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The Geomancer: Vampire Empire: A Gareth and…

The Geomancer: Vampire Empire: A Gareth and Adele Novel

by Clay Griffith

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I had the disadvantage of not having read any of the books in the Vampire Empire series before I read this one. Sometimes that doesn't matter and sometimes it does. In this case, well I had no problems getting into the book thanks to the author explaining now and then what had happened in the books in the first series and also explaining things like a vampire is not a undead human, it's apparently a parasite that causes it. The geomancy-thing was a bit strange, but I think I got a hang of it.

But I think it's best to read the series from the beginning because even though the book was not boring to read, I just couldn't really find myself engrossed in the story or the characters. For me, something just was lacking and I think it's because in the end I just couldn't connect with Adele and Gareth. And, perhaps it would have worked better if I had read the previous books, I don't know. All I know is that I just didn't find them or their relationship terrible interesting.

But I did enjoy the vampire with a dash of steampunk world that the authors have created. I found it intriguing to read about how they world came to be like that with vampires dominating the northern latitudes and I loved the royal vampire family in Versailles. I just wished that I could have found the story a bit more interesting to read.

Thanks to Pyr and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Nov 19, 2017 |
So yes, a new book. I guess you could read it like this, but to get their story you MUST read the trilogy before. Not only cos it's awesome, but cos it's well book 1 was awesome and should not be missed. And without them you will not get to see their lovestory, and how everything came to be as it is now.

England is free of vampires. Right, to those who do not know this world. It is set now, but in the Victorian era vampires rose in the north and killed and ate. The humans left are part of herds. The ones that got away formed new societies. Adele is the Empress of Equatoria, with the capital in Alexandria. Cos vampires hate warmth and stays in the north. Everything stopped in a way and turned into a steampunk world with flying ships and so forth.

Right, so there is the world. A very cool world. And Adele is our heroine who can feel leylines and used them to kill vampires. And her true love Gareth, the vampire who thinks that the big killing was a bad idea. Cos those pesky humans are smart and he thinks vampires are doomed. Better stay with Adele.

I am still on the backstory! Yikes. Ok, so vampires are gone. Vampires are still plentiful in Europe. There is a new bad guy and they will go after him Phew, there, done.

There is action, and there is, well it made me think. Yes Gareth is nice, but what is the future for vampires really? Oh and will there be more books? The vampire future is still so uncertain, and I do like a few. While the rest should burn.

So yes read the trilogy first so you will not miss out. ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
Adele and Gareth have successfully freed Britain from vampire occupation – and the Equatorian army is moving north into France. On every front humans seem to be winning the war against the vampires

Until vampires are, impossibly, seen again in Britain. The vampires have their own geomancer and the Witchfinder is not just content to protect the vampires from Adele’s powers – he may turn the terrible powers of the Earth against the Empire and humanity itself

Adele and Gareth must act quickly to stop his plan even as it takes them far from the lands they’re familiar with and challenges so many of their assumptions

I could say a lot about this rich world – but I’ve said that in other books. I could mention the fun plot – which is fun and swashbuckling – but I’m going to need all my space to talk about the characterisation of this book which was what really shone out.

I really like the evolution of Gareth in this book. Gareth is an interesting combination of self-loathing and arrogance. Steeped in human culture, he has come to hate everything vampiric, including himself. He hates the clans, he hates his species, he hates everything they do. He sees no value in their culture, their society – anything. He sees his species as not only doomed to extinction, but possibly even deserving of it.

But from that is also an incredible arrogance. He hates vampire culture and even himself – but he also puts himself on a pedestal – because he is willing to learn human language, use human tools, learn human ways. He is better than other vampires because he is willing to emulate humans – and he can’t accept that other vampires may be redeemable in anyway. When he sees other vampires using tools he simply cannot accept it, he doesn’t believe that anyone could mimic his own progress. Only he is special enough for that

Then we have Yidak who is even more unique – because he is a vampire through and through a vampire who is progressing and advancing through more than imitating human ways. I think the most powerful example is his “written” language. We see Gareth over and over trying to use human writing despite the difficulty of using a pen considering vampires’ limited manual dexterity – then we see Yidak developing a language based on sound (to fit their oral tradition) and with a writing system better suited to vampiric strength and claws.

I love how this is presented. How the choice isn’t “don’t change at all” or “emulate your ‘betters’” – that there is another way of neither being static nor being forced to conform to another’s standards. It’s a wonderful metaphor for colonisation, cultural imperialism and compulsory westernisation

Interestingly it’s Adele who continually pressures Gareth to see the value of his own culture, to see vampires capable of achieving more beyond himself, who continually pushes Gareth to see beyond himself. It’s an interesting dynamic because, of course, Adele has already adapted to see vampires as something more than monsters by seeing Gareth as a person.

There’s a lot of excellent racial diversity in the Equatorian Empire – in the world building the northern powers fled south to warmer climates to avoid the vampires that rose up (vampires hate the heat). It would have been easy to transplant the British Empire to the Equator – but many of the main characters are POC. Adele and her brother are mixed-race, their mother was Persian. Adele’s main confidant, General Mehmet is a POC as is Anhault one of the primary military leaders in the Empire – and the characters use Arabic as a go-to lingua-franca as well as commonly using Hindi and Swahili.

The vampire monks they stay with are also largely POC – Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese and it’s they who are leading the way in a new way to be vampires in contrast to the majority of the European clans (while it’s not reduced so simplistically because we still have the King of the Paris clan being very family and child orientated).

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Dec 28, 2015 |
I was a big fan of the Vampire Empire series and was excited to see that a new novel in that series (well more of a spin-off series) was going to be released featuring Gareth and Adele. However, I ended up being very disappointed in this book and really struggled to read it. I ended reading the first half of the book and then finally gave up.

Bloody murders are happening in London..again. It looks like despite Adele’s purging of vampires in all of Britain, somehow vampires are finding a way to return to London. Adele and Gareth are puzzled and their investigating lead to them finding about a geomancer called the Witchfinder. The Witchfinder has not only found a way to make vampires immune to Adele’s power but also a way to kill humans on a mass scale, just like Adele did to the vampires. Adele and Gareth must unravel the plot around this Witchfinder until it’s too late and many, many humans die.

There is a lot about this book that I was struggling with. I was excited to see what adventures Adele and Garth went on next...but seriously do we have to use a similar plot all over again? Again the problem is vampires and again geomancy is at the heart of it all.

I expected some growth in these characters and their relationship; especially Gareth and Adele. However they have stagnated; no growth, still the same issues plaguing their relationship, nothing has changed.

Additionally parts of the book are written in completely different styles. I really felt like I was reading two stories mashed together at times; the writing styles clash. For example there are beautifully descriptive scenes where Adele and Gareth are out ice skating together; then suddenly we are dealing with war and strategy again and the writing changes to a stark military like style. I can only assume that the two authors wrote separate parts of the book; but greater care should have been taken to make the writing style more consistent throughout.

My main issue with this book however was that I just didn’t care. The plot was boring, the characters were boring and as I result I struggled to stay engaged in the story. I was literally falling asleep every time I picked up this book. I absolutely could not get through more than a chapter or two at a time (and they are very short chapters). I finally gave up half way through. I just have way too many books to read to slog through this one.

Overall I truly wish I had never read (or read the portion that I did) this book. I would have preferred to leave Adele and Gareth in the happy place they occupied in my head after the last Vampire Empire book. I don’t recommend this book. It’s boring, rehashes the same type of plot that the original Vampire Empire series did, and the characters are stagnant. Not to mention that the writing style is inconsistent and doesn’t flow well. Sorry Gareth and Adele...I guess it’s time for us to part ways. ( )
  krau0098 | Dec 27, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 163388094X, Paperback)

The first Gareth and Adele Novel, The Geomancer is the start of an ongoing, character-based, urban fantasy series set in the same Vampire Empire universe as the authors’ previous trilogy!

The uneasy stalemate between vampires and humans is over. Adele and Gareth are bringing order to a free Britain, but bloody murders in London raise the specter that Adele's geomancy is failing and the vampires might return. A new power could tilt the balance back to the vampire clans. A deranged human called the Witchfinder has surfaced on the Continent, serving new vampire lords. This geomancer has found a way to make vampires immune to geomancy and intends to give his masters the ability to kill humans on a massive scale.

The apocalyptic event in Edinburgh weakened Adele's geomantic abilities. If the Witchfinder can use geomancy against humanity, she may not have the power to stop him. If she can't, there is nowhere beyond his reach and no one he cannot kill.

From a Britain struggling to rebuild to the vampire capital of Paris, from the heart of the Equatorian Empire to a vampire monastery in far-away Tibet, old friends and past enemies return. Unexpected allies and terrible new villains arise. Adele and Gareth fight side-by-side as always, but they can never be the same if they hope to survive.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 18 Jul 2015 19:24:28 -0400)

The uneasy stalemate between vampires and humans is over. Adele and Gareth are bringing order to a free Britain, but bloody murders in London raise the specter that Adele's geomancy is failing and the vampires might return. A new power could tilt the balance back to the vampire clans. A deranged human called the Witchfinder has surfaced on the Continent, serving new vampire lords. This geomancer has found a way to make vampires immune to geomancy and intends to give his masters the ability to kill humans on a massive scale.… (more)

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