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A Shade Of Vampire Paperback – December 17, 2012
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"...a sexy vampire twist, an unforgettable romance that sizzles from start to finish. It's a perfect read for Twilight fans and vampire fans in general."
- YA Book Season
"I can't even remember the last vampire romance I read that I loved as much as this one."
- Just A Book Lover Reviews
"This is the kind of book you can re-read over and over again and not get bored. The plot is intriguing, the characters are great, and the ending will leave you left begging for more!"
- City of Books
"Watching the relationship between Sofia and Derek blossom was fascinating ... A Shade of Vampire has set some high expectations for me."
- Bookworm Brandee
Top customer reviews
(note: I read about 85% according to my kindle and just couldn't go any further, so this review wont spoil the end because I didn't get to it).
This book is horrible. I bought it because one of the very first five star reviews said something about the main character not being Bella Swan, but being a strong 17 year old. That...is absolute rubbish. Sofia is just as boring, bland and two-dimensional as Bella Swan, and Derek is a Cullen clone.
Firstly... Sofia gets kidnapped on her birthday from her family. She is naturally upset about it, but a few days in Derek's company and the fact that she is a prisoner is all but forgotten except a few off-hand mentions of being a captive. She tries to escape once, and then barely thinks about escaping again except once or twice in a "oh there is no way to escape so lets stop focusing on it" way.
Secondly...when coming into The Shade she passes through tunnels literally lined with holding cells filled with emaciated people. She is barely shocked at this, and they aren't mentioned again. A few girls are taken with Sofia to be part of Derek's harem, and Sofia shows some concern for them, but they are just there to make Sofia look caring in Derek's eyes and serve no other purpose to the story. When one of them dies Sofia is shaken up but is more concerned about how it will effect Derek then her friend and doesn't tell her captor who killed the girl.
Derek is exactly like Edward Cullen. He's a vampire who hates himself and loves a human woman for no real, concrete, deep emotional reason but that she is a fragile human and she showed sympathy/empathy for one of the other girls. While standing before Derek, all scared, Sofia takes one of the other girls hands to comfort her and that for some unknown reason is some great symbol of Sofia's compassion and humanity. There is even an almost exact scene from twilight where Edward plays the piano for Bella in this book where Derek plays the piano for Sofia because apparently an interest in classical music is supposed to make him seem cultured and noble.
Sofia and Derek are bland characters with no personality traits besides their one defining trait. Derek is brooding and hates being a vampire and wants to hang on to his humanity, and Sofia is the symbol of that humanity. End story. That's it. There is no character depth, no character development. And even the side characters are bland and boring. We're supposed to like Derek's sister because Sofia doesn't hate her, but with no explanation why. We're supposed to hate Derek's brother because he objectifies Sofia and leers at her and makes it known he wants to do naughty things to her then suck her dry—yet Derek goes off and feeds on people and Sofia doesn't bat an eye, in fact she COMFORTS him after he gets upset about it the first time (doesn't stop him from doing it again). We're told the people he drinks are "hunters" who want to kill vampires so they deserve it, but considering the vampires keep human sex slaves and prisoners makes them kind of deserving of being hunted and I'd be apt to side with the Hunters we know nothing about. But Sofia doesn't know he fed on a hunter, for all she knows he fed on one of her fellow pets and she doesn't care, she holds his hand. So much for her being a symbol of humanity—Sofia is just as heartless as her 'captors.'
Sofia's tale, like Bella's, starts with showing us that Sofia is a special snowflake with a "debilitating weakness" that is masked as a strength because she survives despite it. Bella was clumsy and ungraceful, and Sofia has anxiety issues. Bella couldn't get her mind read, Sofia has special abilities to hear/feel more than other people (mentioned a few times and forgotten because it's not actually important). I didn't finish the book but I am willing to bet that at some point Sofia's "gift" becomes an important and coveted thing. After being told that Sofia is a special snowflake because she has anxiety issues, they never plague her again, just like Bella's clumsiness. It is only there when needed and conveniently forgotten when it isn't. It is a strength masquerading as a weakness in a poor attempt to give a character depth. It doesn't work.
Like Mayer, this author suffers from the same method of Telling us everything rather then Showing us. We're led around by the hand and told Sofia is this, Derek is this, and because of that they are some Romeo + Juliet couple, when in truth they have zero depth, zero personality, and the story is bland, boring, predictable and simply awful. WHY do these women never care that they are captive? Why do they loose themselves to the handsome vampire. Just once, just ONCE I want to see one of these supposedly strong female leads knee a vampire in the junk and run, rather then stand there looking deeply into their perfect eyes.
This book is horrible, 2-dimensional, and boring. If you disliked Twilight you will dislike this just as much, maybe even more. If you actually liked Twilight then you will probably like this. If I could give it zero stars, I would.
The high schoolers are so poorly and generically written that they seem devoid of their own personality and are controlled by an emotionally inept puppet master.
I tried and tried again to finish this first book from this popular series and I didn't feel like it was worth the effort.
While we all know what fiction is, a story should not require readers to suspend so much belief. After sleeping 400 years, Derek woke up to a world of technology without blinking an eye. He came to us already modernized and showed no amazement at what humanity has accomplished during the 400 years he snoozed. He was able to communicate with modern phrases. I could go on and on for quite a while on his excellent acclimation to the 21st century, but I will move on.
At the beginning of the book, Sophia is devastated by her "best" friend's lack of consideration for her on her birthday. She's loved him for years, but feels her beauty is lacking. Ben is a handsome, popular guy while Sophia is a plain wallflower. Later on, we find that Sophia is chosen because she is actually very beautiful with her long, luscious red hair, dazzling green eyes, and slender figure. Not long after she is kidnapped, she forgets her years of longing for Ben and pretty much falls instantly in love with Derek.
These are just a few things in the first book. Other 1 & 2 star reviews cover additional issues with the stories. I chose this book because the number of 5 star reviews was so high. After rereading the reviews I learned that a quick Google search of the words "Bella Forrest bought fake reviews" leads me to an investigative blog with a list of authors who purchased fake reviews to help book sales. I find this atrocious and plan to avoid the authors on this list an any future authors that I learn use this practice.