Member Reviews

I still don't think the art adds anything to this series, and it's weirdly amateur for publication. Jay Kristoff is entertaining as ever, though, and the story satisfyingly continues on the narrative from the first book. There are some clever tricks to change up the narration, which I also appreciated.

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I did not believe that Empire of the Vampire could be toppled from it's throne. Boy, was I wrong, EoD has earned the the right to wear the crown. Vampire fiction doesn't get any better than this. This is a fantastic sequel. The story picks up right where the Vampire had left us hanging--and it does not disappoint. READ THIS BOOK.

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This was an excerpt from the book, and speaking as someone who has not read any of the books in this series or read this author before, that is about to change. I was immediately pulled into this world of vampires and darkness. The author did a fantastic job of catching me up on what is going on without it being an info dump. This former silver saint has had his share of tragedies, but he is one of those heroes who move on despite his brokenness. The author's writing style flows and immerses you in his dark world without it being shoved at you. This excerpt has only made me want to get this book and read it in its entirety.

Thank you NetGalley for the excerpt.

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Continuing where he left off in “Empire of Vampires,” author Kristoff again weaves his tale. Our (anti)hero is still dictating his history so we get the story as from a biography. This style is good for me because we end up with (mostly) a single point of view. The transcriptionist does ask questions to help flesh out the story but is mostly silent.

I enjoy the characters every one. Even the baddies we briefly meet in person have a backstory. No character is without some descriptive element, yet no word seems extraneous. The world becomes more expansive in this book. I did get an ARC that was a large sample size, about 250-300 pages or so.

For and an half stars. Again, the author’s philosophy is not well developed so again he gets a half-star gig. Still, I highly recommend this book. I will be ordering my copy of the full work. My thanks to St. Martins Press via Netgalley for this ARC.

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Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book!

A fun and thrilling addition to Jay Kristoff's vampire saga.

I really enjoyed continuing Gabriel's story and discovering more about the intricacies of Elidaen and Days Death.

What I truly loved, though, was unraveling the mysteries surrounding some of our existing characters like Celene and Dior LA Chance. Their character arcs were a fun ride that I enjoyed going on.

An aspect I was happy to see continued into book two was Kristoff's unique story telling style - I loved the feeling of listening to Gabriel's story as if he were relaying it, with all the jumps and switchbacks that happen when narrating aloud.

This book is perfect for anyone who is already a fan of Kristoff's other works, or someone who is looking for a high-fantasy swashbuckling adventure full of runaway nuns, vampires, talking blades, sword fights and a hint of romance.

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Mini-review:
Another exciting excursion back into Elidaen and the land of Empire of the Vampire that picks up almost exactly where book one left off. Empire of the Damned was a thrilling conclusion to this story, providing all the twists and turns and swearing one could want!

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You know, I would swear grimdark isn’t for me. I find lots of swearing a bit crass. Really gross gore usually creeps me out and I don’t love horror but I plowed through the 216 (at least on my tablet..) page sample in a single night and really want to get my hands on the full version ASAP. When everything about what I like suggests I won’t enjoy an author and I love their writing anyway that’s a good author! The Nevernight Chronicle trilogy is also excellent though if you’re as squeamish as I can be you should really take the blood soaked blades on the covers as a warning…

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I only got a sampler of EOTD, but my God what a sample. This book starts right where we left off in EOTV and just keeps doing down hill. I love the relationship between Dior and Gabriel, and the insults they throw at each other. I can't wait to see what the rest of this story brings.

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I thought I would give the second book in this series a try even though I really did not like the first book. I'm not sure if I should have because this solidified that I will not be continuing in this series at all. I hate the way this series portrays women I had how weird the main character makes me feel. The concept of this world is super cool but I could do without the whole Jay-ness of it all

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Suffers from a lot of the same flaws as the first book, like being overly long and worldbuilding that largely feels like it's pieces of other media thrown into a blender. It also suffers from being a middle book, in that nothing really feels resolved.

It does have its moments of being an engaging read, but I often felt like I was trudging through. But if you didn't have a problem with the first book, you'll love this one.

Honestly, I'd probably enjoy the series a lot more without the framing device constantly hinting at things we haven't gotten to yet and if each part were considerably shorter.

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I’m just going to post my review here as I don’t like posting negative reviews. I know that this book will be a smash hit with the fans. I tried really hard to get into this book/series but I think I need to accept that the author isn’t for me. I’ve enjoyed the books he’s cowritten with Amie Kauffman but have not enjoyed his solo writing. I’m sorry.

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Empire of the Damned is an enthralling and engaging sequel to Empire of the Vampire. As the second book in this trilogy, we are continuing the story of Gabriel de Leon, the last Silversaint, as he recounts his history to Jean-Francois, the court historian for the vampire Empress. In the first book we were introduced to the characters and the story, but in the second book, we have the opportunity for richer character development and deeper mysteries unfolding as we transition towards the conclusion. Sometimes middle books can be tough, but the excerpt from EOtD was just as interesting and exciting as EotV. The writing is excellent, as Gabriel’s character clearly comes through in the language and flow of the story. While the story is dark and complex, I found myself laughing at the humor as well. Gabriel is a tortured anti-hero, and his self-loathing comes through just as strong as his bravery and skill. Empire of the Damned starts strong and is just as thrilling and engaging as Empire of the Vampire.

In EotD also have the additional POV from Celene, Gabriel’s sister who was turned into a Vampire. (Though in this excerpt I was not able to read chapters from her explicitly, but it was implied.) I am definitely excited to read EotD in full, and cannot wait to find out what happens with Gabriel, Dior, and Celene as the story moves forward towards the conclusion of the series.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the advanced excerpt from Empire of the Damned.

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"Empire of the Damned" by Jay Kristoff is a dark and thrilling sequel that delves deeper into the world of vampires and holy relics. Building upon the events of its predecessor, Kristoff takes readers on a relentless journey filled with danger, betrayal, and startling revelations.

Gabriel de León, the Last Silversaint, finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue as he seeks to fulfill his destiny and end the endless night. With the Holy Grail in his possession, Gabriel must navigate treacherous alliances and deadly enemies to uncover the truth behind Daysdeath and the fate of the world.

Kristoff's writing is as sharp and evocative as ever, immersing readers in a world of darkness and despair. The action is relentless, with each page brimming with tension and suspense. From epic battles to heart-wrenching betrayals, the story unfolds at a breakneck pace, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

What sets "Empire of the Damned" apart is its richly developed characters and intricate world-building. Gabriel's struggles with his own bloodlust and moral dilemmas add depth to his character, while the supporting cast of vampires, humans, and otherworldly beings adds layers of complexity to the narrative.

While the story can be dark and at times unsettling, Kristoff infuses moments of humor and humanity that provide a welcome respite from the relentless darkness. With its gripping plot, compelling characters, and jaw-dropping twists, "Empire of the Damned" is a must-read for fans of dark fantasy and epic storytelling.

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Celene is such a delight, I'm enthralled with her in this book. Delight compared to Gabriel, of course, which isn't saying too much when he's this much of an idiot (lovingly). Similarly to the first one, I was shocked and awed each time I looked at the page I was on and realized how much I'd read without realizing it- I am forever impressed with how Jay manages to keep my attention for this chonker of a book.

The main focus of this one was the character relationships, and to great effect- I loved the new insights given to us by the new POVs and now that we know all the ~vampire lore~ I loved seeing everyone have more room to be themselves. I am eagerly anticipating book 3.

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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for this ARC for review!

I honestly felt myself dragging through Empire of the Vampire, but Empire of the Damned was more enjoyable. I love Dior and the focus on her character really helped for me. I really think these books just probably aren’t for me, I never found myself fully immersed in the story or very attached to any of the characters with the exception of Dior.

This was just a sample of the full sequel but it was an intriguing read, I might give the rest a shot!

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Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is a fantastic sequel that is full of action. You get to meet a few new terrifying but interesting characters, plus you will learn some interesting secrets about other characters we are familiar with from the first book. I am excited to see how a certain sister's story plays out in the next installment.

I would recommend this book/series to anyone who enjoys dark epic fantasy!

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I am forever wrecked. Kristoff’s writing ✍️ is a masterpiece and his second novel of the trilogy blue the first one out of the water. My heart is smashed and I’m devastated at the changes in the relationships that occurred in this book.

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Amazing start, I can't wait to see where this book goes. Of course there will be lots of blood, death, and angst. Got to love vampires (and most especially Gabriel!)

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I remember really loving the first book, but found this one occasionally dense. I definitely needed the summery of the first book at the beginning and often found myself looking back to understand who characters were. Overall, I like the writing and am really into having dangerous/scary vampires back in media.

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A fantastic start to another favorite! I can't wait to read the rest. Kristoff is always an auto buy.

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Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC sampler.

This is how you start a sequel!!

5⭐️

So many trilogies suffer from middle book syndrome, where the second book does little to advance the plot. This sampler of Empire of the Damned shows that this series will not be one of them.

EOTD picks up right where EOTV left off, but gives us bits and pieces more of Jean-Francois story as well as Gabriel’s. The introduction of new point of views, and the immediate continuation of a dark and bloody action packed story made this sampler addictive.

This book also featured a recap of main characters from the first one, which is entirely helpful given the time span between publications. Based solely on the first 100 pages, I would guess that this book will be another easy 5 star book for Jay Kristoff, and I eagerly await it’s publication date, so that I can delve immediately into my preordered copy.

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