(Reblogged from O. M. Grey’s blog: Caught in the Cogs)
A Shade of Vampire is about a girl, Sofia Cleremont, who is kidnapped on her seventeenth birthday and put into a “harem” to be a (assumed, sexual) slave to the Prince of vampires, Derek Novak. Fortunately for Sofia, her beautiful blue eyes, soft red hair, and LLI (Low Latent Inhibition) catch the newly awoken vampire’s attention, and he decides to curb his sociopathic tendencies and tries to play nice.
She, of course, falls in love, although it would more realistically be categorized as Stockholm Syndrome, aka The Betrayal Bond. Derek isn’t quite as bad as the other vampires in the Blood Shade, an enchanted island under a spell by a witch to make it always night, and inescapable for all the human slaves, but he’s far from good. Controlling and abusive, he vacillates from wanting to eat and/or ravish Sofia to trying to give her limited freedom and choice. Excellent because it is exactly how sociopaths and/or narcissists really act, the entire Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon that is present throughout the abusive and unhealthy relationship with this type of person, or in this case, vampire.
Bottom line, she was kidnapped. Tortured. Sexually assaulted. And she’s still a captive slave with limited freedoms, no matter how much Derek likes to think he’s giving her a choice and being a “nice guy” by not raping her or devouring her. Trouble is, he doesn’t seem to be able to keep her safe as Derek’s utterly sadistic brother Lucas is out to claim Sofia for his own. Because, you know, she is property.
I’m impressed with the author because she writes an great budding love story in an impossible situation: a savagely abusive one. It’s an excellent study of survival in any abusive relationship, how the victimized party finds the slightest example of kindness to excuse the abuse and find a modicum of safety.
I liked the book for what it was. Not high and fine literature, by any means, but that’s okay with me. I don’t write that either. It was quite well-written overall, albeit a little repetitive in some descriptions of facial expressions. However, I’m guilty of the same, so I can’t criticize her for that. The story certainly held my attention, and it was a very fast read. I read it in two days, which for me is really quick. Probably a total of 4 hours reading, all told.
HUGE cliffhanger ending. Boy! And people got on me about how I ended Rowan of the Wood! Geez!
It’s written in dual first person POV, which is increasingly becoming a favorite. It’s the POV in which I’m writing the Avalon sequel, so I’m partial to it at the moment.
A Shade of Vampire is an entertaining and quick read. If you like vampires, especially vampire teen romance, you’ll love this book. Unique and captivating, you’ll be ready for more.
I got this as a free promotional download on Kindle, and I will likely read the sequel when it comes out.