A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
Published December 14th 2012
Source: review copy from the author
My rating: 2.5/5
Goodreads summary: 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 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.
Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the 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?
After turning the last page, one word came to my mind: underdeveloped. Characters, plot, worldbuilding, you name it. A Shade of Vampire has all the ingredients to be a thrilling and heartwrenching paranormal romance, it is well-written, but I never felt like it reached its full potential.
Maybe it's due to its unfavorable length, somewhere between a longer novella and short novel. The history of Shade, the vampire island, is touched on only briefly. Some more substance to the long-standing animosity between Derek, the vampire prince, and his brother Lucas or the antagonism between vampires and shadow hunters would have added some more flavor to the story, as well as some background and character development in Sofia. For the lack of it, I didn't see why she was so desperate to return to Ben, or why she fell so quickly for Derek. Everything happened so fast, and the emotional bond was lost on me, making it come across as insta-love.
On another note, A Shade of Vampire sports the sort of vampires I love-cruel, unflinching, dangerous and dark. I need to know more about the history of Shade and the political background. Bella Forrest has set the foundations for an awesome story, I just wish it was longer and that every aspect of the novel received the attention it deserves.