The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1)
Author: Clay & Susan Griffith
Details: Paperback, 301 pgs.
Published: November 18th, 2010 by Pyr
Reading Level: Adult
Vampire predators run wild in this exciting steampunk adventure, the first in an alternate history trilogy that is already attracting attention. In 1870, monsters rise up and conquer the northern lands, As great cities are swallowed up by carnage and disease, landowners and other elite flee south to escape their blood-thirsty wrath. One hundred fifty years later, the great divide still exists; fangs on one side of the border, worried defenders on the other. This fragile equilibrium is threatened, then crumbles after a single young princess becomes almost hopelessly lost in the hostile territory. At first, she has only one defender: a mysterious Greyfriar who roams freely in dangerous vampire regions. A trade paperback original; buyer's choice.
Wow! Ummm.... talk about INTENSE! This was like a horror movie for me. I couldn't hardly watch (read) it, but I couldn't look away. I'm not sure why it felt so much more intense to me, maybe it was my mood or something, but I actually had to set it down a few times because it was stressing me out so much. I REALLY wanted to check the last page and make sure everyone lived through it all. I was terrified for a bad ending. I didn't peak though, and I was okay with the end.
I loved the characters in the book. Adele was a pretty kick ass heroine though she didn't have much faith in herself. Once she had to step up though she realized she had it in her and did awesome. She had to go through a lot and many would have given up but she stayed determined to find a way even when it seemed hopeless.
The Greyfriar... Oh my... this is a character that really gets to you. He's so much more than I can even begin to describe here because that would be spoilery. Just trust me, when you start this book you won't have a clue about the truth. Or maybe you will... but I didn't and I was completely thrown by the twist. Anyway, he is brave and of course, totally kick ass. He is willing to sacrifice himself for the princess and he doesn't even know her! Well, in the beginning anyway. He is incredibly sexy because he's so mysterious and different. You know the type...
And the romance between the two... it doesn't develop quickly, but you feel the connection between the two. You get the feeling that something could happen between them and there's some sexual tension, but there's so much going on that there's not much of a chance for stuff to happen.
This book was quite horrific at times. You see, the northern hemisphere has been taken over by vampires and these are not the kind of vampires that you would want to meet. They have turned the remaining humans into their 'herds' and they have pretty much bred the humanity out of them. There was a bit of description of the smell, of bodies lying around and other things of nightmares. I'm a weeny and have nightmares easily and this was a book that stuck in my head even when I wasn't reading at night. And I did have dreams, luckily they weren't nightmares. Despite the horror in the book that I normally wouldn't care for, I LOVED this book. It may have been hard to read at times but most of the time I couldn't stop reading. I couldn't look away. I had to make sure they lived! How could they possibly escape with their lives?!
I know a lot of readers of YA actually loved this book and it could have been YA except for the horror scenes. The MC, Adele, is quite young (though I don't recall if an age was said, but she was called a child a few times so I'm guessing mid to late teens or so). I have read a YA that was as horrific (more so, even) but it was definitely a controversial book. So I can't say I'd recommend it for teens, but some may enjoy it.
This was a fantastic read in a world like ours but yet vastly different (different time period) and had some Steampunk elements but they weren't overwhelming. There wasn't description of the different gadgets really and we know they are in airships but we're not getting the how's and why's of it. So even if you don't like Steampunk (though I don't know why you wouldn't!) you may still enjoy this one. Filled with scary vampires, a kick ass heroine, mighty hero and lots of action, this is one you wouldn't want to miss if you are a fan of Steampunk, Paranormal, Horror, Historical alternative fiction and Fantasy.
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