Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review: A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

There is a writing technique commonly known as ‘jumping into the action’. All this means is that one starts off with some event that happens halfway through the story. I, personally, dislike this technique, unless there is, you know, actual action.
You may have deduced that this book started off by jumping into the action. But there was no action. Our main character tells us that something horrible happened on her seventeenth birthday (she doesn’t tell us what is, but I’m pretty sure any intelligent person could come up with an accurate guess based on the title). She goes on to say that one of her main goals in life was to not end up crazy like her mother, but now her only goal is too survive. Which sounds dramatic, right? But she’s just telling us this. It’s not actually happening.
Suffice to say, this book and me got off on the wrong foot.
Despite this, I hoped the book would improve…
But then the author went and pulled out the most cliché relationship in the book. The boy-girl-best-friendship-romance.
Now, this may just be me being a hypocrite, because I have also said in the past that I believe boy-girl-best-friendships are hokey unless one of them is in love with the other. Which just goes to show, you can’t please me.
The MC did admit that it was cliché. So she got points for that.
After those two initial mishaps, however, the book quickly improved. It was the characters of Sofia and Derek that did it for me.

Sofia: is intelligent. She thinks about the situation she’s in and then considers what she can do about it and then, she acts on it. Another thing about her was that she was brave. It does take a certain kind of bravery to tell a vampire that he’s playing the victim in order to make him NOT eat you. It also takes a certain kind of bravery to knee a vampire in the balls for the same reason.

Derek: Oooooh, Derek. If you ask me, he is the perfect vampire character. You see, in YA fiction today, many vampires suffer from something I like to call the Cullen Complex. That basically means that you’re a vampire, but you want to be a good man, so you’re all chivalrous ad you don’t eat people. But vampires are supposed to eat people, you know? And if you’re a vampire and you DON’T suffer from the Cullen Complex, then you’re basically bad-boy extreme or soulless and evil. The thing about Derek, you see, is that his case of the Cullen Complex was very mild. He did eat people, which I enjoyed. But he wasn’t evil so we could empathize with him, and he wasn’t a bad-boy. Derek Novak is the BEST vampire character I have ever read.

But, now, what would a book be without conflict? And there was conflict aplenty. There was war going on between the Vampires and the ‘Shadow-Hunters’. And apparently the Shade is the last safe place for vampires that the Shadow hunters haven’t found. And there is a reason for that, which is always good because sometimes authors don’t give you reasons for things like that, and that makes us readers wonder why that place survived and the rest of them didn’t.
And there was Lucas. Lucas is Derek’s (younger?) brother, and he’s the one who kidnapped Sofia off a beach and brought her to the Shade. Remember what I said about some vampires being soulless and evil? I meant Lucas.

And now I have to talk about a third character, Ben.
Ben: We actually did not see much of him. In the beginning, Sofia was talking about him and about how she was in love with him, but we didn’t actually see him or meet him until towards the end. When he showed up, I promptly said: “Ohh, shit.”
In between the points’ where Sofia was talking about him and we actually met him, his character had changed. We never got to meet the Ben that Sofia knew, and I’m okay with that. I like the Ben that we met. He showed up and he just had this hatred for all vampires, and sine at this point Sofia and Derek were a definite thing, there was DRAMA.

And then the book ended, like, five pages later.
I can not wait for the next installment!

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