This week’s review is on A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest, book 1 in the Shade of Vampire series. I’ve been looking for a new series to read for some time now, and I’m really happy I came across this one. Its been sitting in my Kindle library for months now, and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. That’s one of the bad things about eReaders – I’ll see a book on sale super cheap (this one is $.99 on Amazon) so I’ll buy it and then promptly forget about it because it’s not staring me in the face like a physical book. By the time I actually get around to reading some of the books I buy they’ve usually been sitting in my library for months. I’ve probably got about 10 that are still waiting to be acknowledged.
One evening after having an unhappy conversation with her best friend / crush, Ben, Sofia goes for a walk on the beach to decompress and feel sorry for herself. While there, she gets captured by a vampire named Lucas and is taken to reside in a vampire fortress called The Shade as a slave to his yet-to-be-awakened brother, Derek. Once Derek is awakened, he is drawn to Sofia because of her compassionate nature toward the other girls who have been taken captive. He chooses her to be his personal slave but treats her more like a princess than anything, protecting her from those in The Shade who would wish to harm her. After her first attempt at escape nearly results in her death, Sofia chooses to bide her time and hopefully come up with a newer more foolproof escape plan later on. After awhile, and although Sofia still harbors feelings for her old life, she slowly finds herself falling for Derek and begins to feel as though she would be unhappy without him should she be allowed to go free. When certain bizarre and unforeseen circumstances lead to her chance at freedom, she must make a decision that will change the course of her life, and the lives of those around her, permanently.
What I liked:
1. It was short. Normally that bothers me – the last time I read a super short series-opener was Morgan Rice’s Turned (see my review here) and I wanted to throw it (and the Nook it was on) out the window when I finished. This one managed to pack a lot into a short space, leaving me wanting to scoop up the second book as soon as I finished. This leads me to the second thing I liked…
2. Not a lot of filler. This goes hand in hand with its length. Because it was short, a lot of unnecessary talk and explanation was left out. A lot of times that kind of thing ends up seeming like padding, so even though this one was short, the lack of fluff made it good.
3. Sofia wasn’t a weakling. She fell in love with a vampire, but she didn’t become a completely different person (relatively speaking) in doing so. She made some pretty drastic changes to her life, but they were all because she wanted to and because she wanted to make the best of a crappy situation, not because she was talked into it by a good-looking vampire.
What I didn’t like:
1. Sofia’s LLI (Low Latent Inhibition) disease/disorder/whatever. I still don’t really see the point, other than it keeps her calm and focused. It seems more like a way to make her “special” and explain away her lack of freaking out than anything else. Hopefully it’ll get developed a bit more in the rest of the books.
2. The characters were pretty 2-Dimensional. They would say that they were sad/happy/angry/etc., but it didn’t really come through in the things they said and did. Maybe if the book had been a bit longer the characters could’ve been developed better, but as it was, they were pretty blah.
3. Talk and thoughts of escape were out the window pretty quickly. True, the likelihood of escaping from a treetop vampire fortress under a spell of darkness is pretty slim, but after Sofia’s first attempt at escaping, the reader no longer had any insight into plans to escape. Sofia said that she and the girls sometimes talked about it, but for the most part they seemed to write it off as impossible and focus on how to have fun in The Shade.
I’m usually pretty picky about vampire series. It’s really hard for authors to make them not cheesy, and while this one teeters on the edge of cheesy, it’s still pretty good. I’ve got a couple of other books lined up to read, so I’ll probably get to the rest of the series within the next month or two. Until then, this one is definitely worth checking out. It’s short, so even if you hate it, you won’t have wasted a huge amount of time on it.