Bella Forrest has created a series where humans, vampires, and hunters live in separate worlds, but are on a collision course that could result in an epic battle for survival. A Shade of Vampire is just what it seems like – another vampire love story with a looming catastrophic war. The first book of the neverending series is a short one and is for anyone with a vampire guilty pleasure. However, books 1 through 7 were all I could take, and I forced myself to read books 6 and 7 to get through the Sofia and Derek series.
It starts with Sofia Claremont just before her seventeenth birthday. In typically high school drama, she storms off after she becomes upset with her best friend, Ben, and is drugged and kidnapped by a vampire. When she wakes up, she is on an island where it is always nighttime – convenient for vampires. She is presented with a groups of other kidnapped seventeen-year old girls to the ruling King of the Shade, Derek, so that he can feast as he wakes up from a spell-induced sleep. Predictably, when Derek encounters her, there is something about Sofia that reigns in his bloodlust and sets her a part from the rest of the girls. They are spared and allowed to stay with him in a penthouse built in the treetops.
It reminds me of a mix between Sleeping Beauty and Beauty & the Beast. In this case, a beautiful prince awakens from a spell-induced sleep to find his soulmate. However, he is a vampire, aka monster, and she is the beautiful and fragile human that loves him for his inner beauty.
As the series progresses, the relationship between Sofia and Derek, as well as the rest of the group of girls and other vampires on the island, starts to change. The kidnapped girls, and boys it turns out, start to turn into more than just slaves for a year or a living blood source to the vampires. Sofia and Derek’s relationship becomes more intimate and stronger. Then set backs occurr when Sofia realizes that her best friend from the human world, Ben, turns up on the island as a slave to a brutal female vampire. Of course, Derek does whatever it takes to keep Sofia happy and saves Ben. Soon laws on the island start to change, giving humans more rights. Traditional thinking vampires are resistent to the changes and challenge Derek. Will it work out? Of course!
The series then reveals that there is another world in addition to the humans and vampires. The realm of Hunters is introduced. Humans are hunted by Vampires; Vampires are hunted by Hunters. Ben, being bitter and hateful against the misunderstood Vampires, chooses to becomes a Hunter after he leaves The Shade. Now Sofia is caught between the Vampire world and the Hunters. Who will she choose? Sofia decides to become a vampire, choosing Derek over the increasingly jealous Ben. And let’s not forget the original Vampire family in a foreign coutry. Kinda sounds like Twilight, right? (Replace Twilight werewolves with A Shade Hunters) The story continues with battles breaking out between Vampire families, called covens, and somehow a breathtaking wedding for Derek and Sofia takes place in the middle of it all, where humans, vampires, and hunters attend.
Love trumps evil.
The story of Sofia and Derek comes to an end in Book 7. They discover a sort of cure for vampirism, which Derek has taken; they have children, Rose and Ben; they settle into a stunning beach house in California. But the appeal and safety of their home at the Shade in the vampire world are too much to stay away from. So, they decide to raise their children at the Shade, along with their friend’s children, become vampires again, and live happily ever after.
Books 1 – 7 were all I could take. For the most part, the books are well written and the plot moves along at a good pace. However, there are some grammatical errors that disrupt the flow of the books. Simple mistakes that editors, and even first readers, should have picked up, like missing quotation marks and spaces. I think in one of the books a wrong name is used in a dialogue, making it really confusing until I realized it must have been an error. I cannot imagine what book 8-42 entail, but I’ll leave that to other readers.