Empire of the Vampire is sensational; a deliciously bloody slice of dark fantasy that leaves you thirsting for more. Vampires, violence, sex, drugs, and characters you can sink your teeth into come to a head in this epic story of love, friendship, loss, and revenge. This is Kristoff at the top of his game, and is only just the beginning of Gabriel de León’s story.
Certain Dark Things is the new, sharply set, novel from Silvia Moreno-Garcia; it bares its fangs right away with action scenes in fast beats under the glow of the neon lights. It’s what twilight would be if it was dark and riddled with bullet holes, if the vampire families were warring drug cartels, not welcome by the human ones that inhabit, run and rule Mexico City. This alternate reality where ten types of vampires will come for you in the night, or day, is sure to keep you gripped.
Lyons consistently takes risks in this series that pay off big. It is clear to me the author did not set out to write something standard. Lyons is making her own rules and carving out her own space the fantasy genre. Case in point: The House of Always is epic fantasy meets escape room thriller with a touch of horror, which is a combination I never would have dreamed up. But, not only am I here for it, I crave it. Jenn Lyons is an absolute genius, and I eagerly await the finale (2022 cannot come soon enough); in the meantime, this series gets a strong recommendation from me. You have nine months to catch up.
Wraithblade, a sprawling epic, amazed me from beginning to end and left me wanting more of the story that involves an unlikely team of characters; Connor, Murdoch, Sophia and the rest of the supporting characters. It ramped up slowly where S.M. Boyce takes a generous amount of time introducing us to its world filled with kingdoms, beautiful fauna, political power struggles and its own magic system, and then goes into high gear with a palette full of action and a smorgasbord of twists and turns!