In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. 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. 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. (goodreads.com)
This was a fun and interesting read. I liked how the Griffiths broke society down and when, and how they built it back up. The whiteness of the Equatoria Empire irked me, but I had to keep reminding myself before the world dissolved, the British were all up in colonization at that time. So not surprising, but still bothersome.
The only other irksome thing I had going on with THE GREYFRIAR was the head-hopping. It was jarring at times. Even from paragraph to paragraph it would happen, on top of chapter to chapter. I didn’t really get an omniscient third person POV out of the story so the flopping around kept disorienting me whenever it happens. I found myself, on multiple occasions, having to read back and see who stopped talking and who started because there was often no break between POV shifts.
Other than that it was entertaining. I like how ruthless the vampires were, with their own language, their own moral compass, their own way of functioning in the world. I liked how they were other than human. Above human, if you asked them. I also liked how the Greyfriar was a vampire. If you didn’t pick that up from the second he appeared on the page you’re reading with your eyes closed. It was obvious to the point where I felt Adele was being plot-servingly obtuse in not recognizing what Greyfriar was.
I liked how they built their world, how ravaged the cold areas where, how completely destroyed, but the warmer areas were thriving human meccas. It lends a different perspective to the post-apocalyptic influx of books out there. Not only is it set in the past (or rather happened in the past, alt history, if you will, as opposed to varying distances in the future, it’s also steampunk (dirigibles abound), it has vampires, and the world isn’t entirely obliterated. Planetary lines are drawn between where’s safe for humans and where’s vampire territory and it’s more than just little hovels of people. Full empires exist. It’s neat.
I have at least one more book in the series around here somewhere so I’ll definitely keep reading. My hair isn’t blown back by it (really, the head-hopping had a lot to do with that), but it was engaging. I think the characters are great, Adele especially. Such a BAMF. The world is wonderfully built and rich and I can’t wait to dive back into it again.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.