Member Reviews

Oh, what delicious fresh hell author Jay Kristoff sends his readers into with this second book in the Empire of the Vampire series. The author continues the saga of Gabriel de León and Dior in EMPIRE OF THE DAMNED and it has no right to be this good.

The author creates a world that his readers can inhabit as they get to know the characters within this tale. And what personalities he has created. Each has a unique personality, but all have layers to them allowing the reader to invest in what is happening. The action, manipulation, duplicity, and slight smuttiness all come together in one fabulously dark and twisted tale.

When I tell people to read one of Jay Kristoff’s books, I rarely tell them what he does to his readers. The rollercoaster ride you are sent down is entertaining, thrilling, and emotional. But it is always worth it. Personally, I do believe he enjoys making us all cry out “Why?!?!” when certain scenes are met.

EMPIRE OF THE DAMNED built upon the foundation in book one in a way that pulls the reader further down the rabbit hole in the best way possible. I adore this series for the witty one-liners, the brilliantly conceived world I enter into, and the impeccably absorbing writing. I cannot wait for book three.

Audiobook Note: If one has the chance to listen to either book in this series, you will be gifted with the brilliant narration by Damian Lynch. His work is brilliant and brings the story to life. As a bonus with this book, we got Shakira Shute bringing to life Gabriel’s sister Celene. She matched the pitch and inflection of what I thought this character would sound like perfectly. I highly recommend listening to this series.

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So exciting to get the opportunity to read this title early. We decided to read this title for our SciFi-Fant book club. We are excited to hand sell this title in preparation for the event!

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this book is a masterpiece. kristoff delivered. no second book syndrome here. characters, plot, prose, it's all there.

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Loved loved loved. Jay Kristoff absolutely did not miss. I devoured the full book the moment it was delivered on my door step. I recommend this book to every reader that I know. Definitely not your typical sci-fi read but it gives such Interview with a Vampire vibes I just can't help but to obsess over it.

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I requested this book because I haven't read a good vampire book in a long time. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this was book two of the series and I wish I would have read the first one. That being said, due to the author's wonderful list and details of the characters, I didn't feel lost. So many great characters, even the evil ones and you get to learn much more about Gabriel and his life, Celene and the others. That is what makes this book, the characters! I'll definitely go back and read the first book, Empire of the Vampires. Love this one!

Thank you to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing this eARC of this wonderful book. All opinions are my own.

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Empire of the damned (section 1, 2 provided by NetGalley eARC)- 4.75⭐️ 1🌶️

Epic Fantasy
Beginning of Second book
Dual POV
Storytelling narration
Catholic inspired religion

The first two sections of the second book are a continuation of the first book’s POV. It was a compelling end to the MC’s storytelling. It was obviously not the end of the journey. And I’m glad that I read this after the book was released so I can read the whole book.

The MC is flawed. The plot twists were good. The emotion is vast and engaging.

My confusion is why these 2 sections weren’t included in the first book. It would have been a full arc of a story. The break in storytelling would have been very natural due to where “book 3” starts/picks up. But I understand the shift in narration necessary to go onto section 3… interesting.

Anyway, here is a portion of my review from Empire of the Vampire so that the nuance of my enjoyment of this series can be understood. I will provide my full review of book 2 once I finish it in its entirety.

“To break it down to the bare minimal… this was an interview with the vampire styled story with dual timelines and a flawed MC. The story was slow, as journeying can be, but entertaining the whole time.

So often male authors, choose to sanitize the softer emotions in their books, to push the physical. Moving the plot forward for the glory and the heroism of their main character. As a woman, the more sterilized approach to emotion in men’s writing, tends to turn me away…

This book is anything but emotionally sterile. I found myself enjoying the emotional and spiritual journey of the main character and the friendships and bonds created and broken.

There were so many plot twists. Character flaws were aplenty.

I must have the humor of a 14 year old boy, because some of the insults and jokes had me chuckling.

The things that I didn’t enjoy include misogyny standard to European medieval feudalism centered around religious orthodoxy. If you thought a book that was inspired by medieval Catholic Europe was going to be without it being present, I don’t know what to tell you. But it’s there, it’s never fun to have to read in excess. But it’s an adult fantasy, with cursing and I get it.”

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the eARC of sections 1-2 out of 5 of this book. My complete review of this book will be available on Goodreads and StoryGraph as well as my social media accounts. All opinions are my own.

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If you loved the first book , you will love this book. Jay Kristoff did not disappoint with the next installment of this series.

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I cannot wait to read the rest of this book! this little preview has me DYING for the rest. Jay writes the best gritty, hardcore, grungy fantasy around. Everytime you start to read you feel transported into his world (even though you definatly wouldn't want to be there). Hats off to the King of Vamprires!

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4.9 / 5.0 Empire of the Damned by Jay Kristoff is an astoundingly good book.

This book is dense, well written, and thought provoking. If you enjoyed the first book you will be doubly pleased with this one. It is a deep, thorough exploration of so many themes, all wrapped in an exquisite world with the most lifelike characters. The character development is a layered tapestry so intricate and detailed that I cannot fathom how Kristoff keeps his head on straight.

This book is a masterpiece and I highly recommend it for anyone that enjoyed the first.

Until Next Time,

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for access to this ARC to review.

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DNF @ less than 10%.

I loved Empire of the Vampire when it came out, and I was excited to receive an ARC of the second book. However, and this is a Me-Problem (TM), but I'm just not in the right headspace for a violent, blood-filled vampiric saga right now. I feel like people who loved the first book will most likely love the second, if they can stomach the blood and the gore. Right now, though, that's just not me. I'm firmly in my "I need a happy ending, and I need it now" era, and this book just isn't the right fit for me at the moment. I may revisit later--this feels like a late fall/winter in the dead of night read, not a cusp-of-summer, I just want to go to the beach read.

I did find the list of characters at the beginning helpful since I had forgotten so much about the first book.

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An excellent follow up to one of the most surprising releases of the last year. While this wasn't the full novel, it definitely was nice getting an early taste of what was to come.

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Gabriel de León is a vampire-like creature called a silversaint, who is continuing on his quest to undo Daysdeath. He has saved the Holy Grail. Gabriel and the Grail set out to learn the truth of how Daysdeath might finally be undone. The last silversaint faces peril, within and without. Pursued by children of the Forever King, drawn into wars and webs centuries in the weaving, and ravaged by his own rising bloodlust, Gabriel may not survive to see the truth of the Grail revealed. What is the truth?

The book is the sequel to “Empire of the Vampire” which I have not read only because I was not aware of it until I received the arc of this book.
“Empire of the Damned” is an amazing dark fantasy book. At the beginning of this book it does give a summary of the first book. This is not a book for the faint hearted. For example, there are scenes of human lives being used as cattle. The author writes an almost perfect mix of familiar characters and new exciting players in the novel. I look forward to reading the next book.

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Jay Kristoff does it again. This book has all of the beautiful imagery, quotes, and gallows humor you’d come to expect from Kristoff, but with a storyline that will haunt you even days after completing it. I cannot wait for book 3!

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This short sneak peek was enough to make me go out to purchase the book when it was published. Thank you for the opportunity to read it online.

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This was such a short, cruel tease! I need the whole book like yesterday.

I absolutely loved the “recap” at the beginning. So often it has been a while since I read the first book that by the time I read the second I feel like I’ve forgotten half of what happened. It was so refreshing to have a little recount at the beginning.

Empire of the Damned picks up exactly where Empire of the Vampire ended. Gabriel is down right hilarious and I swear kept me on my toes. You honestly never know what’s going to come out of his mouth.

I cannot wait to continue reading! This ARC leaves off on a cliffhanger where it seems we are going to continue the story on, at least temporarily, from another’s POV. This will be an interesting change of pace to say the least!

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Jay Kristoff. You do it again! Loved the first and couldn’t put down the second. Another great fantasy read and loved every second of it

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This book just like the first one grabbed my attention from the beginning. The way the conversations are written between characters makes it feel like your sitting there watching them.

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Great preview! Excited to read the book!! Jay Kristoff is a master of prose and I’m so excited to continue the series.

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This was a rough one but only because I didn't realize it was book 2. Boo for me for not doing research.

However! It was enough to entice me to go back and read book one and march into book 2!

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I was so excited to get the teaser galley for Empire of the Damned and I absolutely devoured it and then had to wait until my actual copy of the book showed up to finish it. Empire of the Damned is the epic sequel to Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. The book starts off right where the first book ends and you’re thrown right back into the action with Gabriel, ex silver saint, and the mysterious Dior. This series has everything, blood soaked action, romance, betrayal, magic, and of course, vampires. If you are looking for a new vampire series to read and don’t mind 600+ page books you have to check out this series. Kristoff knows how to tell a story that will keep you wanting more even after you get to the end of these thick ass books. Thank you netgalley and stmartinspress for the digital teaser of this book.

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