The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire # 1)

The Greyfriar - Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith

The Greyfriar was a quick, light read. It successfully combined various genres and could partly be classified as pulp fiction. What worked for me is the alternative Victorian setting and the interesting take on vampires. Vampires are predators and not your cute love interest. 

*minor spoilers*

Some aspects of this book rubbed me the wrong way, especially the romance. The romance in The Greyfriar progressed really slowly, which I actually prefer, still the male love interest is smitten with princess Adele from day one. I don't know why exactly. And Adele as well is instantly attracted to Greyfriar who's virtually a stranger. At the end they professed their love and it felt contrived because I've never felt their connection and they had few intimate moments throughout the book. 
I liked Greyfriar but I didn't like Gareth. In the end he behaved like a lost child or Adele's lapdog due to his blind infatuation with her. And again I don't know why, except that the only thing they have in common is that he's a prince and she's a princess and they're both heir(ess) to the throne. 

The plot was kind of repetitive. Adele is captured and gets tossed from one camp to another. Practically the whole book she's on the run or captured. Also I could do with a little more explanation about the world building and why the vampires suddenly have the upper hand after centuries of staying underground. Maybe secondary characters could be a bit more integrated in the story and provide us more background story or something. 

All in all The Greyfriar was an enjoyable read but in the end I'm still not convinced. My favourite character in this book was Flay. I enjoy reading about characters who are really determined and want things so badly they will do the impossible. They are most of the time unlucky in their one-track minded mission but they are interesting to read about. On the other hand I'm unsure about Adele and Gareth.