Audie Award Nominee, Paranormal, 2013
1870. A time known as The Great Killing. The vampire clans arose and slaughtered humanity with unprecedented carnage in the northern parts of the world. Millions perished; millions were turned into herd animals. The great industrialized civilizations of the world were left in ruin. A remnant fled south to the safety of the ever present heat which was intolerable to vampires. There, blending with the local peoples, they rebuilt their societies founded on human ingenuity, steam and iron. The year now is 2020. The Equatorian Empire, descendant of the British Empire, stretches from Alexandria to Cape Town. Princess Adele, quick witted, combat trained and heir to throne is set to wed the scion of the American Republic, a man she has never met. Their marriage will cement an alliance between the nations and set the stage for war against the vampires in an attempt to retake the north. Prepared to do her duty she finds herself caught in a web of political intrigue and physical danger.
The Greyfriar, a legendary vampire hunter from the north, appears ready to rescue the Princess and return her home—but he harbors secrets of his own. As the power struggle between the vampires and humans increase Adele and The Greyfriar are caught in the middle, on the run, being hunted, and fighting for not just their own lives, but for future of humanity.
©2010 Buzzy Multimedia Publishing Corp. (P)2012 Buzzy Multimedia Publishing
Yes, although I enjoyed the print version the added dimension of James Marsters narrating was impressive. I always love him in the Dresden Files but oh my what he does with this makes me impatient for the next book in the series (I've read the Riftwalker and am waiting for the 3rd book to come out) They even have a little bit of Ney music leading in and ending the book which makes me think of of Princess Adele as a child and her Persian mother.
My boyfriend's favorite was Flay and I guess it is because she is so sexy while being so deadly. For myself it has to be the Greyfriar himself. He is obviously on the classic hero's journey and sometimes it is painful to watch. He is by no means perfect except in the struggle.
James Marsters puts in a performance, not just some sort of mellifluous voice. He handles womens voices so well that I forget it is a man who is doing the reading. He nails the ethnic voices making the Japanese tutor/mystic Marmaru sound more like Lord Toranaga than Mr. Miyagi, his Colonel Anhault, a Gurkha officer who heads the Royal Guard sounds as if he sprang right from the sub-continent and he even does convincing voices for the Persian female mystic and an African sorceress who are members of the cabal. He draws the smallest of characters so vividly that you can feel the warmth folksy appeal of the elderly couple that open their poor home to the Greyfriar and Princess Adele even at great risk to themselves. Guess you know that I've been following James Marsters since he played Spike on Buffy and Angel and he has done nothing other than improve. He never dissapoints.
The first paranormal Steampunk Adventure
The balance of action adventure, mystery and romance makes this audio worthy of your Audible credits.
Action. Adventure. Romance.
For me the sign of a good book is when I'm compelled to READ the sequel if it's not available on audible. Wanting to find out what happens next to the characters was what mainly had me dying to read more. The character building is superb which sometimes gets neglected in sci-fi/fantasy books. Princess Adele is a strong, independent and quite deadly heroine as opposed to some of the frail little waifs that have appeared in other vampire fiction. The Greyfriar was a superb hero, definitely far from perfect, but striving to make a difference in a war torn world.
The world building was good as well though I still have lots of questions that will hopefully be answered in future installments in this series. I felt totally immersed in the world and could picture the places and the events as they took place.
There was a twist, which I won't mention here, that I absolutely loved. The aftermath was handled perfectly. Each of the affected characters dealt with the repercussions of this revelation in a realistic way. Loved, loved, loved it.
I also loved the vampires. They definitely do not sparkle. The mythology of their race was fascinating and seemed almost believable, at least more believable than that in recent vampire books I've read. These vampires were downright scary, ruthless, but at the same time fighting to survive, much like the humans in the book.
This brings me to the next thing I liked about the book. Seeing the perspectives of both the humans and the vampires and the driving force behind each of their actions really helped the world and the novel to be more believable.
He is amazing. I'm a fan of Buffy and have always loved Mr. Marsters but I have to say I was shockingly impressed with how well he handled the various voices, both male and female, and those from various parts of the world. I actually found myself forgetting that a man was narrating for Princess Adele. He gave her such a unique voice. He was never overly dramatic, but always pitch perfect in his inflection and portrayal of emotions.
Please get the sequel on Audible as fast as possible. Though I'm tearing through the print version, it's not nearly as satisfying as listening to James Marsters portray these characters.
Give this book a chance. It's a welcome new twist on vampire lore with characters that will stick with you long after you're done listening.
I'm a voracious audiobibliophile, mainly interested in speculative fiction, with the occasional mimetic fiction or non-fiction title sneaking in.
This one is just fantastic fun. Set in an alternate history's future, one in which decidedly non-sparkly vampires are real and have risen up and destroyed human civilization throughout the temperate zone and colder climates just ahead of the industrial revolution, and humans have retreated to the equatorial regions, protected by the sluggishness which heat induces in their stronger, faster, crueller foes. Who can fly by the way, floating on wind currents. A princess of a neo-Victorian Alexandria is to be politically wed to a great American vampire killer, in advance of a great war to push the vampires back and reclaim Europe; however, Princess Adele's airship is attacked in force by vampires intent on her capture. Adele is combat trained and able, though when things look their bleakest... enter The Greyfriar, fast, skilled, strong, and tireless enough to match swords with vampire claws and spirit Adele into the French countryside. So: we have a kind of "Steampunked" alternate future of airships and goggles; we have deadly, amoral vampires and The Greyfriar; and we have the rise of a decidedly fantastic element, of mystical arts, amidst the rising tides of all-out war, circling around a badass and capably armed princess. All narrated wonderfully by Marsters, no stranger to vampires to say the least. Best known in audio as the long-standing voice of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden, he's absolutely landed on his feet in a role absolutely perfect for him, and one which allows him to display a range of accents, ages, genders, and give voice to breathtaking derring-do. This one's enthusiastically recommended.
It was a very entertaining listen for several reasons, well worth the money.
The setup of the Vampire Empire origin and motivation is intriguing and a good mixture of common elements and new ones (the explanation for them flying being one - no spoilers!)
The characters are well described - also the minor ones - and develop understandably. Adele is no wilting flower and finds a strenght within her while she struggles to survive. I always love strong female characters.
The Greyfriar's secret is reveiled very soon but it was quite obvious from the beginning, so I was relieved that they didn't drag this out. The conflict lies more in his origin than in keeping it a secret anyway. And I found more understanding for the vampires, especially Flay, than Adele's riding-to-the-rescue fiance.
The steampunk is a nice touch and plausible but not really necessary for or prominent in the story. If you consider buying this audiobook just because of that then leave it be.
The narration of Mr. Marsters is excellent and brings color to every character, even the smallest one. He gives them such life and emotion that the story runs like a film while listening to him. With Adele I always forgot that a man is narrating, he captures her voice so well.
First of all James Marsters is, as always, excellent. Let me get that out of the way now before I start in on this one. I have never been disappointed by his readings, and this book is no exception.
Now then. Was this a great book? No, it was not. It was entertaining, assuredly. The world is pretty well thought out, though it felt like the steampunk theme had been shoe-horned in on a story that would have been fine without it, and didn't really gain anything by its inclusion. Does the Greyfriar wear a mask? Yes. Also, he wears goggles. Because you see, it's a steampunk book.
Don't get me wrong, Im fine with the genre, I just didn't feel like this particular story had any reason to -be- steampunk. There isn't enough history to explain why there is steampunk, but I guess that isn't really important.
The story is standard adventure fare, with a vampire twist. The 'shocking secret' is neither shocking nor a secret, but i'm not sure it was meant to be. Somehow I doubt it.
I don't know that I will read or listen to the sequel. It was entertaining, but there are a lot better books to be had. However, if you are a big fan of vampires, alternate history, steampunk, or oldschool adventure books, you will probably like The Greyfriar. If nothing else, the portrayal of vampire culture and mindset was certainly interesting.
Believable story and the outcome was always pending. Their has to be a book 2 and 3 because it can't endthat way. The pompass so called ego maniac can not end up with the princess.
The kiss in front of the ego maniac. heheeeheeehee. Loved It!!!!
The reader was into the characters. He tapped into their minds and brought them to life.
WHen the baby was taken from the vampire unfortunately.
Very good story delivered with a reader who grabbed the backbone of the Author and ran with it... NICE!!!!
No. The story was predictable. And I really didn't find the characters intriguing or particularly likable. I always enjoy Marsters, but do not feel this book was "full" enough to take advantage of his excellent range.
Marsters does an excellent job of giving the characters different voices, but I missed how he can deliver humorous dialogue, simply because there was no humor in this story.
No. All in all, I felt it was an average story, narrated as well as it could have been.
Greyfriar owns blade
I don't know any like it...
When he took the bullet to save the princess
Laughed quite a bit
Where are the other 2 audiobooks, seriously WTF
I downloaded this book sight unseen because I wanted to support Buzzy Multimedia, and James Marsters has quickly become one of my three all time favorite narrators. His performance was excellent, as always, and the world the characters inhabited was intricate and well realized, but the characters are trite, derivitive, and frankly boring.
There's nothing wrong with this book, per se. If you love harlequin romances, this will probably be a step up from your usual fare. If you can't get enough of shows like Smallville and Vampire Diaries, this will probably be right up your alley, but I was disappointed that this interesting alternate reality was wasted on a generic teenage fantasy romance plot.
The "main" character spends most of her time as a captive, waiting to be rescued by her various romantic interests. She fights, true, but once captured, she's vacillates between damsel in distress, and moron. If she were shown to actively take charge of her own destiny, rather than simply reacting to every event, it might be easier to swallow the Greyfrier's infatuation with her.
You probably remember James Marsters best as Spike from Buffy, but if you didn't know that beforehand, you'd probably never realize it from his narration. He's got the kind of voice that can make even the straightest man question his sexuality, so he's the perfect choice to narrate a romance, but even he can't make these characters interesting.
It would probably run on the CW, and the teenage lead would most likely be played by a 20something model-turned-actress like they usually get.
Not bad... not good.... warm .... Vampires and steam-punk... It held promise but left me lacking enthusiasm for the sequel.
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