A Gate of Night

A Gate of Night – A Shade of Vampire #6 – Bella Forrest

The cure to vampirism has been found and everyone thinks that the prophesy about Derek Novak and his one true love, Sofia, leading his people to Sanctuary has been fulfilled. After 500 years of being a vampire, Derek is now a human. He and Sofia were married and are now on their honeymoon on a beach in Tahiti.

But things are not resolved and the people of their kingdom on the island called the Shade are in trouble. Things were precarious before Derek and Sofia ran off to their honeymoon but Derek thought his sister, Vivienne and his father-in-law, Adrian could handle the island for a month while he was gone but he was wrong.

When they left, the hunters were on the island under the command of someone named Arron who wanted to take Anna, Kyle, Sofia and Derek to Hawk Headquarters to study them. Derek talked Arron into giving Sofia and him a month first but Arron did take Anna and Kyle to his headquarters. Hunters are what they sound like. They are vampire hunters but since a cure has been found, the hunters are willing to work with the vampires for now. Anna and Sofia are immunes which are humans who are immune to being turned into vampires. They are the key to the cure of vampirism.

There are other immunes in the world but the Elder or Original vampire has been gathering them up and keeping them in his castle called the Blood Keep but nobody knows where the Blood Keep is located. I think there is more to why he is keeping immunes but the author has not let that secret out of the bag yet.

After Derek and Sofia go on their vacation, Vivienne and Aiden have a meeting with other leaders of the Shade. She thinks they should rebuild the Shade for when Derek returns since the Elder’s vampires destroyed most of it. In my mind, I was thinking that these vampires and humans need to do things for themselves and quit depending on Derek and what he thinks. I mean, yes, he helped them build the Shade with the help of the original witch by basically enslaving humans and working them to death. Until this book, the author wrote that Derek did so many horrible things like enslaving and killing humans that he didn’t want to go on living anymore so the witch put him into a 400-year slumber. Now, the author says most of the humans were enslaved hunters. I think she may be trying to make the vampires look better if the humans were hunters instead of regular human beings but nobody deserves to be treated the way those humans were treated. It’s just strange that the clarifier has just been thrown in. Anyway, my original point was that the inhabitants of the Shade have kind of let Derek get away with a lot. He may have been a leader for 100 years but then he took a 400-year nap while his father and Vivienne led the people. Then he left to go on a month long honeymoon in the middle of a crisis. It just seems like maybe his loyal subjects should be looking out for their own selves now. I was glad when someone else voiced that same concern.

The Elder is now furious at Derek and Sofia for finding the cure but he also has plans for them. He sends Kiev, one of his children who he sired, to spy on them while they are on vacation and tells him to nab them the moment Sofia becomes pregnant because their children will be too much of a threat unless they are raised by the Elder and his children.

Derek and Sofia weren’t on vacation very long before Clara and Kiev abduct them and take them to the Blood Keep. Sofia wakes up in some kind of dungeon and finds Abby there. Abby is a seven-year old girl who is like a little sister to Sofia because Sofia was raised by Abby’s parents since she was nine years old. Abby tells her that they (probably Clara and Kiev) killed her mom and dad. It was really sad. Kiev throws Derek who has been beat and tortured into the room. Derek and Sofia have no clue that Sofia is pregnant. Clara tells Abby to go with her and Sofia realizes that Clara was using Abby as a spy.

Kiev comes into the room and forces Sofia to leave Derek lying on the floor. Sofia tells him that she doesn’t want to leave Derek and Kiev tells her she has no choice and that he doesn’t want to be around when Derek wakes up. He takes Sofia to the lab to draw blood. Sofia realizes she is pregnant.

Derek wakes up and, although he was tortured, is completely healed. A beautiful white-haired woman pops into the room and tells Derek to come with her because he will be killed if he stays. She convinces him that Sofia will be safe at the Blood Keep. Derek leaves with her and she takes him to another realm. She is called the Ageless and she is the top witch.

Derek learns that he is more powerful now than he was when he was a human and now he has the power of fire. Unfortunately, he can’t control the fire and is a danger to everyone and everything around him. He keeps losing control and burning things. The Ageless sends a warlock named Ibrahim to help teach Derek but Derek still cannot control the fire. The Ageless and Ibrahim keep telling him to relax and calm down and he keeps telling them that he needs Sofia because she is his calm. They ignore him and tell him he still has time. He still has no idea that Sofia is pregnant so he doesn’t get what they mean when they tell him he still has time.

Meanwhile, things have gone crazy on the island. The Elder’s vampires have attacked them to get control of the portal, something none of them knew was there except for Corrine, the witch. The portal is a gateway to other realms and the Elder wants to bring others of his kind into the human realm…as if one Elder wasn’t scary and destructive enough!

Arron, the leader of the hunters, abandons the hunters on the island when the Elder’s vampires showed up. Earlier, Vivienne had noticed his eyes turned orange and thought he might not be human.

Five months later, Sofia is still at the Blood Keep. Her only contact is with Kiev and his servant, Olga. Oh, and the vampire dog who guards her. It attacked her one time when she got too close to the border where the dark meets the light. Kiev is certifiably crazy. One minute he is nice to Sofia and the next he is beating her. When Olga pointed out that he could hurt Sofia’s baby, Kiev beats Olga. He tells Sofia that any time she displeases him; he will take it out on Olga and if she tries to escape, he will kill Olga.

Kiev tells Sofia she is having twins, a boy and a girl.

Sofia decides that she needs to escape because she can’t wait for Derek to come to her rescue but she doesn’t know how to do that without getting Olga killed but the castle is wearing her down and she is starting to think maybe Olga will have to be the sacrifice it takes to save her unborn children. That thought is what allows the darkness in and the Elder is able to get to her.

Sofia kept worrying about Olga but she never thinks about Abby or what will happen to her or even about trying to save her. Abby is only mentioned once after the time in the dungeon and that was to say that Sofia had not seen her since then. After that, Abby just kind of disappeared from Sofia’s mind. I, myself, would have been more worried about an innocent child than a grown servant who has grown up with the horrors of the castle.

There are so many things that went on in this book that I can’t tell you because it would spoil the ending but I can tell you things get a lot worse for everyone.

I am telling you, that I am getting a little depressed and overwhelmed with this series. Someone told me that this is actually a Young Adult series and I was shocked. I did notice that the sex scenes are rather vague and definitely not graphic but the gore and subject matter is really dark. I am just afraid there might not be any light at the end of the tunnel. I knew there were quite a few books (31) in the series but thought that they were broken up into sections, starring a new hero and heroine after so many books but I may be wrong. I could have sworn that I saw, at the end of the last book that Derek and Sofia’s story ends at the end of book 7 and then the characters begin a whole new adventure. I just don’t know how much more I can take of the gloom and doom.

A Blaze of Sun

A Blaze of Sun – A Shade of Vampire #5 – Bella Forrest

The last book ended in a way that really irked me. This whole series has been based on the love of Sofia and Derek. Derek was basically a monster before Sofia came along. They have gone through so much and were so in love but then at the end of the last book something happened that made me want to stop reading the entire series.

Borys Maslen, a crazed and evil vampire had grabbed Sofia and threatened to kill her if Derek tried anything. He took her into a room and started torturing her. Derek’s sister, Vivienne, who had been a victim of Borys before, offered herself up as a distraction for Borys. Derek didn’t want her to go into the room but when he heard Sofia scream, he told Vivienne to go ahead. Sofia and Vivienne ended up killing Borys.

When Derek heard the silence, he finally rushed to the room to see what was happening. On his way to the room, one of Borys’ female guards caught his eye and he noticed how beautiful she was. That pissed me off. His love of life is being tortured, maybe raped and possibly dead yet he is attracted to another woman? I have never held much love for Derek’s character but I had always bought into his and Sofia’s love. It was the one thing that he had going for him. Now, I don’t think he has even a small chance that I will ever like him.

After he sees that Sofia and Vivienne are okay, he tells his guards to arrest all of Borys’ guards and kill them if they resist. He comes out of the room and finds that only the “beautiful brunette” is still alive. She tells him that she knows he felt the immediate attraction to her as did she. She tells him that her name is Emilia and that she is the daughter of the darkness as is Derek and that the Original meant for them to be together. Then she disappeared into thin air.

I was pretty disgusted by the whole thing. I was ready to just quit reading the whole series. I do not like love triangles and rarely tolerate them in books. Either you love one person with all your heart or you don’t love them at all. The only thing that made me want to go on reading this series is that I thought maybe there was some kind of magic going on to trick Derek into thinking he was attracted.

Luckily, I was right.

After their encounter, Derek is feeling guilty that he was attracted to the woman named Emilia. He started dreaming about her and started avoiding Sofia who is still living in the Catacombs with the other humans. This bothers me because I think the author forgets that, as readers, we know the characters pretty well and we aren’t dumb or forgetful. His father, when he was king, enforced a law that said once a human had been in the Shade for a year, he or she had to either be turned in a vampire or sent to the Catacombs with the other slaves to be put to work. Derek has never shied away from declaring new laws whenever he feels like it so, now that he is king, why doesn’t he declare a new law that humans don’t have to be turned or be sent to the Catacombs after a year?

But enough of my rant and back to the story.

Vivienne, the seer, tells Derek that he has to find the cure soon to vampirism. It is the key to the prophesy that says that Derek, along with his true love, will find true sanctuary for his kind.

The humans on the island have come a long way from the beginning of the series to now. At the beginning, they were slaves. There were two types of humans, Naturals and Migrates. Naturals are human slaves who were born on the Shade and Migrates were the teens who were abducted from all over the world who ended up being given to certain vampires to be put in their harems. Migrates didn’t usually last more than a week because they vampires used them as food and as toys and either the humans died from torture of from being drained of blood. Somehow, the author thinks that we have forgotten that all but maybe two or three of the vampires callously disposed of humans like they were toilet paper that they wiped their asses with and flushed down the toilet. We are now supposed to believe that in the span of a year, all vampires have changed. Now, the humans are rioting in the Catacombs where they live because they are afraid the vampires are going to start attacking them for blood since blood supplies are low.

There is a new big and bad in the story. The author always has mentioned that Derek went into the darkness but when he is around Sofia, the darkness is held at bay. I always got the feeling that the darkness was like a separate entity and I was right. Bella Forrest is good at insinuating something and hoping that the reader will catch on to it. The darkness comes from the Original vampire, something that the vampires on the Shade just assumed was a myth. The more evil someone lets into themselves, the more the Original can come to them or persuade them to do more evil. He used to have control of Derek but since Sofia has come into his life and shown him the light, the Original has lost control of Derek and he is not happy.

Emilia was turned by the Original who she calls the Elder or her father. She hints that Derek knew her before and that she is supposed to be with her instead of with Sofia. I immediately guessed who she was based on the previous stories.

The Elder and his vampire children, who are much stronger than other vampires sired by his descendants, attack the Shade and start annihilating everything. Emilia puts Vivienne into a sleep that could last hundreds of years and she takes off the protection spell that keeps the island hidden from the hunters and keeps the Shade dark 24/7. Emilia takes over the Sanctuary and uses her magic to lock everyone out…even the witch Corrine isn’t strong enough to fight it. She lets Derek in and tells him that she will call off the attack if he goes with her to the Elder’s castle called the Blood Keep for one week so she can prove her love for him. Explosions keep happening so Derek says he will agree if Sofia agrees. Sofia has no choice if she wants everyone on the island to live so she agrees as long as Emilia takes the sleeping spell off of Vivienne, puts the protection spell on and returns Derek in one week without hurting him.

Emilia does all those things except for the darkness spell which wasn’t part of the original protection spell. After the helicopters with the super vampires leave and Emilia poofs Derek and herself off of the island and into the Blood Keep, the sun starts to rise. Everyone races to the Catacombs which are located inside the mountain to avoid the sunlight. Corinne and Vivienne tell everyone that Emilia is Cora, the original witch of the island who was Derek’s best friend.

Cora had been in love with Derek who only thought of her as a friend. Obviously, she took it a little far and went to the Elder to turn her into a vampire. The Elder is using her to turn Derek to the darkness again because he knows if they find the cure, it could destroy him.

The Elder turns out not to be a sentient being but he is able to grab hair, bite into skin, give lashes and give horrible pain to people who have darkness within them. He tortures his Emilia and his other “children” on a regular basis. He never allows them any kind of happiness because happiness lets light into their lives.

Emilia only has one week to get Derek to love her. She and the Elder use magic to try to make him forget Sofia. At first, he still remembered her but his body and voice were out of his control. I found my stomach turning when he had to have sex with Emilia because this was rape. The author has had at least two women characters force sex on men in this series so far but has not outright had a man rape a woman. It has been inferred but hasn’t been blatantly stated…in fact, the word rape really hasn’t been said at all. But that is what it is. I think that some people think that a man can’t be raped or that a man being forced to have sex with a woman isn’t as bad as a man forcing a woman. I don’t agree. And I’m not criticizing the author for including rape in her stories because it shows just how depraved a character is who can commit it but I am questioning if she thinks women committing the horrible act is less horrible than if a man commits it.

Oops…another rant.

Two new characters are introduced in this book, Clara and Kiev. They are two more of the Elder’s children or vampires who the Elder turned. They seem just as demented as Emilia. Derek is forgetting Sofia and starting to believe all that Emilia has been telling him. When Emilia lets Derek out of her room, they run into Kiev who has a redheaded human with him who looks similar to Sofia. He tells Derek to take a bite of her and Derek does to the horror of Emilia who is screaming for him not to do it. Derek starts to remember again. But Kiev didn’t off up the human to Derek out of the kindness of his heart. He did it to be taunt Emilia. Emilia is so mad a Kiev that she rips the girl apart and kills her.

While Kiev and Emilia are rolling around on the floor fighting, Clara comes up to Derek and tells him that ever since Kiev has heard about Sofia and how in love she and Derek are, he has been obsessed with the redhead who Emilia just killed like he wants what Derek has. Then she tells Derek that the reason he is remembering things is because the redhead was an immune (a human who cannot be turned into a vampire and whose blood is sweeter than other humans and seems to have some sort of power in it) just like Sofia. In fact, almost all of the humans at the Blood Keep are immunes. Derek doesn’t know why she offered up this information but he got the feeling Clara was playing some kind of game.

I have a feeling, we will be seeing more of Clara and Kiev.

It seems like the plot has taken a turn…well, I think it was always heading this way but I think the story is revving up for some change. The vampires are no longer the biggest and baddest creatures around and life is going to change for them…and not for the better.

I am glad that Bella Forrest did not go for the love-triangle angle (giggle at myself for the use of triangle and angle together which is probably not that funny to anyone else) as I originally thought she was aiming to do because the love of Sofia and Derek has been the backbone of this series. If Derek would have truly been attracted to somebody else without magic behind it, I would have lost interest in the series because the whole basis of how Sofia calms Derek and brings him into the light would have been pointless.

I’m excited to see where the story is headed.

A Shadow of Light

A Shadow of Light – A Shade of Vampire – Bella Forrest

Forgive me for how long this review is. I could not think of how to shorten it because of how much has happened in this series. The recap alone took forever to write.

In the last book Gregor had summoned Derek to the Dome and ambushed him. Gregor is the king of an island called the Shade which is protected by a witch’s spell to be hidden from humans and where it is always night. The island is ruled by vampires who have thousands of human slaves. Derek is Gregor’s son and prophesized to find his true love and then be the savior of the vampire race…to bring them to sanctuary. Gregor had his flunky, Felix, and his men shoot Derek with tranquilizers.

Gregor also had Derek’s love of life, Sofia, arrested for supposedly being part of a slave revolt plot. He ordered Sofia and the other slaves who had part in the plan to receive 50 lashes. A human would never survive that many lashes.

But Gregor underestimated Derek’s strength. Derek broke free despite the tranquilizing serum running through his body. He went to the town square and took the lashes in Sofia’s stead. Other vampires stepped forward and took the lashings for the other slaves, something that had never before happened on the Shade. The vampires had always treated the slaves as disposable commodities.

Derek then overthrew his father and became king yet he allowed his father to be free. Once again, I questioned the intelligence of Derek. His father had made no secret of his hatred for Sofia and wanting to destroy her. He had even killed some of Sofia’s friends yet Derek did nothing to protect Sofia or himself against his father which ended up biting him in the ass.

The witch, Corrine, made it known that if anyone tried to overthrow Derek as ruler, she would take the protective spell off that keeps the island in darkness and let all the vampires burn in the sun.

Lucas sent a message through Natalie Borgia, a liaison between vampire covens, to Ben that said that he would get Ben back on the island to rescue Sofia but he really just wants to get to Sofia so he can give her to Borys. Ben goes back to the island.

Gregor and Claudia went into Derek’s penthouse and drugged Derek while he was sleeping and grabbed Sofia and Ben. Claudia took them to the Oasis, Borys’ underground hideout in Egypt.

Sofia meets her mother, Camilla Claremont who now calls herself Ingrid Maslen. Sofia thought she was in a mental hospital all these years but she was actually a vampire sired by Borys. She nuttier than a peanut butter sandwich. She tells Sofia that she promised her to Borys when she was nine years old and Sofia was now going to marry Borys. Ingrid wavers between seeming like she might have feelings for Sofia to outright irrational behavior and hatred.

Borys tells Sofia she is to be his virgin bride but Sofia lies to him and tells him that he is too late. She’s married to Derek. Borys tells her that he will send for Derek and be happy when she watches him die.

Derek goes to the Oasis and is tortured by Borys.

Ben is given to Claudia who has had a change of heart. She realizes that she is in love with Yuri, a vampire who on the Shade, and doesn’t want to torture Ben anymore. She thinks she can win Yuri’s heart if she saves Sofia and Derek. She tells Ben he needs to get the hunters there and helps him escape.

Borys takes Sofia to see Derek way down on the 7th level of the Oasis to torment her but while they are down there, a guard comes and tells Yuri something so Yuri leaves and closes her in the room with Derek who has been tortured almost to death. The room shakes like there was an earthquake so Sofia gets scared and makes Derek drink her blood so he can heal and they can escape. They get out of the room and find the entire place in chaos. The hunters are there fighting the Maslen vampires. She sees her father for the first time in years and realizes he is a hunter.

During the fight, Claudia grabbed Sofia and bit her neck to inject her with the venom or serum that turns humans into vampires but nothing happened. Claudia said it was her gift to her. Somehow, Lucas grabbed Sofia and Ben tried to defend her but Lucas gutted Ben with his claws. Sofia’s father, Aiden, shot Lucas in the head with a UV bullet. Lucas died. Yay! Finally, one evil vampire down! But sadly, Ben died.

Borys escaped.

When the fight was finished, Aiden aka Reuben, allowed Claudia and Derek to get into the helicopters and go to Hawk Headquarters, the hunter headquarters. Claudia was put in the dungeon but Derek was allowed to go with Sofia into a suite of rooms. Sofia let Derek drink her blood again and then fell asleep.

Aiden came into the room and told Derek that he could stay until after Ben’s funeral for his daughter’s sake but then had to leave. Derek agreed. He knew he had to leave Sofia now that he had tasted her blood. He’d always crave it and would end up killing her if he lost control.

Sofia had a dream and remembered her mom had brought Borys to her home when she was nine years old. He had tried to turn her then but she was immune.

 

In this book, Derek leaves Sofia and goes back to the Shade. It bugs me that this is the second time that Derek and Sofia have separated when Derek knows that they are strongest together and that the darkness tries to take over when he is not with her.

When he gets back to the island, things are chaotic. Felix and his father have everyone in an uproar. They tried to have a culling, where the vampires gather all the weak and sick and drain them of their blood to put in cold storage, but the humans had all gone into the Catacombs in lockdown. Felix stood down when Derek got there.

Derek faces suspicion from all the other vampire covens for what happened at the Oasis. They think he worked with the hunters because he was able to leave hunter territory alive, something no other vampire has ever done.

He also has to figure out how to feed his vampires since their blood supply is running low. I’m throwing up my arms in disgust at this point. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of a blood bank?

Ingrid, who was captured at the Oasis, demands a shower and to have someone to talk to. She grabs the UV bars and starts burning herself. Aiden, who still has feelings for her, puts her in a room with Claudia who can only blubber on about how much she loves Yuri.

Aiden tells Sofia she cannot leave Hawk Headquarters and has to train as a hunter. She goes along with it but plans on escaping as soon as she can.

Sofia thinks vampirism can be cured and thinks this is the answer for Derek and her to be together. Aiden tells her there is no cure for a curse but agrees to have his scientists try to make a cure.

Aiden tells Sofia that he’s found a cure and demonstrates on Ingrid. Ingrid turns into a human in front of Sofia so she and Aiden travel back to the island to share the news with Derek. What Sofia doesn’t see is that Ingrid really wasn’t cured. At this point in the book, it wasn’t clear if Aiden had tricked Sofia and Ingrid into thinking she was cured or if he really thought Ingrid was cured. Ingrid, of course is thrilled that she is still a vampire.

Ingrid escapes.

Sofia tells Derek about the cure. He is skeptical but hopeful. When Sofia asks Aiden to show them how it works, he tells them that he has to have his scientists administer the drug because so Derek gives the okay to let the scientist some. Aiden is up to something.

This book had a part in it that really ticked me off. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone because it was at the very end of the book but it made me question the purpose of the stuff that has gone on in the all four of these books. It actually made me wonder if I should continue reading these books but I will, at least, read the next book to give the author the benefit of the doubt and hope she knows what she is doing.

A Castle of Sand

A Castle of Sand – A Shade of Vampire – Bella Forrest

There has been so much that has happened in this series that a quick recap is impossible. I hope I can summarize the last two books without getting too long winded.

Sofia has gone through a lot since she and her best friend Ben were abducted from a beach in Cancun. They were taken to an island called the Shade that is run by vampires who have human slaves and treat all humans as disposable. The island has a protection spell on it that keeps it hidden from humans and keeps it eternally dark. She fell in love with the prince of the Shade, Derek Novak, who is not much better than the other cruel vampires who live there but she is able to keep him calm and he treats her well. Even though he is in love with her…or maybe because he is in love with her, he allows Ben and her to escape the island. Derek was afraid he’d end up physically hurting Sofia if she stayed.

Once a vampire tastes the blood of a human, he becomes addicted to that particular human’s blood and usually ends up killing the human within a few days by draining them dry because vampires lose control. There were at least two times that Derek was able to stop himself from killing someone because he kept thinking about how Sofia would feel about it, not because he cared about the humans’ lives. So I have to call bullshit on the theory that vampires can’t control themselves from killing the humans. I don’t know if it was the authors intention for the reader to wonder or if she just didn’t think about it but I did question it. I wondered if vampires were incapable of feeling remorse for human lives or if they had become numb or immune to it over the years because they were allowed to just kill the humans with no consequences. If they didn’t have a constant supply of humans, would they have become a little more careful? Did becoming a vampire instantly take away any humanity that was there?

I went a little off course with that last paragraph. I’ll get back on track.

Once Sofia left the island, the darkness started taking over Derek. The darkness almost seems as if it is a separate entity. He bites and becomes addicted to the blood of one of his harem girls, Ashley, who is also one of Sofia’s friends. He slept with the cruel and evil Claudia too. I personally thought he was a loser pig at this point. His twin sister, Vivienne, tells him he needs to get Sofia back before the darkness takes him over. Vivienne is a seer.

Ben decides that he is in love with Sofia and they decide to date which ends up not working because Sofia is in love with Derek. Ben wants to join the hunters, an organized group of vampire hunters, to get revenge on Claudia, the cruel vampire who tortured him while he was on the Shade.

Vivienne visits Sofia and gives her some of her memories which shows Sofia how to get back to the Shade along with a lot of other disturbing memories. They both passed out and the hunters took Vivienne away. Sofia decides to return to the Shade and Ben decides to join the hunters.

Liana, one of the vampires, tells Derek that she thinks the hunters have Vivienne because she was supposed to check in and never did. Derek slapped her and knocked her to the floor. He’s such a gem! Then he decides that Sofia is the cause of Vivienne’s loss so he wants to hurt Sofia by hurting her friend. He finds Ashley and straddles her hips. He starts to drain her dry but stops when Sofia walks in. He grabbed Sofia and slammed her up against the wall. Ashley tried to defend Sofia so she went to go stake him but Sofia moved in front of the stake and was stabbed in the shoulder. Derek then gets all remorseful and tells Sofia he’ll win her back.

Ben discovers that the leader of the hunters is Sofia’s father, Aiden Claremont, who goes by the alias of Reuben.

Lucas, Derek’s brother, sought sanctuary with Borys Maslen, his family’s enemy. He sent a message with Natalie Borgia, an independent rogue vampire who is like a liaison between vampire covens, to his father to let him know that Sofia is to blame for his betrayal and the capture of Vivienne. When Lucas reaches the Oasis, Borys Maslen and his coven’s huge underground hideout, he tells him why he had to leave the Shade. Upon hearing Sofia’s name, Borys becomes enraged and beats the crap out of Lucas. He yells, “How dare your brother lay a hand upon her! She was mine! The Claremont girl is mine! Then a female vampire who looks just like Sofia comes into sight and tells Lucas that she is Sofia’s mother, Camilla Claremont, who calls herself Ingrid Maslen now. She apparently promised Sofia to Borys.

That makes four men who are obsessed with Sofia. Ben, Lucas, Derek and Borys. It’s starting to be a little much for me.

That’s where the last book ended.

In this book, Derek’s father, Gregor has returned to the Shade and has taken over his kingly duties even though everyone knows that Derek is way more powerful. Gregor hates Sofia and immediately starts causing problems. He undoes the law that Derek had made to stop all teenage abductions and send three girls to Derek’s penthouse. He tries to have Derek arrested but no one would dare to actually go after him.

Derek is told that once a Migrate, a human who was not born on the island, has been there for a year, they have to either be turned into a vampire or sent to the Catacombs, the slave quarters, to be assigned work. Most Migrates don’t survive a year. Sofia and two of the girls decide to be sent to the Catacombs but Ashley decides to be turned.

Sofia believes that her relationship with Derek is temporary like a sandcastle because he is a vampire and she is a human. She worries that she is aging while he remains the same. Are you kidding me? She’s just turning 18. Who worries about aging at that age? Ridiculous!

Ben goes on his first mission as a hunter and isn’t so sure he can kill vampires if they are innocent.

Claudia finds out that Ben is no longer on the island. She sends a message to Lucas to tell him to find Ben to use against Sofia.

Gregor ambushes Derek and has Felix and his men shoot him with tranquilizers.

Sofia goes to the Catacombs and Gavin, another one of Claudia’s victims, introduces her to a few other slaves who are planning a revolt. Somehow, Gregor finds out and has them arrested. He orders them all to receive 50 lashes in the town square. No human could ever survive that.

As some of the events happened in this book, I wondered if Derek was an idiot. He kept allowing Claudia to do all kinds of horrible things and go against him. He knows Gregor is gunning for him yet he doesn’t have guards with him or Sofia at all times. It drives me nuts.

I can’t really go into the rest of the book without spoiling it but there was a lot more that happened. Borys and Sofia’s crazy mom are still a huge threat and so are Claudia and Lucas. There are also the hunters out looking for the Shade or any vampire coven’s hideout.

I devoured this book in no time at all. I’m off to read the next one.

A Shade of Blood

A Shade of Blood – A Shade of Vampire #2 – Bella Forrest

The last book ended with Sofia and Ben leaving the Shade. Sofia and Ben had been abducted from Cancun where Ben’s family had taken Sofia and him on vacation. Sofia had lived with Ben’s family since she was nine years old. She was abducted on her 17th birthday. Ben was her best friend but she thought she was in love with him even though Ben hadn’t returned those feelings. They had been abducted and taken to the Shade, an island hidden from humans by a spell that also kept it in eternal darkness. The Shade is full of blood-thirsty vampires who have human slaves.

Sofia ended up being given to Derek Novak, the prince of the shade who had just woken up from a 400-year nap, along with four other girls as part of his harem. He takes an interest in Sofia because she showed kindness to one of the other girls. He, of course, is starving after his long nap so he is unable to control himself and pins Sofia up against a pillar to suck her blood and he is so hungry that he will probably kill her and maybe a few of the other girls too. Sofia talks him out of it and he is amazed how she is able to calm him.

Derek and Sofia start having deep feelings for each other but Derek is scared that the darkness will take over and he won’t be able to control himself from biting her. Once a vampire bites a human, he becomes addicted to that particular human’s blood and cannot control himself from sucking the human dry. Most vampires don’t care…in fact, Derek usually doesn’t care and keeps having thoughts about why he should care if he takes what he wants from Sofia because he is the prince and what he says goes but somehow Sofia is able to calm Derek.

There is a vampire prophesy that says Derek will lead all of the vampires to sanctuary once he meets his true love.

At this point, Sofia nor Ben knows that the other is on the island. Ben was given to a sadistic vampire named Claudia who has tortured and raped him repeatedly. When Claudia visits Derek one day, Sofia sees that Ben is in shackles behind her. She hugs him and Derek gets jealous but demands that Claudia gives Ben to him.

Derek ends up giving Sofia and Ben their freedom. He gave Sofia the choice and she chose to leave.

In this book, Sofia and Ben wake up on the same Cancun beach that they had been abducted from. They had been drugged after they were but on the submarine so they couldn’t tell anyone else where the Shade is located. I thought they were a little selfish because instead of calling Ben’s parents to tell them they were alive, they took some money that Derek had left them and went to a motel for the night.

When Ben’s parents came to pick them up, they told them and the police that they had run away but wouldn’t give them any other information. The police and parents knew they were lying because of Ben’s scars but didn’t push them for more information. Ben actually wanted to tell them but Sofia wanted to protect Derek and the island. Again, I thought this was pretty strange. Even if she was in love with Derek, there were still thousands of humans on the island who were being abused and killed. But then again, who really would believe them?

Sofia and Ben went back to high school and Ben decided he wanted to date Sofia because he had always known he wanted to end up with her but wanted to date other girls first. He realized he had been selfish. Sofia agrees but she still can’t get Derek out of her mind.

Meanwhile, Derek calls together the Elite and the Knights of the Shade together for council meetings to get a clear idea of what has happened in the Shade for the last 400 years. His father, Gregor Novak, is off the island meeting with other vampire covens because there are rumors that the other covens might give away the Shades location to the human hunters, an organized group of vampire hunters. Since his father is gone, he has to lead his people. When he finds out that there are thousands of humans on the island and they outnumber the vampires five to one, he is shocked. He knows that that could cause problems.

He also orders that the abduction of teenagers stop, not because it is the good and right thing to do but because it could lead to discovery of the island by humans. This leads to a lot of problems since the abducted teenagers are where the vampires get their blood from since they don’t drink from their other human slaves who do the work on the island. Derek wonders where the blood comes from that he has been drinking from the glasses that the slaves hand him. I had wondered that too and was glad to finally get an answer. He is told that a long time ago, there had been a culling where the sick and the weak of the human worker slaves were killed and drained. Their blood was put in a cooling chamber. Derek tells the council that they can drink from that for a year or two until is gone and then they will have another culling.

Before Sofia had left, Derek’s brother, Lucas, had been obsessed with her and had attacked her and taken her blood. Lucas ran when Derek caught him and went to Claudia’s to hide. Derek found out Claudia was hiding him. Lucas got away but Derek had Claudia arrested. This caused friction from some of the vampires who believed that Derek should have never taken the side of a human over a vampire’s.

Derek has let the darkness get to him. He wants to forget Sofia so he starts sleeping with girls that Vivienne, his sister, sends to him. None of the other vampires know that Sofia and Ben are gone except for Vivienne. He blacks out and bites Ashley, one of his harem girls and one of Sofia’s friends. He tells his guards to take her away because he knows he will always crave her blood now and he will end up killing her if he takes her blood again.

Derek also went into Claudia’s cell and ended up having sex with her. He immediately felt guilty and decided to release Claudia which made Claudia angry because she felt like he had used her and then paid her like a prostitute with freedom. It made me mad because, although I didn’t think much of Derek before, I now think of him as a total pig.

Ben tells Sofia that after graduation he wants to join the hunters. She just wants to live a normal life and forget about the Shade but she is fooling herself because she always thinks about Derek. She also keeps having nightmares and visions.

Of course, I can’t give away the ending because that would just be wrong but I kept wanting and wondering if Sofia would ever see Derek again. I don’t know why I kept wanting her to end up with Derek because I think Derek is someone who thinks of human as disposable but I also kept hoping he would see the light. The author did a great job of messing with my emotions. One minute, I was hating Derek and the next I was routing for him.

There was a lot that happened in this book even though it was only 389 pages long and I am hooked.

A Shade of Vampire

A Shade of Vampire – A Shade of Vampire #1 – Bella Forrest

Here is another one of those books that I downloaded a long time ago but didn’t read because when I read the first few pages and discovered it was about a 17-year-old girl, I stopped reading it. I have a hard time reading romance books about protaganists who are in their teens because I can’t take them seriously. Most of them have never lived life beyond high school, never had a job, never had an apartment or had to pay bills and never had the worries that go along with being an adult. They have never had a relationship while trying to earn a living. I try to avoid teenage romance books when I can but I came across this one again so I decided to give it another chance. I was pleasantly surprised. This book was a pretty good read.

Once I got past the weird alternating POV thing, I really got into this book. The chapters alternate first person POVs. One chapter, it will be Sofia’s POV and the next Derek’s and sometimes other characters.

Sofia Claremont was upset with her best friend Ben, with whom she has deeper feelings for than just a friend, because he forgot her birthday. She goes for a walk on the beach and gets abducted and taken to a hidden island where it is always dark thanks to a magical spell. The island is full of vampires who have human as slaves. She and four other girls are given to the Derek, the prince, who has just woken from a 400-year nap and is starving for blood.

Sofia and the girls are all frightened but she takes the hand of the blonde girl next to her to comfort her. Derek noticed this and for some reason it endeared her to him but Sofia has a cut on her lip, thanks to an earlier encounter with Derek’s psychotic brother, so Derek’s hunger took over. He pinned Sofia against a column of the temple they were in and almost sank his teeth into her neck when she talked him out of it. Since then Sofia has been his favorite harem girl.

She soon learns that humans are not treated well on the island named The Shade. Vampires think of humans as playthings and as slaves and think nothing of killing them. Once a vampire bites a human, he or she becomes addicted to that human’s blood. The vampires show very little control and usually kill the human by draining them within days. The human is lucky if they last a week. The most attractive humans are made playthings of the vampires while all the others are put to work keeping the island running.

Derek Novak helped save the vampires in his coven hundreds of years ago when humans called the hunters were after them. He, along with the help of a witch named Cora, built The Shade into a sanctuary. He sent out vampires to abduct humans for slaves and for blood while Cora used her magic to hide the island and make it eternally dark.

There is a prophesy about Derek saving his kind. After all the horrible things Derek did to make The Shade possible, he believed his part in the prophesy was completed and had Cora put a spell on him to sleep forever. However, Cora knew there was more to the prophesy than what Derek knew. She made sure to build into the spell that Derek was to awake when a girl came along that would help him save his kind or something like that.

This book was not your typical vampire book. Usually, there are good vampires and bad vampires but every one of these vampires seem not to care one iota about human life except for Derek who is conflicted. Before he met Sofia, he had no qualms about using and killing humans. Derek’s thoughts were sometimes disturbing. He’d think about why he shouldn’t just take what he wanted from Sofia or someone else and bend her to his will because he was the prince and what he wants he gets. The author wasn’t always clear if he meant just taking blood from a person or raping them. I don’t think I could ever like a character, no matter what he did to redeem himself afterwards, if he raped someone. It’s strange how I can accept a killer but not a rapist. Derek has something dark within himself but being around Sofia helps him have a conscience. Derek goes to drink the blood of a captured hunter and had every intention of killing her but stopped himself just before her heart stopped. He was able to control himself.

There was a lot more going on in this book that I could tell would be part of the future plot which intrigued me. There is the threat of hunters finding them or other vampire covens around the world coming up against them. There’s a threat from within because now that Derek is awake, he is changing things and people are unhappy.

Of course, I have already downloaded the next book in the series and started reading it.

 

Friday Night Bites

Friday Night Bites – Chicagoland Vampires #2 – Chloe Neill

Arrrrrrgg!!!! Why do I keep doing this to myself? I read a mediocre or unexceptional book but think it may have potential so I buy the second book just to be disappointed. I thought this series would get better and that the protagonist would get a personality but I was wrong.

This book was worse than the first book. Reading this book was like watching a slug move across from the lawn over the sidewalk to the other side of the lawn where a big cat is sitting waiting to pounce on it. You have to wait forever for it to get there, watching its slow process and you know the cat is going to pounce on it when it hits the other side which will at least be a little exciting, if not a little sad for the slug but when the slug finally gets to the other side, the cat sees a chipmunk and decides to run after it instead. It’s good for the slug but a letdown for the audience because let’s face it, slugs are gross and not good for the garden. I may have gone way off course with that analogy but the point is that this book was slow. I had to endure almost every minute of Merit’s life, from the minute she got up to the minute she went to sleep. It was agonizing.

The plot was predictable again…in fact, it was the same threat as the last book because of course, instead of killing the bad guy…or in this case…bad gal, they sent her away to the vampire council in Europe which is the stereotypical vampire council with powerful old vampires who are disconnected from humans and modern society so they let Celina go. So, of course, Celina is back to cause trouble. It appears the author is going to milk the Celina threat for a long time.

Merit, the protagonist, never did grow a personality…in fact, she just got worse. She has a best friend named Mallory who supported her and was by her side when Merit was turned into a vampire but when Mallory needs her help, she blows her off until the last minute. When Mallory tells her that she thinks she is putting Ethan who has been nothing but a jerk towards Merit before everyone else because Merit secretly wants him, Merit gets ugly with Mallory. I think Merit is pathetically obsessed with Ethan. I hate women like her. The author seems to be trying to make Ethan and Merit’s relationship be mysterious and romantic but to me Ethan’s power over Merit and the way he treats her is abusive. I hope readers, especially young adult readers, don’t think this kind of behavior is okay.

It took me days to get through this book. I wanted to just stop reading but I forced my way through it. I won’t be reading another book in the series.