Monday, March 11, 2013

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
My rating: 3.5 of 5 genies
Published: December 14, 2012
Source: Review Copy
Format: eBook
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Goodreads Summary

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth 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?

Excerpt from A Shade of Vampire

I’d been meandering along the shore for about an hourwhen I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me frombehind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showedup beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on hislips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?”
I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times myfather had told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over, taking in hisappearance. My eyes widened. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a manhe was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how hisblue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. Itwas such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and dark hair.Standing beside me, he was easily more than half a foot taller. His height,broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence thatwas far more imposing than my best friend’s.
My gaze settled on his face.
I realized that he was inspecting me just as closelyas I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. Igave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notionsof heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a longtime ago.
I straightened to my full height and mustered all thecourage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger.
Big mistake.
The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even amoment.
“Like what you see?”
“A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?” I scoffed,annoyed by his audacity.
He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his headtoward mine.
“Don’t I have the right to be?”
He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like hedidn’t.
“Whatever,” was my oh-so-brilliant comeback.
My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back,unsettled by how close he was now. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, notquite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing.
I would soon realize that I was about to play his gamewhether I liked it or not.
He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. Thismotion alone made every single internal alarm I had within me go off in afrenzy.
This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggleaway from his touch, but I was no match for his strength.
“Tell me your name,” he commanded.
I was about to refuse, but was horrified to findmyself blurting out my name in response.
“Sofia Claremont.”
As soon as I revealed my name, his eyes lit up with akind of sinister approval. Then he reached for my face and traced his thumbover my jaw line.
“Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl fortaking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil apretty little thing like you could happen to come by.”
I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil hewas. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. Mysenses took in everything at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand, smelledthe ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry and saw the stranger’s manicappearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I wasbarely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything tosensing absolutely nothing.
My last consciousthought was that I may never see Ben again.

My Thoughts

I was approached by the author to write a review for this book at a time when Goodreads seemed to be blowing up with A Shade of Vampire updates. Every status from my friends reading it seemed to be positive, and almost every reader was enthused with the YA Paranormal novel. Needless to say, I may have squealed like a little girl when Bella Forrest asked me to read it.

This is a great, sweet story. I don't know exactly what I was expecting going in, maybe a short read and some romance, but this book certainly does pack a punch. A fascinating New Adult Paranormal novel, I really enjoyed getting into the story and its mechanics, primarily the Shade. The beginning did not immediately rapture my audience, but the latter half completely drew me in! I grew to adore Sofia and Derek, they are a cute couple, and I like that she makes me love him more.

At first Derek came off as a sulking, brooding prince, afraid to take up his responsibility, and I thought that if I had to hear him complain again about his being awake, and not in his prior four hundred year old slumber, I would put the sleeping spell on him myself. Then he meets Sofia, recently abducted and forced into life as the Prince's slave at the Shade. She changes everything for him, provides Derek with reason to stay awake, and really just makes him a better person. Not going to lie, I'm still not swooning hard for him, but I do like his character and think that there is much left in store for Derek.

Sofia is an empathetic heroine, sensitive and easy to read about. She has a deeper connection to her senses, something that doesn't really make sense at the beginning. I kind of asked myself why it mattered that she was so in-tune with the senses, but the author's reasoning behind this particular character trait clicks halfway through the book. I will not spoil the surprise, but let's just say that it makes sense and does work out.

The main conflict in the book is between the Hunters and Vampires, Hunters hunt Vampires and Derek is supposed to save his race from extinction, a weighty role when you consider that Derek himself was once a Hunter! I liked the inner turmoil, and how every character had some drive. There are dark themes in this book, slavery and mentions of torture and bondage; kids 16 and under shouldn't read this without some consent from an adult. The overall mood is dark and haunting, the story switches from both Derek and Sofia's perspective, affording readers a more personal encounter with the characters. I couldn't help but feel that amidst the dark lushness of the Shade, Derek and Sofia's affection for each other shone beautiful and warm.

I liked this book and recommend the read to fans of the Paranormal and Romance genre. As I mentioned, the story isn't massive in length and I felt that it didn't immediately take off, and at times it felt like not much was happening since the characters stayed primarily in the same place. In the end though, that is a minor concern and my experience with A Shade of Vampire is positive; I have my hands itching for the sequel!

A great d├ębut, 3.5/5 genies!


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Going by FTC guidelines, allow me to point out that all the novels reviewed on this blog were either bought by me, or given by an author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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