Title: The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire # 1)
Author: Clay & Susan Griffith
Publication Date: November 2010
Genre: Paranormal / Steampunk
Source: Xmas Gift
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. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Wow, what a great book. I started this last night and when I got up this morning I had to read on to the end before I could bring myself to do anything else.
This is a riveting paranormal-romance-meets-steampunk-action tale. The storyline grabbed me from the start and held my interest throughout, moving at a fast pace that made me keen to turn each page. The characters were also great: Adele is a strong and feisty heroine and Greyfriar is everything you could want from a hero - handsome, skilled with a blade and possessing a dark secret of his own. The gradual development of their relationship was one of the strong points of the book.
That said, this book was not without its problems. One problem to be precise: POV. In third person narrative the POV frequently changed from paragraph to paragraph. It was not the end of the world as I could still follow whose head I was in, but it was an unwelcome distraction from the story. Luckily this book has so many good points that I found myself mostly able to overlook this flaw.
The POV issues did not stop me from falling in love with the story and the amazing world and characters Clay and Susan Griffith have created. My bookmark is already in The Rift Walker and I look forward to getting into that this evening. I imagine it will seem a long wait for the final book in the series next year.
This is an original and thrilling tale that will appeal to steampunk and paranormal fans - well worth a read!