Tag Archives: jay kristoff

Recommended Halloween Read: Empire of the Vampire

26 Oct

The vampire genre has had quite the rise and fall since its inception, undergoing various changes and rises in popularity throughout the decades. The popularity of this genre faded after hype around Twilight died down, but now vampire books are slowly making a resurgence back into the mainstream and one of the books leading the way is Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff.

Set inside the French inspired Elidaen, a world dominated by vampires and eternal night, we begin with a prisoner, Gabriel de Leon, the Last Silver Saint, telling the history of his life from childhood to his times serving as a Silver Saint. The narrative changes through multiple different time periods, Gabriel’s early life, his life years later after the fall of the Silver Order, and in the present day while Gabriel is imprisoned. While all three narratives move at a different pace, they do not distract from each other or the story as a whole and only serve the overarching plot in the long term.

Kristoff’s writing is vivid and flows with a vicious grace that sets the tone of this dark fantasy that many fans of the vampire will find refreshing and more aligned with the more classical monster side of vampire lore while still bringing just a dash of the sexy vampire aesthetic that many also crave. The pace of the novel starts slow, but quickly picks up speed and dives into the bloody action. The characters, as with all of Kristoff’s characters, are a delight to read as they carve their way through the plot and don’t give a care while doing it.

The faint of heart beware, besides the promise of blood and gore, you will be in for a hefty read, as the book is close in thickness to an average Sanderson novel (an impressive 734 pages in length) however it is a journey well worth the travel if you are willing to tread the path forward. So for those seeking vampires of a more gothic, bloodthirsty nature, with a tone of dark fantasy, this is one that comes highly recommended! You can also read my previous blogs about Kristoff’s novel, Nevernight and Illuminae.

Written by:
Lauren Lapinski
Information and Digital Services Library Assistant

Not Your Typical Second Book: Gemina

18 Nov

Gemina breaks the usual conventions that are often found in second books. While almost all second books immediately pick up right after where the first book ended, Gemina introduces us to new characters and a whole new situation that takes place a little during and somewhat after the events of the first book, Illuminae. Jay Kristoff and Aimee Kaufman’s second book of the Illuminae Files Trilogy takes place at Heimdall Station, the same space station the crew in Illuminae were heading for.

The tone in the second book is far different than the one we were given in Illuminae. While the first one had a strong tone of horror, this one gives us a the feel of an action flick with only traces of horror in the background. Despite the tonal shift, however, Kristoff and Kaufman still weave together a tale with new, compelling characters that manages to connect us to the plot and has the same unique formatting from the first book. 

The narrative team up of these authors is once again handled excellently and for those out there who are fans of audiobooks, the audiobook experience for this one does not disappoint and will suck you right in just as the first one did. Gemina is an excellent follow up and will have readers eager to pick up the third and final installment.

Written By:
Lauren Lapinski
Circulation Assistant

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