Title: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
Author: Bella Forrest
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban-Fantasy
Rating: 1 / 5
Add to: Goodreads
On the eve of Sophia’s 17th birthday, a late-night stroll on the beach leads to a stranger drugging and kidnapping her. She is taken to an isolated island that is never touched by sunlight, to become a human slave to a clan of vampires that inhabit the island. The leader of the vampires, Derek, has been under a voluntary sleeping curse for the past few hundred years, to be awoken by his siblings to help defend their race. It is this night that Sophia and Derek meet. Will Derek resist Sophia’s blood? Will Sophia escape?
Ladies and gentlemen, may I give you insta-love! This love-at-first-sight pairing makes no sense whatsoever. These cardboard cut-out characters have absolutely nothing interesting or unique about them to make them jump out at the reader, that they deserve a dimension of their own for their extreme flatness. The girl is about as interesting as staring at a beige wall all day, and the guy is written pretty much identical to her. He talks exactly like her with current day colloquialisms, which is strange for a supposed 500-year-old vampire who has just awoken from hundreds of years at slumber. Honestly, without dialogue tags it would be difficult to tell them apart. That’s not even going into how he acts like a 17-year-old girl throughout.
The character’s actions are really bizarre too. I mean, the male Sleeping Beauty, Derek, has just awoken from hundreds of years of slumber to want to go straight back to sleep again, as he wants to escape existence. Sleeping to me doesn’t seem like a very good escape long-term, because for a start you are at the mercy of the person looking over your body. Plus, he’s supposed to be his family and community’s best chance against extinction, yet he would rather just sleep. Nothingness and then waking up to a changed world with the death of those you care about seems like more of a punishment than an escape. You’d want to hope your dreams were amazing!
The plot is so unbelievable that it’s hilarious. Derek hasn’t fed for hundreds of years, yet he declines feeding off Sophia because he’s apparently caught the love-bug. Yeah, obviously that’s totally believable! I mean, if you put a cupcake in front of me after I haven’t eaten for a few days, I’m sure I would go all WWE to get to that cupcake, yet we’re meant to believe a vampire who has starved for hundreds of years, would pass up the first opportunity for nourishment? I doubt someone that starved would be thinking of anything but sating their hunger. So, it was with much laughter that I read about Derek’s insta-love for Sophia in the midst of his newly awakened blood-lust.
Unfortunately, the bad doesn’t end there, as the writing too was horrible. All the way throughout we are told everything rather than shown. For example, we’re told that a scene is exotic, yet given no description as to why it is exotic. The narrative jumps were frustrating. A thesaurus would have been a great investment, because I lost count at how many times flattering and blood-curdling were used. There were plenty of issues with continuity, even from paragraph to paragraph. The author continually states the obvious, which seems to assume the reader is stupid. Not only that, but it was riddled with clichés in metaphors and characterisation. The thing that frustrated me the most though, was the insensitivity toward psychological disorders, and the very-apparent lack of research. It is books such as this that give self-publishing a bad name. Thank goodness there are books such as Angelfall out there that prove otherwise.