Monday 31 March 2014

Book Review - Dinner With A Vampire

Dinner With A Vampire
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Series: The Dark Heroine #1
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult, New Adult
Release Date: 11th October 2012
Publishers: Harper Voyager
No. Pages: 549
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape.. no matter how hard Violet tries.

Yet all the riches in the world can't mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn. Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price...

The Dark Heroine, oh where do I start? I hadn't heard much at all about the story whatsoever when I bought it last year, and I hadn't read any reviews on it until last month when I read a fellow bloggers review and it peeked my interest and shot up my reading list, and even when I started, I still wasn't hearing much, so I checked out the reviews, and yes, some shocked me, some appalled me and some really really thwarted this book, however, I can't help but feel myself fall right into the centre of this feud.

I had never read a vampire themed book, paranormal, urban fantasy yes, but none centrally dictated and dedicated to just vampires, so this book was a brand new adventure for me; a puzzling, confusing, and sometimes, slightly boring adventure to say the least. The synopsis leads you do believe this is a hot, erotica type vampire book with plenty of action, plenty of plot twists and full of intrigue and amazement, but the contents of this book weren't what the synopsis leads you to believe. There were some quite eerie and dark opening scenes, springing right into the action, introducing us to a sarcastic, intelligent and quite interesting leading lady Violet, however, that's kind of where the action ends. In truth, when you take out the ripping people to shreds, eating people and being generally quite gory, there isn't really a lot of 'action' involved. Throughout the story, vampires hunted, sucked blood, threatened near enough everyone, and when that wasn't happening, the males were being all brooding and sexy, and the females were slut shaming and being quite bitchy. I appreciate that Gibbs wanted to create a world similar to ours and that she wanted her characters to be relatable, but I just couldn't deal with it all too well.

If there were some main things I did appreciate through this story, it would be the relationship between Kaspar and Violet, both their character developments and the steamy scenes. As with all relationships, there were parts that really frustrated me, for example, the confident and cockiness of Kaspar and how terribly he treated Violet within the first third, and when you add the fact that he's a vampire and it's 'what they do', it seems remotely acceptable, and a slim part of me does accept it, but not all of me. The parts of their relationship I did appreciate however considered of the slow burn, the consideration they developed for one another and how no matter what the circumstances, even the ones most serious, they overcame them, and they both began to understand life from the others point of view. Their character development complimented the relationship they formed, both Violet appreciating the world of vampires and how they way of living, while more violent, still had the same features, while Kaspar appreciate how much his parents had done for him, and he grief and emotional torment like a human being would. The steamy scenes, well, as someone who writes erotica fiction myself, I can appreciate a good old sexy scene, and yes, because of the authors age at the time, some words could have changed, and some of the scenes could have been written in a more mature, stronger and developed way, however, for a young author starting out at 15 years old, I can only congratulate her on that feature of the story.

Sadly, the plot was quite hard to decipher; was it a romance, or was it actually a war between worlds, between human and vampire? In truth, I never really did find out, and that disappointed me. There were moments when I really thought things would get interesting, but Gibbs could never seem to keep hold of those moments, and there were others, for example, that were really powerful, especially the scene between Violet and Ilta. I also seriously felt that some of the world building could have been much much better, as there were occasions when I was lost, or times when the scenery would change dramatically and I would be confused by the sudden change. Other times, the switch from dreams to actual scenes was unclear due to the font not changing often enough in the book, and sometimes, the actual plot itself was highly confusing and hard to follow. I knew what Violets future entailed the moment we found out about The Dark Heroines, and I knew, when reaching the final chapters that the story would not end how I wanted it to; annoying me so much I almost didn't finish it. The only thing that made me continue reading until the very end was the fact that I'd dedicated so much time to the book that was in my opinion, unnecessarily lengthy, so I wasn't going to let that time go to waste. The ending disappointed me, and I felt that Gibbs may have left it that way because she wasn't confident enough to continue, especially considering that Autumn Rose, the sequel, is a direct companion novel taking place over the same period as The Dark Heroine did. It makes me wonder if Gibbs will be able to ever provide an ending to the story that many people followed for a long amount of time, with the hope of receiving an ending.

I think it's fair to say this book both impressed and disappointed me. There were parts that really did impress me, and actual realistic representation of vampires in this was a bonus; finally, some vampires that aren't afraid to inflict pain and suffering onto people, who aren't afraid to admit to what and who they are, and seriously like to take a chunk out of you; brilliant. I really wish I could have been more interested in the story, hoping and praying it would keep me coming back with passion, and while it kept me coming back, it wasn't as encouraging as I'd hoped. I appreciated the touches of humanity Gibbs gave her vampires, making them experience jealousy, grief and feelings that encourage passion and pain, as well as including the touches of politics in a world full of war between humans and vampires. For such an inexperienced author, Gibbs did well with this book, whether it truly was created from Twilight fan-fiction or not, however, whether or not I'll be rushing to get the sequel, gorgeous or not, will be a different matter entirely.


  1. I've got this on my Kindle to read but haven't really thought too much about reading it yet as, like you said, I haven't heard many other people having a view on it so I thank you for your review! Very interesting and informative!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

    1. You're welcome Thea! I hope it's helped you decide if you want to soon or not :)

  2. I have seen this at work so many times and could never figure out what it was supposed to be. A romance, an erotic romance or something else altogether? After reading your review, I think I may need to skip this one. It doesn't sound like the kind of book I would really enjoy all that much. Thanks for the great review Amanda :)

    1. I still have no idea what it was meant to be, and I've read it! All 549 pages of it and I'm still clueless.. I think it's a good read for vampires fans who want bites and not glitter, but other than that, I think I'm going to avoid the series. You're welcome hunny! :)


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