It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness. Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending the realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains...
Empire of The Vampire is probably one of the most anticipated and talked about books in the last 12 months or so. I waited over a month to get a copy from my local library, so needless to say I was more than excited to start reading this super hyped book.
The story follows Gabriel, a teenage boy who lives with his mom, dad, and sisters in this fantasy realm. The world that Gabriel lives in is plagued with vampires. As Gabriel reaches puberty he starts to realize that he is not quite like other people, so after the death of his sister and a very explicit incident with his girlfriend, Gabriel joins this sacred brotherhood.
The book starts with Gabriel shortly after he’s been captured by vampires and forced to tell his life story to a vampire chronicler. Jay Kristoff called this book a mix of Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire meets Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of The Wind. So let me start by saying that the only thing about Empire of The Vampire that could relate to these two novels is the format of a story-within-a-story and the fact that the main protagonist is telling the story to a chronicler.
I really went into this book thinking I was going to absolutely love it. Not only because of the hype surrounding it but because I love vampires. I love Anne Rice and The Name of The Wind is one of my favorite epic fantasy books.
So let’s start by talking about the elements that work in this book. Although the plot in itself is fairly simple. The world is dominated by vampires and a small group of people is out to destroy these vampires and restore peace to the world. I have to say that Kristoff’s choice to not write these vampires as boyfriend-like, cute vampires was a huge bonus for me. I also appreciated the fact that these monsters are brutal and there is no real, significant romance in this story. Although I love romance in a plot, I appreciated Kristoff’s different approach to the vampire genre. The illustrations in the book are brilliant and certainly a bonus to the story.
However, I wouldn’t be giving a fair and honest review if I didn’t mention the several elements that did not jive well with me, and might not with you either. This book has a strong start but it is way too long. This is a story that could’ve easily been broken into 2 books. At times the story drags on and on. Gabriel, the main protagonist is a self-absorbed a-hole, and I could not relate to him at all. The fact that every female character in this book is depicted as either a whore or a bitch was also annoying. I like to consider myself a quite open-minded person who reads all sorts of books and I don’t get easily offended by politically incorrect topics, but I have to say that all that misogyny eventually started to get to me. I’m also not going to talk about triggers because, honestly, if you are someone who gets triggered don’t even bother to pick up this book as I guarantee you will find something to get triggered about.
Format: Hardcover, 739 pages
Published: September 14th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
Source: Library loan
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Adult Content