Disappointing. With the title "Before I got here", I was expecting stories about previous lives, or remembered experiences from before this current liDisappointing. With the title "Before I got here", I was expecting stories about previous lives, or remembered experiences from before this current life. However, most of the stories were just lame...like the story about the child who drew a picture of Jesus on the cross (riveting!) or the many stories about children spouting random Christian BS that they most certainly heard in Sunday school. Who on earth put this tired-ass collection together? And then took this sorry collection and then completely misrepresented the collection by titling it "Before I got here"? The whole book had a heavy Christian bias. Not my thing and not what I was expecting. If you like boring, pointless stories that feature kids and Jesus, then this is right up your alley. On the positive, there many colorful pages and pictures of unrelated children....oh wait, is that a positive?...more
Wow, ummmm, I guess I'm glad it's over. I'll start by saying I'm a big King fan but this is definitely not his standard fare. I wish I could say thatWow, ummmm, I guess I'm glad it's over. I'll start by saying I'm a big King fan but this is definitely not his standard fare. I wish I could say that I enjoyed this book but it just wasn't enjoyable. It was dark and dismal and hopeless. I realize he writes horror but this is beyond that. King has a great gift for drawing characters and making them rich and relatable and they triumph in some way, even in the most horrific conditions. Not here, no-siree, nope nope nope. The book is well written and it kept my attention but damn, I would only recommend reading it if you feel like being really depressed for several days afterward. Just brace yourself for it....more
Unquestionably one of the most engaging books I've read in years. I've read very little science fiction before this but the story concept and seeminglUnquestionably one of the most engaging books I've read in years. I've read very little science fiction before this but the story concept and seemingly endless parade of positive reader reviews convinced me to give it a shot. I COULD NOT put it down. My only small criticism would be that the ending seemed a bit rushed and it seemed odd to introduce new characters near the end. Leads me to believe (and hope) that these stories will pick up again in a later book. Still, a five star book for me-and I don't give five stars often. Looking forward to the next installment!...more
I was approached by the author and offered a chance to read the book in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, this was a mix of good and bad. FirstI was approached by the author and offered a chance to read the book in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, this was a mix of good and bad. First off, I'm a bit of a fussy reader and I can be a bit critical. But I'm also a writer and know how difficult it is to just sit down and write a story of any length or genre.
My experience with reading paranormal romance is limited and I usually read fiction that is far more developed and polished than A Shade of Vampire. Firstly, this isn't a novel. I'm not even sure it would qualify as a novella. I would call it the first installment of a serialized novel. And this is different from, let's say, any one of the books in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Whereas any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels were complete stories in their own right but part of a series, A Shade of Vampire is not. It is not a complete story. It is only the beginning of a story.
One thing that irritated me right off was the first person point of view. Ughhh. I find it so tiresome in longer pieces ESPECIALLY when the point of view toggles between two main characters as it did here. It didn't help that when the characters switched from Derek to Sofia, the voice sounded exactly the same.
The characters were not well developed and this is a bit inexcusable given the fact that there were only TWO! Now, not only were they underdeveloped, but what little construction went into the characters was just weird and counterintuitive to most human behavior (or vampire behavior). For instance, I think it was not even two days into Sofia's captivity and she asks if she can decorate a room. WTF! You've been kidnapped, forced to live on an island of vampires who want to eat you and you're thinking about redecorating?? Who would behave like that?? Or in the beginning during an intense moment when Derek nearly kills her, instead of pissing herself like most people would, she instead gives him advice on how to not see himself as a victim!! Now in fairness, there is something revealed about Sofia later on that may explain SOME of her odd behavior but this explanation never really gelled for me. Also, Derek, who had just awoke from a 400 year long nap didn't know anything about television and cell phones. Ok, well that makes sense...BUT he was very adept at speaking modern English and his dialogue seemed very up to date on recent slang and clichés.
I'm not sure who the target reader here is...tweens and teens? If you're an adult looking for a paranormal romance that's a bit steamier, this is not the book for you. This is disappointingly tame. This is why I'm assuming it's intended for a young audience.
Now, I could nitpick all day. That's just how I am but that might give the impression that the book was awful. It wasn't. There was an enjoyment factor in this read even though the romance developed too quickly and was a bit corny. I know that there is a market for this style of fiction and that there are many readers who will enjoy this a great deal. A twilight fan would probably like A Shade of Vampire too. It has a similar feel and read to it as Twilight(and shares similar problems). I only rated this 2 stars. It was just ok. I probably would have given it three stars if any part of the storyline had tied up at the end. There's nothing wrong with a good cliffhanger but this was an incomplete story and that bugged me more than anything else....more