Audiobook Review: The Rift Walker by Clay & Susan Griffith

Audiobook Review: The Rift Walker by Clay & Susan GriffithThe Rift Walker by Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith
Narrator: James Marsters
Length: 13 hrs, 35 mins
Series: Vampire Empire #2
Published by Buzzy Multimedia on March 15, 2013
Genres: Alternate History, Humor, Paranormal, Romance, Steampunk
Format: Audiobook
Source: Gifted
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two-half-stars

The Rift Walker is the second installment in the Vampire Empire trilogy. Set in a postapocalyptic world, this tale of courage, sacrifice, and heroism takes place against the backdrop of an age of steam and rational humanism, where the social elite have rejected religion and spiritualism as nothing more than quaint superstition. Brutal Vampire Clans rule half the world, keeping human herds for food, and Princess Adele, heir to the throne of Equatoria, is faced with grim choices. War is imminent and her marriage to the odious Senator Clark of America will cement an alliance uniting the Equatorian Empire and the American Republic. This integration of war machines is to be the opening volley in the campaign to reclaim the Northern Hemispheres. Unfortunately, Adele’s betrothed has a bloodthirsty war strategy, one the Princess finds as repulsive as the actions of the vampires they fight.

Moments in advance of the Princess’s marriage to the Senator, the Greyfriar, legendary champion of the human resistance, rescues Adele before vampire assassins can murder her. While on the run from the agents of Prince Cesare, the acting Clan Lord of the Northern Vampires, Adele seeks to discover a way to protect her beloved Equatoria and prevent the genocide Clark intends to implement, all while trying to free herself from an unwanted marriage. Meanwhile, Cesare’s agents have struck deep at the heart of Equatoria and will stop at nothing to keep Adele from ascending to the throne.

Treachery abounds; friendship, loyalties, and allegiances are tested. Will Princess Adele be able - with the help of her beloved Greyfriar; her devoted guard and faithful officer, Anhalt; and her mentor, Mamarou - to turn the tide before human civilization is forever shattered?

Blehhhhh. This is my feeling on finishing this book and on writing this review. I had a BLAST with the first Vampire Empire book. It was so fun and the narration was awesome and I was so excited to binge the whole series. Now, though, I’m bored. Maybe it’s the thirteen hour audiobook curse. Very few audiobooks are good enough to hold my attention past the thirteen hour mark. The first was just over ten, so maybe that’s it. Either way, The Rift Walker was a struggle for me to get through from beginning to end.

Objectively, I don’t think I should have been bored. The world building continues to be excellent. The Griffiths continue to expand on the mythology and to use it in clever ways. It’s awesome. Sure, I have some questions about how the empire quite came to be and its diversity, but on the whole I think this world is fabulous.

There’s also a plot. It’s not like my eyelids are drooping because nothing’s happening. There’s a wedding to happen or not happen and drama and fighting and more fighting and assassinations and all sorts of high octane stuff. The pace ought to be fast. I ought to be clinging to the edge of my seat. However, I’m just not.

Clearly, the problem lies in the characters, because that’s where my problem almost always resides. My problems are twofold. The first issue is that I don’t give a shit about this romance. Like, I don’t unship it, but I also don’t care whether the ship does or does not leave the dock. Adele and Gareth have the feelings for each other, but there’s no passion in it. I don’t feel their connection. It’s a very old-fashioned, very respectful sort of courtship set amidst all the daring and it comes off a big old snoozefest. In The Greyfriar, the romance was minor enough not to bother me, but it’s a much larger part of the novel here. I also still don’t get why Adele was so continually shocked that she, a princess, would be expected to marry for an alliance.

The other more serious issue is that Adele is now such a chosen one. It’s no wonder they got a Buffy actor to narrate these, because she’s Buffy in Egypt. As the books go along, she’s developing more and more mystical vampire fighting powers. She does train a bit, but mostly they just come to her at really convenient times. Even MORE conveniently, she manages to View Spoiler »zap Gareth with her magic vampire-killing powers, along with a bunch of other vampires, and incinerate all but him[/spoilers]. I’ve said it before and will continue to say it: if your plot feels convenient, any suspense will be gone. Though characters are dying left and right, Adele and Gareth are clearly completely safe to the end and I just can’t be bothered. I’m not saying the leads need to die, but I’m not going to be concerned if I don’t think there’s a chance. With the way they both almost died in this book but were miraculously clutched from the jaws of death, I have no fear.

Even James Marsters’ stellar narration could not make me care about The Rift Walker. That’s how out of it I was. I have the third audiobook and I’m seriously thinking about returning it, because I really have no interest. However, I think my parents would enjoy these, so I may gift them to my folks.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif buffy spike didn't care

One response to “Audiobook Review: The Rift Walker by Clay & Susan Griffith”

  1. Lyn Kaye says:

    *withhold sobs* I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. It was my favorite book from the series, but sometimes to plot does get a bit stale.

    Thank you for your honesty!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Black IrisMy Profile

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