- Title: A Shade of Vampire
- Author: Bella Forrest
- Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Romance
- Pages: 297
- Format: Paperback
- Other: Amazon, GoodReads
- Grade: F (1/5)
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 The Shade, an enchanted 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 selected out of hundreds of girls to take up residence in the tree-top 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?
You know how sometimes you just want to read a guilty pleasure? Well, I sometimes enjoy a good paranormal romance. Because of this, I picked up A Shade of Vampire, thinking it would satisfy my craving, but I was seriously mistaken.
In case you want to know how this review is going to go, I’ll sum it up for you: I kept reading this book because it was so bad that it was almost comical.
The biggest flaw? The main character is essentially a Mary Sue. Sofia is beautiful and boring, and apparently, a really old vampire falls in love with her instantly because she is innocent, and kind. Did I mention that she’s beautiful? I just wanted to make sure because the other characters made a point to say something in almost every chapter. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. Every other chapter.
But not only is she beautiful, but she’s also super special. Everyone wants to protect her. For example, her football player best friend runs to the stands IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME to check on her while she’s having a panic attack. Yeah, seriously. That happened. So basically, Sofia’s only flaw is that she has anxiety and some sensory issues. Clearly, this is how the author decided to make her “flawed”. In reality, it just seems like an attempt to make readers feel sorry for Poor Sofia.
But Sofia isn’t the only problem. All of the characters are flat. There’s Ben, her best friend, who has no personality. There’s Lucas (I think?) who’s incredibly evil. He also has no personality (other than being evil). There’s Derek, the hot vampire who’s actually a good guy who honestly just hates that he’s a vampire. Oh, and he’s a musician. And he like really loves Sofia. There are the other kidnapped girls who are only there so that Sofia seems like a better and stronger person. But honestly, that’s all they are there for. So essentially, the only characters who matter are Sofia and Derek. The other characters are just there to make them look better.
The plot is not only incredibly predictable and boring, but it’s also completely unrealistic. It starts out with Sofia remembering how she was abused as a child and how her father left her with some random family. This is never really explored, but it’s there to give her some tragic backstory so she’s not just some beautiful girl readers can’t identify with. Then she gets into an argument and runs off to the beach in the middle of the night. She also gets in the water and floats around in the ocean when you know, the tide is higher and you can’t see anything.
And when she’s finally kidnapped (on the beach), she never shows true fear. I never once felt fear from her, even though the author tried to convince me of it, because she was too busy thinking about Derek and trying to figure out if she can trust the vampires who kidnapped her. Are you daft? They kidnapped you! And you know, you have the classic good brother and the evil brother. Just guess what happens and you’re probably right. She’s also thrown over a lot of vampire shoulders like a rag doll. I guess that’s plot?
The world building is nonexistent. I mean, I guess the author tried. But I honestly could not picture anything. The description was sparse. How vampire society worked made no sense. There’s really not much to talk about because there’s hardly any material to work with.
And the writing? This really just builds off of the lack of world building and characterization. How can the writing be good if the characters are flat, the world is unimaginable, and the plot is boring and predictable? Exactly. Besides, the writing is sparse. The book is 200-something pages long, but the font is large, double spaced, and the margins huge. Let’s put it this way. It took me less than two hours to read the book, I read at a rather slow pace, and I didn’t skip around.
I can’t think of a single positive, and most books have some sort of positive. I know there are people out there who like it. It has a pretty decent GoodReads rating. But I honestly can’t figure out why people like it, and I definitely don’t recommend it to anyone.