Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review for A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest



Interesting Story, Mediocre Writing

2.5 Stars.
I’ve always stood by the idea that a good story will make up for any possible flaws in its construction. That the story is more important than the writing, and I still believe that, but this story in particular shows just how much poor writing skills can diminish a story’s potential. The story line of “A Shade of Vampire” was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end, but the writing left me seriously wanting.

The writing is way more telling than showing. Characters are described as “handsome” and “confident” instead of having those traits shown to us. At one point Forrest spends an entire paragraph vaguely describing Lucas; at another Sophia was “suddenly overcome by the sensations” surrounding her, but we’re not shown what sensations. Also, there were more than a few places where entire scenes were skipped and told to the reader, which I would have liked to have seen.

The writing was extremely wordy. There’s also some awkward phrasing like “I reasoned to myself” that irked me. And I feel like the author didn’t do enough research. In the beginning of the book Sophia says her mother was sent to a lunatic asylum, which (as a Psych major) made me want to pull my hair out since they don’t exist anymore. When people are mentally ill they are taken care of in hospitals. There are psychiatric wards, but there are not “lunatic asylums”.

On the plus side I did really like the idea of Derek, this ancient vampire, being the “sleeping beauty” of the story. It was a fun twist that he was under a sleeping curse, instead of some damsel in distress. The dialogue didn’t always match the characters. Derek often didn’t sound as old as he was, and occasionally Ben or even Sophia would sound too formal. But, I did like Sophia. She was a fighter, and despite a few Stockholm syndrome-y moments I was glad that she didn't instantly fall in love with Derek, even though he was instantly drawn to her. I think she understood him and could see that there was more to him than just being a monster. Definitely a “Beauty and the Beast” kind of feel, which I enjoyed.

The concept of vampires living on an island that’s constantly dark was interesting and new. I feel the author gave some thought about this society and how it would run. Overall, it was an entertaining enough read, but I won’t be adding it to my favorites any time soon.

I got this on sale for 99cents, and for that it was a fun quick read. But, it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger and the following books are $3.99, which I don’t feel they’re worth.