The honor of being my first read of 2012 went to The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith. It is the first book in their Vampire Empire series.
I chose this book because I wanted to get the bad werewolf taste left by The Last Werewolf out of my mouth and what better way to do that than by reading a book about vampires? Vampires are so much more fun than werewolves, right guys? Right!
I loved this book. Some of the characters are pretty one-dimensional and I could see where a lot of the plot was going very early in the book, but wow do I love this setting. Steampunk! Vampires! What’s not to love?
The Griffiths have taken a novel (ha!) approach to vampires in this series. In their world vampires are a separate species and new vampires are not created by draining the blood from humans. The book takes place after the Great Killing – during which the vampires rose up and and went to war against the humans. In this world vampires aren’t hurt by the sun so they’re able to run around in daylight just fine. What does affect them is heat. Heat makes them sluggish and much easier to kill. So what’s happened by the time of the book is that the surviving humans have taken up in the warmer climes and the vampires have taken over the cold ones.
The book begins with Princess Adele of Equatoria’s zeppelin getting attacked by vampires and making a crash landing. Adele survives, gets momentarily rescued, then captured by the vampire clan controlling Britain. The book deals with her capture, rescue attempts by various parties and for the most part just setting up the world for future books.
As I stated above, characters in this book are pretty cookie-cutter, but the setting of this book more than made up for that for me. Indeed it’s the first book in awhile where I had to immediately start the second book after finishing the first. I’m also happy to report that so far, with the exception of the annoying Senator Clark, all of the characters seem far more fleshed out in the second book.
This was an incredibly fun read and should definitely go on your to-read lists.