Title: The Rift Walker
Series: Vampire Empire #2
Author: Clay and Susan Griffith
Princess Adele struggles with a life of marriage and obligation as her Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on the brink of war against the vampire clans of the north. However, the alliance's horrific strategy for total victory drives Adele to abandon her duty and embark on a desperate quest to keep her nation from staining its hands with genocide. 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 disarrray, Prince Cesare, lord of the British vampire clan, seizes the initiative and strikes at the very heart of Equatoria.
As Adele labors to bring order to her world, she learns more about the strange powers she exhibited in the north. Her teacher, Mamoru, leads a secret cabal of geomancers who believe Adele is the one who can touch the vast power of the Earth that surges through ley lines and wells up at the rifts where the lines meet. These energies are the key to defeating the enemy of mankind, and if Princess Adele 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.
The Rift Walkeris the second book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternative history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, the Vampire Empire series brings epic politcal themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.
I finished The Rift Walker last night and I’m still wow-ed by it. Clay and Susan Griffith wrote a wonderful series and I’ll be forever grateful to my friend Anzu[Zombie Hazard] for making me read it!
After finishing the book
Before starting the proper review I want to mention that I listened to the audiobook. It was narrated by James Marsters, he does great accents and the intonation is wonderful, the woman voices not so much... I've been spoiled by the narrator of the In Death series, Susan Ericksen, she is the best I've EVER listened to.
“The Rift Walker” picks up a few months after “The Grayfriar” ended. Adela is at home struggling with her responsibilities and trying to postpone her marriage to that ass Senator Clark(as you can see I don’t like the guy). After her adventures in the north most of her courtiers consider her a bit touched(ok, more “flat out crazy”), the prime minister Lord Kelvin is trying to get rid of her, Senator Clark keeps dreaming of the day he’ll be married to her and he’ll control the Empire and Mamoru(her teacher and friend) keeps doubting her. All in all they each want a piece of her and are trying to manipulate Adela for their own good and goals.
In the meantime Garreth takes a visit to London to find out about his brother’s schemes and plans. He’s struggling to appear interested in Cesare’s well-being and to act like a “true vampire”(aka kill people with no regard to their life). In one of the meetings with one of Cesare’s ally’s(crazy, old Queen from North America) he finds out that Adela’s in danger and that there’s a plot to kill her at her own wedding.
I loved Garreth and Adela in this book! They were one of the cutest couples I’ve read about, seriously! There were no misunderstandings between them(aka no stupid drama, hear this YA?!), they trusted each other and they listened to the other’s opinions with an open mind. What I’m saying is that they were a breath of fresh air. Despite all the barriers between them they make their relationship work.
The secondary characters were well rounded and real. Colonel Anhalt is still a sweetheart, he trusts Adela and helps her with… everything(can’t say what, spoiler-y :D). Mamoru I don’t like, I hate his machinations and manipulations and I don’t see what Adela sees in him, he doesn’t listen to reason and the dumb ass tries to kill Garreth repeatedly. Cesare is still the arrogant prince we love to hate, he’s a great strategist and devious, also that temper will be the death of him someday… Lord Kelvin does the unthinkable and it’s like he doesn’t think, he wants everything his own way and the opinions and ideas of others don’t matter and will get them assassinated(no, I’m not joking :D).
Senator Clark and his ego can’t enter a room at the same time, not enough space, but I sense he’ll still have his uses(unfortunately).
The Griffiths take us in a great journey through London and Cesare’s plots, through Africa and Adela’s escape and further return and Alexandria’s catacombs, filthy disgusting things… In conclusion this book has it all: forbidden love, great world building, exotic settings and interesting characters. Advice for those who haven’t started this series: you really should, you won’t be disappointed.
PS: I didn't write about a lot of events and the world in general, but if I would have this review would have been enormous!
PPS: The cover is drool-worthy!