Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: The Rift Walker

The Rift Walker
Clay & Susan Griffith
Vampire Empire Trilogy/Book 2
Prometheus/September 20, 2011

*Spoilers for Book 1*

Princess Adele abandons duty and embarks on a desperate quest to keep her nation from genocide as the Equatorian Empire and American Republic strategize plans for victory against the vampire clans of the north.  Reunited with her great love, the mysterious adventurer known to the world as the Greyfriar, Adele is pursued by her own people as well as her vengeful husband, Senator Clark. With the human alliance in disarray, Prince Cesare, lord of the British vampire clan, strikes at the very heart of Equatoria.

As Adele fights to bring order to her world, she learns more about the strange powers she exhibited in the north. If she could ever bring this power under her command, she could be death to vampires.  But such a victory will also cost the life of Adele's beloved Greyfriar.

A captivating mix of high adventure and alternate history, the Vampire Empire trilogy brings epic political themes to life withing a tale of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.

The second book in this vampire steampunk trilogy gives the reader more insight to the world of the vampires and the humans.  We see how the vampires think of humans as cattle, much in the same way humans of today view animals - as a food source.  This is shown in graphic detail not only with the feeding from but the hunting of the humans.  Hunting is a sport to relieve boredom with the added bonus of a meal at the end.  This isn't always an easy read but brutal at times.

Princess Adele, recovered from her dangerous adventures in the north, now faces her wedding to the arrogant, overbearing Senator Clark.  Clark sees Adele as a means to an end, a way for him to become Emperor rather than a wife to cherish.  Adele knows this, loathes Clark but doesn't see a way out of the marriage.  She does try to discuss the situation with her father but it leads nowhere.  You can't help feel sorry for Adele but that doesn't last long because Adele is a strong heroine and part of that strength lies in her ability to see beyond the surface and believe in her own powers.

Greyfriar is a fascinating hero.  He goes against his basic instincts of a vampire and instead treats humans as more than just a meal on two legs.  He lives in the north, pretending to be the weaker of the two heirs to the British throne when all along he is just as cunning and intelligent, perhaps more so, than his brother Cesare.   It's interesting to see Gareth aka Greyfriar interacting with other vampires specifically his brother and his allies.  Gareth must play the role of vampire while ensuring no one suspects where his true feelings lie.  He lets his brother think he's weak and no threat to the throne even though Gareth is the eldest of the two.

The story holds much action and adventure which keeps the pace moving along at a fairly quick beat.  There are some slower moments that allow for the political drama to play out.  There were a couple occasions when I became a bit anxious for the faster pace but overall the story was well balanced with action, adventure and political intrigue.  The politics are complex but well thought with a few surprises that leave the reader wanting the next book now!  Each characters has their own agenda, their own vision, for what the world should look like.  For Adele and Gareth, they have similar visions but the means to the end may not be what they had planned.  I did enjoy seeing the actions and reactions each character made and how the authors brought it all together. 

The world building should be mentioned since it is an integral part of the trilogy.  There are plenty of what are considered steampunk elements throughout the story from the descriptions of the clothing to the airships and the battles in the skies.  There is also an urban fantasy feel with vampires, magic and loads of weapons.  I love how this world has been created with the different elements so it is not so simple to place in one genre but a mixture, giving  a decidedly unique feel to it. 

After a little bit of a slow start, the second book in the Vampire Empire trilogy had me racing to the end to see who would live and who would die.  With plenty of revelations and no doubt more to come, the third book can't get here fast enough!

Rating: A-

Vampire Empire Trilogy 

The Greyfriar
The Rift Walker
The Kingmakers (September 4, 2012)


  1. Leslie, I kind of peeked at the last paragraph of your review because I still have this in my TBR pile and want to read it. See... I began reading it and that slow start discouraged me! But you gave it an A-! So now I have to pick it up again. :)

  2. Ahhh, I really need to read this series. Soon!!

  3. YES!!!! So psyched to see an A- for this! I LOVED the first book, which I picked up per your recommendation, I believe. I have this on my TBR and think I might read it for next month's TBR Challenge.

  4. Sorry the replies are so late!

    Hils ~ It does start a bit slow but once it picks up it's definitely worth the read!

    Christine ~ Oh yes, do read it. The next book is almost out! LOL