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.
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.