A Shade of Vampire is the first book in this series by Bella Forrest. I was sent a free e-book copy by the author herself after losing out on the giveaway on Goodreads. Thank you, Bella!
The set-up: vampires have built a sanctuary on a secret island where they hide out from the vampire hunters and other harms. They regularly abduct humans to work for them and serve as food. These human slaves usually end up dying rather quickly.
The female lead of the story, Sofia Claremont, is abducted by the Vampire Prince’s brother. He takes a liking to her and feels resentful when he has to give her up to his younger brother, the ruler of their vampire island. He continually threatens her and won’t rest until he has her.
Meanwhile, Derek, the Prince, has also taken a liking to Sofia. He is impressed not only by her beauty and innocence, but also by her courage and show of sympathy for the other slave girls. He takes her for his personal slave and gradually develops feelings for her. As Sofia relaxes bit by bit into her new surroundings and way of life, she also starts developing feelings for Derek. However, when she finds out her best friend Ben has also been taken by the vampires she breaks down. He has changed so much by the hands of his vampire captor and this hurts her. When she is later attacked by Derek’s brother, her original captor, she doesn’t feel safe anymore: so she and Derek decide she should leave with Ben. But when she is only a hair-breaths away from leaving, they both realise they are in love with each other and can’t bear to be apart.
I really liked this book. All the expected elements were in there: a vampire conflicted about his nature, power struggles among the vampire leaders, a beautiful girl, star-crossed lovers, humans accepting the existence of vampires and adapting, … But what I really appreciated was the writing style, Bella Forrest switches in between chapters from the point of view of Sofia and that of Derek. This allows her to create a more complete picture and give the reader insight into both Sofia and Derek’s state of mind and feelings. Forrest’s writing is uncomplicated and easy-to-read. Her writing matches the 17/18-year old mindset of the main characters and doesn’t appear too childish or backward. Her clear and to-the-point writing moves the story along, and that is quite the achievement since a lot of the story is about how the characters are feeling and adapting to their new situation.
Personally, I can’t wait to continue the story in the next book and I would certainly recommend this one. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to see about getting the next book in the series. Enjoy reading this book!
WARNING: if you like this first book, you WILL have to read the entire series!
Anyone already finished the entire series? What did you think? Were the other books able to live up to the first one? Let me know in the comment section!