A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

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I cannot, in good conscience, leave a starred review for this book.

Not because I don’t think it deserves any stars, but because I don’t feel like I can rate it objectively.

I, like many others, have been bombarded by Facebook ads for this book. The boasted amount of good reviews for it made me wonder if it’s actually worth reading. I’m partial to paranormal romance, but there’s some good ones out there (Mercy Thompson!). So, after the hundredth time seeing the ad I said screw it, I’ll see what all the fuss is about.

This, my friends, is why Facebook advertising works.

The good:

First of all, it’s short – which is a plus in my book. I like shorter first books in a series. Time is always of the essence. I want to know what I’m getting into without a huge investment.

Second, the writing is nice and smooth. It made the book easy to finish.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

The meh:

The main character, Sophia, is actually two characters. In the beginning, we meet this traumatized teenager who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. I immediately liked her – anxiety is something I’m very familiar with. So, when Sophia gets kidnapped by vampires and made someone’s slave, she somehow immediately transforms into a strong, fearless, selfless heroine who stands up to her captors. Because you know, that’s how anxiety works. We don’t see traumatized Sophia again. Where did my liked MC go? I have no idea.

And then there’s the slavery and rape issue. The entire time after she is kidnapped, it’s all about her being someone’s slave, along with all the other humans in the vampire world. Slaves who are used as sex slaves or cattle. No matter how much the author dances around actually saying the word rape, that’s what it is. “He didn’t force you, did he?” or  “Pleasure him? What does he mean by that?” Ugh. It’s RAPE. All of it. Of course Derek-the-good-vampire won’t rape her, but don’t worry, everyone else would. Just like they’re raping all the other humans. But it’s ok because Sophia isn’t getting raped. Rape rape rape rape rape. There, I said it. This book is full of rape that’s being glossed over for romance. Gross.

Speaking of romance, it’s the worst kind of insta-love with the worst excuse for it. If you thought Bella and Edward had a messed up relationship, and if Christian Grey was a psychopath, this book takes it up a whole new level. Sophia is Derek’s slave. But the moment he sees her he falls in love. Honestly, his entire POV chapters needed to be cut. It’s just pining. It doesn’t help the story at all. It doesn’t explain anything. Just a lot of ‘she’s so beautiful’ and ‘why am I so drawn to her?’ stuff. Baaarf.

HOWEVER

This book wasn’t written for me. From looking at the Goodreads reviews, it’s the kind of book that has a certain audience – those who crave the romance and danger without consequences. Throw a sexy vampire in a room with a beautiful damsel and they’ll love it. If this is you, you will like this book.

This is not me. You have been warned.

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