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.

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