Monday, July 15, 2013

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forest (Indie)

A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
Bella Forrest
Pub: December 14, 2012

A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire, #1)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?
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Sofia's life just went to crap, on her seventeenth birthday no less. Crushed to see her best friend and guy that she loves paying attention to someone else, she goes for a long walk on the beach by herself. Never a good idea ladies, and it proves costly for this heroine once she's whipped away by a vampire. She's taken to The Shade, an island populated by vampires and their slaves where a magical spell protects them from the sun 24/7. Turns out Sofia has been selected to be one of five girls in the Prince's new harem. He's freshly awakened and none to happy about it. Neither is Sophia, who's humanity is threatened at every fork in her newly paved road.

Hmm... I'm proud of myself for finishing this, but in all honesty, it lacked for me in several departments. One was the story. It felt like a Twilight knock-off to me - ie. Derek being the vampire that just awoke and wants to feed off Sofia but can't because he's instantly enamored by her. Which, I'm sorry to say, is ludicrous. Vampires need blood. Especially ones that just awoke after hundreds of years. They're not going to stop and think about who it is they're taking it from until they're dried up and dead on the floor. This scene would've been more believable if Derek had drained at least one of the girls before deciding that Sofia was too special to drink from.

Speaking of Derek, I'm a little disappointed in our hero, because for someone who was supposed to be a great leader and fighter, he sure didn't come off that way. In fact, he actually allowed certain individuals to walk all over him. His instincts told him who the vampire was assaulting Sofia, yet he was too boneless to actually call him out on it, and Sofia suffered because of it. I'm sorry, that's just not leading man material for me. Also, Sofia screams Bella Swan - the girl who thinks she's not pretty or special enough to be with anyone, yet countless guys are vying for her affection.

Next would be better editing, but seeing how this is Ms. Forrest's first Indie novel, I was expecting this and all is forgiven on that front. We've all have a lot to learn in this department.

My biggest issue with the first installment of A Shade of Vampire was the lack of emotions throughout the novel. It was written in first person, yet I felt like I didn't know Sofia at all. We're always told what she was feeling, rarely ever seeing it come to life on the pages. When she was stolen and taken to the island, in reality, she's a normal gal who's completely ignorant about the paranormal world of vampires. She should've been totally freaking out about being kidnapped and fearing for her life, because at the very least, she was gonna be Slurpy's flavor-of-the-month. But all we get are thoughts telling us that she was scared. Could have fooled me. I get that she has a condition that allows her to focus and compartmentalize on what's important, but still, everyone feels emotions, including Sofia. And when the vampire holds her down and literally molests her, there's zero emotion coming off her. And unfortunately, this continues on throughout the novel. And since I never felt connected to Sofia, I felt no pity for her situation, nor did I really care about the things that happened to her. Because seriously, if she can't be bothered to care, why should I?

Younger adults and Twilight fans might like this (novel? novella? I'm honestly not sure. It seems too long for a novella and too short for a novel.) Anyone that's read a lot of paranormal romances out there probably won't be that intrigued by its simplicity and predictability, but newbies to the genre will. As for the writing, I vaguely recall the story flowing smoothly despite the repetitive word usage. And considering this is Ms. Forrest's first published novel, it's a good start - she can only get better with each subsequent novel.
Novel provided by author for honest review.

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