One moment can change your life forever…
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…
If you’ve been following my blog this week you’ll have heard quite a lot about this book already. The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire started life on Wattpad when author Abbie Gibbs was just 15. Over 17 million views and three years later those clever bookish types at Harper Collins’ Voyager imprint snapped it up and with the ebook release yesterday are in the progess of making Abigail Gibbs one of the hottest names in publishing.
So, ‘Is it any good?’ I hear you ask! Well, the answer is an emphatic yes from me. The Dark Heroine is a dark and seductive paranormal romance that had me completely intrigued. Abigail Gibbs gives us a dangerous, sexy and sometimes disturbing set of vampires and a heroine who quite frankly would wipe the floor with the likes of Bella Swan.
The story begins in London as Violet witnesses a group of vampires execute a bloody massacre in Trafalgar Square, with the consequence that she is kidnapped by the vampires and held captive at their estate in Kent. From the off there is an antagonistic tension between Violet and the ruthless and arrogant vampire prince Kaspar.
Violet’s perspective is different from that of the heroines in many of the vampire novels I’ve read; in her eyes, vampires are disgusting predators and murderers but little does Violet know the extent of the political minefield that she has wandered into. I liked Violet’s strength and forthrightness and her stubbornness and determination to show no fear; I didn’t agree with all of her actions but I liked that her character felt real and I loved her Britishness.
This book is much more than a straightforward paranormal romance and the multi-layered plot builds nicely with some excellent twists. There is also quite a shock factor with some very unsavoury scenes and a lot of death and destruction. Some of Gibbs’ descriptions had me wincing but I also enjoyed reading an altogether darker vampire story.
For me, the story really took off halfway through the book as more of the world that Gibbs has created was revealed. With a complex and varied set of characters and hints of other worlds and dimensions not to mention some nicely imagined legends and prophecies, I think The Dark Heroine series has exciting potential and I can’t wait to find out where the next book will take us.
Although most of the story is narrated by Violet, there are chapters also voiced by Kaspar and I loved how the change in perspective gave both sides of the story and a view into the minds of two of the main characters. There’s so much I could say about the other characters in the book; I was impressed by their number and diversity and again, I think there is so much potential to explore more minor characters in depth. I found child vampire Thyme chillingly fascinating and charismatic Fabian also captured my attention. Readers who like a bad boy will love Kaspar!
With perfect timing at the end of a summer where Great Britain has been centre stage, we now have our own vampire royalty to add to the mix. The story and dialogue feel very current and fresh and once I’d started reading I couldn’t put this book down. Abigal Gibbs is an author to watch and I can’t wait to see how her writing develops. Grab a copy now – this is the book that everyone will be talking about this autumn!
The Dark Heroine – Dinner with a Vampire is out now in ebook format and will be available in papaerback on 25th October.
I’d like to thank Amy at Harper Collins for sending me a review copy of this novel.