

A Shade of Vampire reminded me of how much I love vampire stories. I haven’t read one in what seems like ages, and I realized how much I missed it when I read this book. A Shade of Vampire is a short and fun read, and I found myself desperate for the sequel right after I finished it!

This book is reminiscent of Black Dawn (Night World #8) by L.J. Smith. That was one of my favourite Night World books, so of course I loved A Shade of Vampire, too. This book had everything I love in a vampire novel – action, suspense, romance, and even humour. Bella Forrest’s writing is amazing, and this doesn’t seem like a debut novel at all!

One thing I really like about A Shade of Vampire is the dual POV. It gave me an insight into both Sofia and Derek’s characters, and I was able to sympathize with both of them. It also made me like them a lot more when I knew the reasons for their actions, and how they felt about each other. I liked that their relationship developed over a period of time instead of just – BANG. They like each other.

Sofia Claremont is the protagonist in this novel, and she’s extremely likeable. I found myself warming to her immediately. She’s kind and compassionate, as well as headstrong. She’s also bold – very bold. It’s quite admirable! I honestly didn’t find any flaws in her character, and I think she could easily be one of my favourite YA protagonists.

Derek is a little… different. He’s a vampire king, though he doesn’t want to be. I liked the fact that he actually cared about humans unlike the rest of his family. He really doesn’t want to hurt them. Instead, he shows empathy towards them. Basically, he’s a good vampire. He has his flaws, but I think he will overcome them in the coming sequels. I liked how protective he was over Sofia, and how much he cared for her. I’ve decided to post a few Derek-Sofia quotes I really liked. The first three are from Derek’s POV, and the last one is from Sofia’s.
I could only guess what was going through her mind, because at some point, she squeezed my hand like she did to that other girl back in the Sanctuary. She couldn’t have known how much that meant the world to me.
She was beautiful to behold – not just because her physical appearance drew me in above and beyond that of the other girls. No. In my eyes, she was most beautiful because at a time when she had every right to be terrified, she managed to show comfort to another person who needed it.
No matter what alpha male act I could pull off in trying to intimidate her, I knew the truth. She was no longer mine. In fact, it was the exact opposite. At some point during all those times I’d spent with her, I’d become hers.
Whether I liked it or not, home had become wherever Derek Novak was.
One more thing about Derek – He’s been asleep for the past five hundred years, so he’s missed out on a LOT of inventions. I found his reactions to technology and other electrical devices absolutely hilarious! The first one is from Derek’s POV and the second one is from Sofia’s.
She was making her breakfast – two pieces of bread that she stuck in a contraption she called a toaster. She retrieved a bottle of strawberry jam and a slab of butter from the “two-door refrigerator,” which was apparently a cooling closet for food.
I reached for the remote control and switched on the flat screen TV. I couldn’t help but smile at the fascination that sparked in his eyes.
“What on bloody earth is that?” he asked.
Another character I really liked was Vivienne, Derek’s sister. She’s the only one apart from Sofia who really cares about Derek, and vice versa. I feel happy that Derek has at least one family member he loves. Vivienne has a special gift – she’s psychic. She can see the future, and I think this will be a big part of the sequel.

There is a huge twist towards the end of the novel, one that I never saw coming. Those are the best kind, the ones you don’t expect at all! The whole novel had suspense embedded throughout, but at the same time it was a light read. One thing I didn’t like was the fact that it was so short! It’s more a novella than a novel. I really hope book 2 will be longer, because I feel like I haven’t had enough of Sofia and Derek. I want more!

Overall, A Shade of Vampire is an exciting debut, and if you’re a fan of L.J. Smith’s novels or, in fact, any vampire novels, you’ll love this one. This is the kind of book you can re-read over and over again and not get bored. The plot is intriguing, the characters are great, and the ending will leave you left begging for more!

*Thank you to Bella Forrest for providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 5/5

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