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Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review: A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

cover art, young adult, vampire, romance
A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
*** #1 Christmas Bestseller in Vampire Romance, Paranormal & Fantasy. Over 300 Five Star Reviews (Amazon USA & UK). ***

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?

A Shade of Vampire is not what readers have come to expect from a YA vampire romance. It does not begin with a lovelorn vampire hero who saves the reluctant heroine from certain doom. In fact, it is quite the opposite. This novel doesn't waste time with lengthy beginnings, instead it begins with the heroine, Sofia, being abducted and chained to a wall like an animal to be used as a slave. Now there's an intriguing way to being a YA novel.

A Shade of Vampire switches between the points of view of Sofia and Derek, giving readers a chance to truly get to know the two main characters and to see this particular world of vampires through two totally different points of view. Though A Shade of Vampireis a YA novel, it does contain some dark themes and violence among the vampires towards each other and their human slaves.The basic idea of the story is a good one and the fact that author Bella Forrest created a brutal world of vampires who enslave humans with little or no mercy was intriguing, however the execution of the overall book was a bit of a let down.

Sofia is either pitying herself or confused about something. At times I wanted to shout "Get over it and grow up, this is not the time or place to be such an emotional teenager!" She had the potential to be a great YA heroine, one that would stand apart from all the "Woe is me, I'm an outsider but at least I'm pretty" characters that seem to be a constant thing in today's Young Adult novels. She has her moments where she appears to grow up and become a survivor instead of just the lucky girl who was pretty enough to catch the prince's attention. While physically she was no match for her vampire captors, she could have found a way to become their intellectual equal. I would have liked a more feisty female character who was tough and intelligent, as well as beautiful. Sofia wasn't flat out annoying to me but she wasn't a stellar heroine either. She does have potential though, if readers can stop being reminded how beautiful she is every few paragraphs or so.

Derek was the more interesting of the two. He has just awakened from a four hundred year nap that he apparently went into willingly. He resents what he is even as he drinks human blood to survive. Used to getting his way, Derek doesn't always know how to handle Sofia who doesn't appreciate being spoken at rather than to. He has a lot of growing to do in order to become a true leader to his clan, but more importantly, he needs to regain some of the humanity he lost when he was turned. With Derek, I would like to have had more insight into what made him act like he did, instead of his every thought some how coming back to Sofia. When Derek isn't thinking about, or talking to Sofia, he's an interesting and brutal character that could become yet another stand out character in the YA world.

A Shade of Vampire doesn't quite reach its potential but at least it has more than other vampire romances found in the Young Adult section. It is the first book in the series, so there's room for improvement and further character development. I truly hope Bella Forrest's second book in the series pushes past the boundaries constricting A Shade of Vampire and becomes the book it can be.

3 1/2 Sheep

About the Author:
I guess my life as a writer started when I was five; I'd sit under the kitchen table with my box of multi-colored wax crayons (I miss those) and create picture books. Creative writing was always my favorite subject and I used any free time I had to sit down with a notepad.

Not much has changed, except that now I have developed vampirish habits: my writing "day" typically starts at 1am.

I'm an avid reader, a big fan of cookie ice cream and I'm often travelling. When working I have to disconnect the internet for fear of being endlessly distracted by websites such

Oh, and unlike the beautiful girl on my cover, I'm camera-shy...

New series coming out May 2013!


  1. LOL yeah I'll say that's quite the start to the book. It does sound like an interesting series. I've seen it around and thought about picking up the book. Will be interesting to see if she can grow the series and characters.

    Great review Adria!

  2. I picked this up a short while ago and am glad to know a bit of what to expect. I must admit I am a reader who tends to want to slap characters up-side the head as well. So I will be reading this one, but probably not in the immediate future :) Loved the review.