Sunday, 7 April 2013

Review: A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest

Title: A Shade of Blood (A Shade of Vampire #2)
Author: Bella Forrest
Release date: April 8th 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 186
Source: Advance review copy from author

When Sofia Claremont was kidnapped to a sunless island, uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet, she believed she’d forever be a captive of its dark ruler, Derek Novak.

Now, after months of surviving an endless night, the morning sun may soon rise again for Sofia. Something has possessed Derek’s heart and he offers her a gift no human slave has ever been given in the history of his cursed island: escape.

High school, prom and a chance to move on with her life now await her.

But will she be able to forget the horrors that steal her sleep away at night? … and the feelings that haunt her for that tormented prince of darkness?

A Shade of Blood is a completely captivating sequel to A Shade of Vampire - I finished it in one go! I've been dying to read this book ever since I read the first one, and I was totally psyched to find this book waiting for me in my email! I started it immediately, and just couldn't stop. It was that intense. This one is a must-read if you've read A Shade of Vampire.

This book is so starkly different from its predecessor. It's darker - a lot darker. The Derek we knew and loved? Well, he's pretty much gone, for the most part at least. In his place is someone completely unrecognizable. Meanwhile, Sofia and Ben have decided to strike up a relationship now that they're free, but memories of the Shade keep coming between them. Can Sofia get past the nightmares that continue to haunt her, and forget Derek once and for all?

Sofia surprised me a lot in this book. I kind of expected her to stay, but she chose to escape with Ben and return to her old life. That doesn't do much for her, though. She can't get Derek out of her head. Honestly, I didn't like how she turns to Ben to make herself forget about Derek. To me, it seemed like she was leading him on, and I don't think he deserves that. I still do admire Sofia's willful character, though. She still stands up for what she believes in, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure justice is served. Sofia begins to question her feelings for Derek, and I liked how we got a deeper insight into her mind in this book.

Derek. Oh, man. I can't even... He's so, so different in this book. After Sofia leaves him, he completely goes over to the dark side. The things he does... I can't even imagine them. Plus, it annoyed me how he's so oblivious to whatever goes on in his own kingdom. We get a much deeper insight into Derek's mind as well, but I can't say I forgive him for everything he does. And I can't believe Sofia does! I guess she really, really loves him. At least when Sofia returns to him, we see glimpses of the old Derek. And I really missed that. But he has a lot to make up for before he'll be the same in my eyes, at least.

I have totally mixed feelings about Ben in this book. I didn't like him much in A Shade of Vampire, but I did feel sorry for him. Now, well I do like him a lot more. Especially the way he is with Sofia and his little sister, Abby. I can't believe he'd be so sweet, so tender, after everything he went through in the Shade. My heart really went out to him after reading about the atrocities Claudia did to him while he was her slave. But I'm also really frustrated with him. I think he's overreacting, because not all vampires are like Claudia. Vivienne is a great example, but that didn't bother him. Ben makes decisions that Sofia's not happy with, and vice versa. But he did what he felt was right, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out for him in the next book.

There are some huge plot twists in this one! Trust me, you'll never see them coming. I was gaping in shock at a few of them! We see returns of old characters, as well as a few new and surprising ones. We also find out more about how important Sofia is to the vampires. But it's still really ambiguous, so I'm looking forward to getting that clear in the next book. One other thing I really loved in A Shade of Blood is the history. We find out a lot about the history of the Shade - how it was created and maintained, as well as the uprising in its past. I loved that, because it gives a backstory that enhances the present plot of the book. It also lets us know more about who Derek used to be. Although his past doesn't paint a pretty picture of him, I appreciated how much he's changed since then - how much Sofia's changed him. Watching him bare his soul to Sofia, seeing him vulnerable, it's... astonishing, to say the least. It also made me feel more confused about him!

The humongous cliffhanger at the end of the book left me reeling and desperate for the third book. I'm totally smitten with this series, and I've got Bella to thank for that! A Shade of Blood is definitely different from what I was expecting, but I loved the surprise. The darker twists in this book make it all the more alluring, and the imagery just makes the scenes more vivid in your head. A good thing in some cases, but not so good in others! I did love this book, though. And I'm dying to read book three, to find out where it all goes.

*Thank you to Bella Forrest for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5


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