Review: A Shade of Vampire

Posted: January 3, 2014 by in Books We Hate (1/5 single_star) Meta: Bella Forrest, Urban Fantasy

I found A SHADE OF VAMPIRE (Amazon) thanks to Amazon recommendations, it had over 600 five-star ratings, and it was a mere $0.99 for Kindle. I was kinda excited to find something new.

It was a trap.

Our main POV first-person narrators are Sofia and Derek. Sofia is our red-haired, green-eyed young woman vacationing with a friend’s family when she’s abducted on the night of her 17th birthday. Derek is the 500 year old vampire prince just woken from a four century slumber and given his own harem of beautiful human women, of whom Sofia is included.

If I could go deeper into plot and character, I would. If I could. A SHADE OF VAMPIRE is exactly what it sounds like: an unimaginative wish fulfillment fantasy with amateur prose and trite dialogue. The story is predictable simply because there isn’t anything more to it than what I mentioned above.

So Derek and Sofia are thrown together and for some unknown reason they intrigue each other. No reason, really. Even though we do get a lot of sappy contrived interactions between them. Sofia doesn’t seem afraid for her life, even if she does make a token escape attempt. She adjusts to her new role as slave pretty easily.

Take A SHADE OF VAMPIRE to your writing group and read it. That way, they'll learn everything NOT to do when writing a novel. Learn from this, our readers.

Derek doesn’t seem like a vampire other than he craves blood and is strong, which makes the vampire culture really bland. Why is Derek a vampire prince? Because of some vaguely explained thing he did five hundred years ago. So who’s been in charge for the 400 years he’s been asleep? Why does Derek not seem to have an occupation although they talk about getting rid of those pesky hunters? And why are vampires holding so much stock in a prophecy? (Why do fantasy writers still use such contrived methods to create tension?) I don’t know.

They spend the book at this vampire sanctuary Derek’s family built while he was sleeping. It’s some island (no idea where) with beautiful forests, and because of a witch it exists in perpetual night. How do the trees stay living after 400 years of perpetual night? Why would vampires feel the need to build penthouse apartments in redwood and sequoia trees? Why mention that there are no ladders/stairs to the penthouses but Sofia can get to the ground somehow? Why end it with a confusing cliffhanger? I don’t know.

Why are there no answers to these questions? Because I don’t think the author knows the answers to them, either. The prose is amateurish, the dialogue is expositional yet tells me nothing, the descriptions are ham-handed and lack originality. If anything, A SHADE OF VAMPIRE is a warning lesson to all you wannabe authors out there: please, no more novels like this to waste my time.

  • Recommended Age: Um, I suppose it's aimed at a teenage audience who are fans of TWILIGHT, so 16? But still, you don't want your kids rotting their brains by reading this drek
  • Language: None
  • Violence: So lame it's a comedy
  • Sex: Referenced

There are a googleplex of books in the series, so we’re not going to link them all here. If you’re in for the torture, you can find them all on Amazon.


  • Jessica Price says:

    I realize this is quite an old review. However, I felt the need to comment. I stupidly fell prey into this series. Too the extent where I WANTED it to go somewhere. Some things were neat! However, I made it several books past where they were able to “cure” themselves(yes, that’s the goal for Derek).

    I left the series. I keep saying I’ll go back if I ever get that bored.

    However. I recently saw the Harley Merlin series, and so far, it is actually good. I’m on book 4. My issue is, how you compared the Shade books to Twilight. I agree, yet this Merlin series has nothing to do with Merlin, himself. I am a MASSIVE fan of the HON series by the mother/ daughter duo, last name Cast. I promise you. The Merlin series, is almost exactly the same. I think that’s the only reason I’m still going, and that I actually like the main characters. I will say, if you see this response, and have some time, read the first book in Forrest’s Merlin series, and the second or third book in the House of Night series. There’s so many similarities, I csm only call it…a cheaper alternative? House of Night is rarely on sale, and ALL of Forrest’s books appear to be in the kindle unlimited library. That said, for the original price of the first HON, in hardback, you can read EVERY SINGLE FORREST book.

    At any rate. I just wanted to say, I totally agree with you. I wouldn’t have compared her to Twilight, because I feel that’s reaching, a LOT. But, I would at least recommend the Merlin series. I just hope to the Lort, they don’t turn into the 130 page, wannabe novellas, that she turned The Shade into.

    • Writer Dan says:

      Hey Jessica, don’t worry about this being a old review. Odds are really good that the book you read is the same book that we read, and getting comments from readers like you never gets old for us.

      Also glad to see that you agreed with our opinion. We agree with us too. 🙂

    • james says:

      I think this ms. bella has great talent, however, she writes short stories and wants us to pay major bucks for the next short story, i am done with that, she goes over and over and over the same crap again and again, i dont get that she is to talented to throw out books that lack her talent …. my wife and i hv read thru the harley merlin line but i wl not spend anymore of my money on her books, unless she assures me she has changed!!! stop stealing money bellah

  • Dawnann Netherton says:

    They have since taken the entire series off of kindle unlimited and you can’t even read them now it’s so so stupid and I was so so into it and now you can’t even read the rest of the series it’s so ridiculous like why take the series off?!

  • Tonya Lynn says:

    I would have continued reading books from Bella forrest had she actually not ended her shade of vampire series without the last book. Number 92
    After that, I dont trust that she will actually finish her books any longer. I was really into her style of writing and everything. But like I said, I am uncomfortable starting one of her series only to be disappointed again by her cutting the series off before its finished. Then she started many other series after not finishing the one before. It just makes no sense and I won’t take the chance again.
    It’s sad because you had a very loyal reader until you no longer deserved my loyalty. It goes both ways.

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