Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Dinner with a Vampire

Dinner with a Vampire (The Dark Heroine #1)
By: Abigail Gibbs
Published By: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Page Count: 544
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: New Adult - Paranormal Romance

I should have known that I had reached my vampire quota for awhile and not accepted this ARC. Stupid me - I keep hoping that a novel will conjure the same magic for me that Twilight did once upon a time. I long for fanged ones who can consume my mind and provide anticipation for coming story lines. As much as it sucked to wait on the Twilight Saga to be finished (and as angry as I was by Breaking Dawn - that's another story for another time), I do miss the build up and longing. I was hoping that this novel would give me a new adult experience in that same vein, but sadly this one didn't rise to my expectations. I must make it clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with the writing, story, or characters; none of those aspects appealed to me, but I can see some readers loving this vampire world. Vampire novels really need something new and edgy to lure me in these days.

I was intrigued by the first few chapters. Violet, the main character, witnesses a horrific mass murder in London. She's taken hostage by the killers and transported to their country estate outside of the city. Violet has free reign of the estate, but she cannot leave the house. I felt like there was so much potential for this story - especially once the vampire politics made an appearance - but sadly the story fell short. The beginning seemed to drag on forever; I didn't need one hundred pages detailing the minute details of Violet's captivity.

 One of my biggest complaints is the characters. I disliked both Violet and Kaspar. I wanted Violet to do more exploring and uncover more secrets instead of staying in her room and plotting ways to annoy Kaspar after his nightly escapades. I had to keep reminding myself that Violet was in her late teens - hence the reason for some of her immature moments. I expect a character to have those flaws in YA novels, but I have grown to expect a bit more maturity from characters in a New Adult novel. I found Violet to be tedious and I didn't agree with many of her choices.

In addition, Kaspar is a jerk. I'm all for the bad boys in my reading and I've even been known to have a bookish crush on one or two, but Kaspar surpasses bad boy and lands firmly in the asshat category. As the story progresses, Gibbs does provide reasoning for Kaspar's personality and attempts to make the reader feel sorry for him. I, however, do not feel that his circumstances allow him to behave in such a horrible fashion. Furthermore, I don't understand how Violet's opinion of him can jump from one extreme to the other.

The romance for me was a dud. This is in large part due to the fact that I didn't like Violet or Kaspar. I found it hard to force myself to care about either of them or their futures.

One element of this novel that I did love was the lore surrounding the Dark Heroines. I feel like this is one of the strongest veins of this entire story and one that I wish had been explored more. Another aspect I enjoyed was the section on the dhampirs.

This was one of those novels that I had to force myself to finish. I kept hoping things would get better. I do have to give the author props - she started this novel in her early teens and the amount of detail in her world building is impressive. Sadly, this was just not the novel for me. All in all, I felt this novel's potential was overshadowed by my frustration level.

If you're a vampire fan and are looking for something a little darker than Twilight, I'd suggest giving this one a try. I'm curious to see if other readers enjoy Violet and Kaspar more than I did.

Two Last Gripes: Kaspar's incessant use of the term, "Girly", annoyed me. I also was really angry about Layla's attitude toward Violet in the middle of the book.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The lore surrounding the Dark Heroines

First Sentence: Trafalgar Square is probably not the best place to stand at one o'clock in the morning.

Favorite Character: Fabian

Least Favorite Character: Kaspar

For lovers of Twilight and A Discovery of Witches comes a tale about the blurred lines between family, love, and loyalty from a 17-year old Oxford-bound debut author.

Do you fear me Violet Lee?
Do you know what I could do to you?

A chance encounter on a deserted street plunges Violet into a world beyond her wildest imaginings-a world of elegance and beauty where aristocratic vampires live for decadent pleasures…a place from which there is no escape…

But beneath the splendor lies a darkness, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous heir to the throne, Kaspar Varn.

As Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds, they soon discover that it's a passion that comes at a price…


  1. Andrea, I think that the reason you found these issues with this book, maybe, because the author is only 17. And her character is in her late teens, so maybe the same age. And that's the way she thinks. But this is only my idea, of course
    This book sounds interesting enough for me to give it a try sometime
    GREAT review
    Your reader,

  2. Good review, Andrea! When I cannot connect with the main characters, it's usually not a good read for me either! Too bad...


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