Title: Dinner With A Vampire (The Dark Heroine, 1)
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Voyager (11th October 2012)
Source: Secret Santa
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 dnagerous Kasper Varn.
Violet and Kasper surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE by Abigail Gibbs is the first book in THE DARK HEROINE series. It tells the story of Violet Lee an almost eighteen-year-old who stumbles upon something she shouldn’t have, and gets drawn into a strange and dangerous world.
Reading DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE was a surprise. It was at once both what I was expecting from a vampire based paranormal romance, and at the same time it wasn’t what I expected at all. The vampire subsection of the paranormal romance genre tends to follow certain themes and trends – a girl stumbles across a beautiful tragic male vampire, being one of the more prominent. DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE takes those themes and plays up to them, but also twists them slightly so that they become something a little different.
The main character of the novel Violet Lee is a prime example of Gibbs taking the conventional and adjusting it to something new. On the surface, Violet seems to be very typical of the genre but if you look at her closely you realise she’s something a little more than that. Violet is a really strong person, and I enjoyed watching her journey through the book as she struggled with her feelings and her morals and ultimately her lack of choices. In a lot of ways, I think Gibbs’s main character is one of the toughest characters I’ve read in a while, not because she’s a brilliant fighter but because when bad stuff happens to her she gets back up on her feet and keeps putting one foot in front of the other.
Another thing I really enjoyed about DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE was how Gibbs chose to write the vampires of the story. There’s a definite feel of European aristocracy to them and their group dynamics, but at the same time the younger vampire characters don’t feel that much different from normal teenagers. I also liked the fact that Gibbs doesn’t try to make them too human, she is very clear in the narrative that they are predators – and this is highlighted in Violet’s treatment through the book.
The plot of DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE is surprisingly complex, and it is only as you near the end of the novel that you start to realise just how complex a story Gibbs has woven. Once Violet’s path crosses that of the vampire Kasper Varn things seem to evolve quickly on the page and you quickly get wrapped up in the cyclone that draws the two together. A lot of things happen off stage, but I’m hoping that they will be explored further in the second book in the series, but the story still feels complete and whole. The ending of the book is a little open, but as it’s the first book in the series I’m hoping things will be tied up in later books.
If you are a fan of vampires then you should definitely consider adding DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE to your to-be-read pile. Although it’s not as innovative as say Julie Kagawa’s THE BLOOD OF EDEN trilogy, it does bring something new to the genre.