Member Reviews

First, I’d like to say that this was a sample of the books so I cannot give a full review as I don’t have the entire book. Once the book is out and I’m able to finish it, I will be posting a full review on Goodreads.

Second, huge thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-Arc of Empire of the Damned.

This picked up right where Empire of the Vampire left off and it takes off just as well.
This got me even more exited for the book and I cannot wait. I need the book to be out asap.

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Initially I didn't realize I was only receiving a sampler of this. But oh man! I am excited for the rest of the book to come out. Only receiving a sampler was a little cruel but I am still thankful to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for this eARC

The night I started Empire of the Damned I stayed up way past my bedtime to devour it. While I generally LOATHE changing perspectives, the different POVs worked perfectly to tell the tale, and was a clever way to show the reader all that happened during this epic adventure while still keeping the storytelling aspect of the writing.

This sampler captures, from what I can tell, the first half of the book. It picks up right where the series left off, takes us through several new pieces, throws us into increasingly dangerous battles, twists the silver blade just a bit deeper into Gabriel's heart, unveils new layers of mythology, and leaves us with not one, but two cliffhangers. Sigh.

I believe in "sophomore slump book syndrome", and I am thrilled to say that Empire of the Damned is not suffering from that ailment.

Definitely pre-order this because you all are in for a treat. Full review to come!

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this eARC.

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Special thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

The provided sampler of Empire of the Damned (a significant portion, but not the entirety of the novel) teases the excitement of its upcoming March 2024 release. And much like how vampires can relate, this sampler is a taste that leaves me wanting for more.

We're back to Gabriel de Leon, the irritable, witty, wine connoisseur still under imprisonment, recanting his life to vampire ("coldblood") Jean-Francois. The adventure picks up right where it left off at the end of preceding novel, "Empire of the Vampire", in the aftermath of Gabriel's daring rescue of Dior Lachance, his apprentice (and believed Holy Grail). Gabriel's sister, Celene, unexpectedly aided him in the rescue, so both master and apprentice meet up with Celene as to whether an understanding and partnership can be reached between them. Meanwhile, the Voss vampire lineage continues seeking revenge on Gabriel and detainment for Dior. With a lack of allies of Gabriel, trusting his sister might be a risk worth taking...

Jay Kristoff, author of the "Empire of the Vampire" saga, continues his excellent prose, much thanks to the character Gabriel's narration (witty, emotional, descriptive) The dynamic action sequences continue, with the unique weaponry and fighting techniques of these friends and foes. The banter is enjoyable, especially that between Gabriel and Jean-Francois in the present, and that of Gabriel and Dior in the narration. Lastly, the emotional relationships Gabriel experiences are especially worth noting- the strained relationship with his sister Celene, for too many reasons to count. But especially for Gabriel and Dior, with the relationship resembling master/student, friend/friend, protector/protected, and parental-figure/adopted child. In spite of the darkness and bleak atmosphere involved with the events of the novels, Gabriel keeps his humanity- not just in the past, but still persisting in the present during his narration to Jean-Francois.

"Empire of the Damned" continues the strong momentum that the debut novel firmly established. The reviewed material is only a sampler, but I much look forward to see how this adventure continues.

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Excited to read more of this when it comes out. Just know that this was just a sampler, so I cannot give a full opinion on the full book. A great start!

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Love love love all things Kristoff and this did not disappoint! These vampires do not sparkle but my heart sure does when I’m wrapped in the pages!

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Excellent start to the second book! It being a sampler, I can't give too many larger opinions but I am excited to see more with this story.

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Did not see anywherte that this was a sampler. I was denied the longform both physical and ebook but was given the sampler when all I wanted was the book. Im sure this book is great but I refuse to dive in for a chapter just to be pulled out. Maybe put sampler on the cover or as the first word.

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I'm waiting to post a review on GoodReads because I'm waiting for the full book to do so. That said. I will kindly need St. Martins Press to send me over a physical copy of the full ARC STAT because this was just as good as the first installment and I have missed these character so much. I cannot wait to continue and read the whole thing. I will devour it WHOLE. Thanks so much to the publisher and Net Galley for the ARC. Now I need the book. NOW.

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loved how it left off right where it ended and am interested in learning more from Celenes POV but cannot wait for the book to be released to finish it.

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I had no idea this was a series but I will most definitely go and read book 1 I like what I read in the sampler

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Can’t waittttt for this one. It’s going to be so goo. Been waiting for what seems to be forever. Full of action and excitement. Can’t wait to read the rest of it

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Interesting so far, but it didn't capture my attention like book one did. Curious to see where it goes though.

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Wow! This is only a sampler, but it was action packed from start to finish! I can’t wait to read Empire of the Damned in its entirety. I love Jay’s writing and the tension you feel throughout this sample leaves you dangling on the edge of your seat. I need more!

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Obviously, this review won’t be long, because I want to avoid as many spoilers as possible.

I loved Empire of the Vampire. It was one of the first ARCs I was approved for when I first started reading and reviewing back in the summer of 2021, and I’ve been dying waiting for this sequel to come out. I can assure right, straight out of the gate, that I was just as enamored with Empire of the Damned as I was its predecessor, if not more so.

The book starts with a very much-needed Dramatis Personae, which I was very grateful for. It’s very thorough, not simply reminding us readers of who people are but also their context in the story. It was helpful enough to me that I didn’t need to go back to EotV and do a re-read to completely get my bearings. Considering the depth and breadth of the story contained in EotV’s pages, I think that’s fantastic.

The Marquis Jean-Francois sits down with Gabriel once more to continue recording history, which has now moved beyond simply Gabriel’s history and has intertwined with the history of the grail. We see great tragedy, hear of great horrors, meet terrible evils, and there is a betrayal. I was absolutely absorbed by what I read. Some passages in the book made me laugh out loud and some were absolutely insane, which is refreshing when the terror bites down. The illustrations were as gorgeous as in the first book.

I can’t wait until the full book is released. I know I’ll be preordering it. I have space on my bookshelf reserved for it.

I was provided with a copy of the excerpt from this novel by NetGalley and the author. All thoughts, opinions, views, and ideas expressed herein are mine and mine alone. This review was written without compensation. Thank you.

File Under: Body Horror/Book Series/Dark Fantasy/Epic Fantasy/Fantasy Series/LGBTQ Fantasy/Supernatural Horror/Vampire Fiction

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Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Jay Kristoff for a sampler of this book. It got me even more excited for the book to come out! It seemed really well-paced and I was intrigued the whole time. I recommend picking it up when it comes out!

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I.need.the.whole.book.NOW! This taste just wasn’t enough! I was absolutely hooked and so glad that it started up right where the first left off. Jay Kristoff’s writing was terrific as usual and grabbed the reader. It was intense and wonderful!

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I felt this book moved at much better pace than the first one.
I enjoyed the way the story progressed though sometimes I found the crass language unnecessary.
Dior and Gabriel's relationship was actually amusing to read. Their banter felt like family and it really pulled me in.
I'm curious now to see what happens next.
Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy

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This book was not for me. Personally I will not be continuing to support this writer. I really don’t understand the hype. Thanks for the sampler but no thanks.

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I'm so excited to see where this book leads. I love that EotD started off running. I also really appreciated the EotV refresher in the beginning. I wish more authors did that honestly. I am shook by that mid-way ending and will be anxiously awaiting the full books release in the spring.

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It has everything good with book one, action, vampire, magic and etc. it’s bonus point is that there is no need for world building so the pacing is much faster compared to book one as well. Since this isn’t a review based on full copy, I hope it won’t suffer from middle book syndrome, starting from nowhere and going to nowhere. Considering the storytelling format, I don’t think it would be that way.

If you were a fan of book one, you’re going to love this one even more. If you were Ok with book one, you’re going to like this one. And finally if you did not like book one, due to genre or whatever, I don’t think your opinion would be any different about this book.

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