A Vampire Romance in an Alternate UniverseBy
The cover alone is probably enough to make me want to check this vampire romance out, but the writing and story actually live up to the promise in this great vampire romance story. Although the concept of a world where vampires and humans both openly exist is not new, the way it is done here is a bit more unique, and gives it a wonderful romantic mood in the old fashion sense of the word. In some ways the world building reminds me of Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, and that is high praise indeed.
Clay and Susan Griffith have worked hard to create a very well realized world here, an alternate universe where the vampires have emerged as a power unto themselves. They control the upper half of the planet, the Northern Hemisphere, and they control it tightly. Humans have fled south, and so control what is called the Equatorial Empire.
A Vampire Empire of Fear
In the North, humans exist as little more than cattle. Many are gathered in herds at the whim of the vampires who rule and treat the humans as food. There are some scattered villages that survive under the protection of Prince Gareth, a vampire prince whose benevolence can be bought. The majority of humans have fled, and for good reason. Egypt is the ruling power in this vampire romance, and if you need to travel any great distances, it is done by zeppelin. That is the mode of transport that Princess Adele, a human princess from the southern Empire, is using when she is was attacked. We begin as a kidnapping is thwarted while she is aboard the Royal airship off the coast of France.
But the vampire warriors who are intent on carrying her off are thwarted by a mysterious figure called Greyfriar. He promises her he will return her to her kingdom, not an easy task. The journey is made all the more perilous by the events that follow, as Adele’s father ramps up for war with the vampire kingdom that he assumes has kidnapped his daughter. The humans may have the advantage when it comes to technology, but the vampires far outweigh them in sheer brutality.
The Journey Becomes Even More Dangerous
The vampires in this vampire romance universe are born, not made. They are an actual separate species from humans, much like how early homo sapiens and Neanderthals existed together at one time. But there is no ability to co-exist and as the battle looms it becomes obvious that the chances of Greyfriar returning the princess to her home may be slim. It doesn’t help when the infamous female vampire warrior Flay decides to track down and destroy the pair.
Audio Reading is a Real Treat
Although this vampire romance came out last year, I was intrigued to see that an audio book version was recently released and had to check it out. The book is read by James Marsters, who is probably best known for his role as Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He is emotive, pulls off a variety of accents quite well and is really quite impressive with how he uses his voice to build the dimensions of each character.
I don’t often comment on the reader of an audio book, but if you like them I really suggest you check this one out. The adventure and a certain amount of vampire romance in Greyfriar may be a bit distracting when driving to work, but it would sure make it more interesting when you get stuck in bumper to bumper on that freeway home!