"Clay and Susan Griffith's Vampire Empire is Transforming Genre Fiction" Paul Goat Allen, BN Explorations.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A New Review

Rob Will Review

Here are excerpts from a new review that of the The Greyfriar:

"Let’s face it.  There is a lot of steampunk fiction coming out right now, and of course, a dizzying amount of vampire fiction, and pretty much every new novel in either category claims to reinvent its genre.  Every now and then, however, a book comes along that actually does.  Clay and Susan Griffith’s The Greyfriar, the first installment of their new Vampire Empire series, may not be the first novel to blend steampunk and vampires, and it may be composed of numerous recognizable plots, and yet it manages to recalibrate the old stories and tropes with such genuine ingenuity and seeming effortlessness that it never fails to feel anything less than utterly original and dazzlingly new.  The Griffiths use pre-existing mythology–vampiric and otherwise–playing off our expectations in such a way that the twists and the manner in which seemingly unconnected threads ultimately connect prove to be legitimately surprising.

I decided to read this novel, because I found the synopsis on the back cover intriguing, but it didn’t quite prepare me for how deeply in love with this book I would fall.  It has elements of alternate history, steampunk, war, politics, satire, adventure, action, graphic novel, romance, horror, suspense, and more, and yet all of these well-worn elements join together in a manner that is completely unique.  The pacing is perfect, the character development stunning, and the narrative twists and turns superb.  It also has an appealingly sly sense of humor that manages to infuse even its darkest sections with humanity and warmth.  It succeeds on every level and seems to invent whole new ones.  If you’ve grown tired of vampires and/or steampunk, The Greyfriar is the paradoxical cure for what ails you–a vampire steampunk novel that makes both genres feel shiny and new again."

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