Hundreds of 5-star reviews and a growing fanbase surrounds Bella Forrest’s young adult novel A Shade of Vampire. So of course I had to give the book a read myself, and well, let’s just say I am a bit more critical than the average reviewer.
A Shade of Vampire tells the tale of Sofia Claremont, who on her seventeenth birthday, is kidnapped and taken 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. The only way to survive is to win over the prince of vampires.
A Shade of Vampire was a highly entertaining, quick, fast-paced read. However, it was too quick and too fast-paced. This wasn’t so much a novel as it was a novella, one that I finished in under 3 hours. Due to its length, the story and characters were not explored in depth or detail, and that was extremely disappointing. Forrest has a great idea here (hence the high ratings) but I needed more than an idea, I wanted a full story. What was in this book was incredibly rushed, it was as if the author didn’t know how to fill in the blanks. We know next to nothing about Sofia or many of the other characters, little about the island, and the romance in the story wasn’t even remotely believable. Good lord was that one big problem I had with this book, the romance. It didn’t read like a love story to me, but of a tale on Stockholm Syndrome. And maybe it’s the adult in me, or my inner feminist, but a man going into jealous rage and attacking his supposed “love” is not romantic AT ALL. Him feeling guilty afterwards doesn’t make up for it either. To make matters worse, after this rage you flip a few pages and BAM! the leading lady is suddenly in love. Doesn’t work for me.
I did love the overall story though – the mysterious vampire island full of humans who were kidnapped and forced into slavery – it’s a great idea and one I would have liked to see explored more. I wanted to know more about this island, I wanted to know more about the inhabitants, and I wanted more on surviving this horrific ordeal. Forrest had everything going for her in this book, all of the ideas were there, but nothing was truly delved into. You just saw a tiny glimpse of the awesome this story could have been.
Overall, I enjoyed most of what I read (minus the ridiculous romance), I just wanted more. If you’re looking for a fast read to entertain you, I would recommend A Shade of Vampire, but don’t expect too much from it.