The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
Release Date - March 2013
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
The Dark Heroine: Dinner With a Vampire may possibly be a teen novel given the heroine's age, but I am putting it in the adult section because I found it to read more like a cross of a thriller and a paranormal romance. At times, the descriptions can be quite gruesome and rape is a subject that is broached, so some readers may not like the content. Overall, I enjoyed the story and that's odd since it is all about vampires.
Violet Lee, daughter of England's Secretary of State for Defense, witnesses a horrifying killing spree after separating from her friends during a night out on the town. She's kidnapped and held hostage by the perpetrators, who turn out to be members of a very powerful royal family, albeit a vampire clan. The prince of these vampires, Kaspar Varn, is driving Violet crazy, but at the same time, it's hard for her to ignore her growing attraction to him.
There are a few things you have to realize with The Dark Heroine. One is that these are not the stereotypical vampires people have come to expect from fiction. I like that! Skin does not sparkle when they're in the sun, they do not hide in coffins in daylight, and they do have relationships and families. They have heightened senses, feel emotional pain, and follow their laws. Realistically, the only thing that makes them different to humans is the fact that they do live forever and drink blood.
Violet is only 17 when the vampires take her hostage. They make it clear from the start that she will never be able to leave. The story, particularly the relationship between Violet and Kaspar, builds slowly and does not consume the story. The author seemed focused on building the relationship of every character and the setting for a good portion of the novel, setting things up perfectly for future novels. There's also the set-up for future novels revolving around an age-old prophecy that Violet is unknowingly part of.
I can't say this is my favorite story of all time. I am biased because I'm not a huge vampire fan, but the British wit was clear and drew me in. I liked that Violet was pretty sassy and standing up for herself, even if she felt she was surrounded by brutal monsters. Her determination and sarcastic nature is what kept me glued to the pages.