Saturday, 30 April 2011

ALTERNATE URBAN FANTASY: Vampire Empire 1: Greyfriar - Clay and Susan Griffith

Release Date: 15/11/10


In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once-great cities were shrouded by the gray empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.

It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.

Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to a man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is the Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans

Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, Vampire Empire brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.


To be honest I love a book that tries something a little different to the norm and these two authors have clearly thought their vampire physiology through from what makes them tick to how their bodies cope with their environments. Its cleverly done and whilst we’re lead to believe that they’re a sub genus of the human genome they’re different enough to create a fear and loathing amongst most humans, especially after the war in their alternate 19th Century.

The characters are fresh and believable, the dialogue snappy, however whilst the majority are clearly well thought out, Adele however, principle female lead and future Empire Leader feels a little too unpredictable as you get a feel for her to do one thing and she goes in completely the other direction with no real consistency to her choices.

It is not a bad title and all in it was readable but I can’t help but feel that things haven’t currently been fully thought out/discovered by the authors, so much so that if they don’t quite think things through quickly parts of future titles could well get away from them and lead to a hodgepodge mishmash that may well put the final nail in this worlds coffin.

1 comment:

Pat Hollett said...

Right away I thought it sounded like a great way to change up the old vampire stories, and then I read your review and how there's no consistency in the character Adele and some things are not thought out. This could have been a great book had it been done better, and one I would have loved to read. I may still read it, after all, I still enjoy a good vamp story. Thanks! :)