Another year has come and gone! I was hoping to post this closer to the first of the year but I’m still just going with the flow and posting when I feel the urge to post. So that day has come today! I had a fairly decent reading year for the most part. There were a few months that I fell into a bit of a rut overall, not too shabby. One of my main goals for the year was to finally read the giant tome, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and it was even better than I thought it was going to be. I also wanted to read more of my owned but unread books but that didn’t quite work out. The majority of the books I read in 2021 ended up being audiobooks. And now for one of my favorite things… various statistics from my year of reading!
Total Books Read: 139 Total Pages Read: 56,116 Number of Different Authors: 98 Most Read Author: Stephen King Books in a Series: 59 Standalones: 80
Hardcover: 30 Paperback: 13 Ebook: 12 Audio: 84
Adult: 116 Young Adult: 17 New Adult: 5 Middle Grade: 1
Average Pages Per Book: 403.7 Average Pages Per Day: 153.7 Average Pages Per Month: 4676.3
Science Fiction: 1
Historical Fiction: 15
Literary Fiction: 1
And for the finale…. my favorite book that I read in 2021, which may come as no surprise to those who know me….. EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE BY JAY KRISTOFF! This is the first book in a new trilogy and after reading it I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book. There were lots of special editions and I wasn’t able to collect them all but I did manage to get 6.
And that’s a wrap on 2021! What was your favorite book that you read in 2021?
US Publication Date: September 14th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
752 Pages, Hardcover
Goodreads Summary:From holy cup comes holy light; The faithful hand sets world aright. And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight, Mere man shall end this endless night.
It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.
Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.
Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:
The Holy Grail.
From New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes Empire of the Vampire, the first illustrated volume of an astonishing new dark fantasy saga.
Review:*Note: I received an exclusive 400 page sampler from the publisher so this review is based solely on those 400 pages.*
It comes as no surprise to anyone that has been following me for awhile that Jay Kristoff is one of my favorite authors. I am also a huge fan of vampires so when I found out that he was writing a book trilogy about vampires…. I almost lost my mind in excitement. And when St. Martin’s Press sent me the exclusive sampler, whoa boy! I was torn between wanting to devour it and savoring it because I knew that the sampler was going to leave off on a massive cliffhanger so if I finished it too quickly I would be left dying inside waiting for my finished copies to arrive. (And yes, I did say copies plural… but more on that later.)
From the moment I cracked open the sampler, I knew I was going to be in for the ride of my life. There was a huge sense of forboding but in the way that you know you’re reading a vampire novel if that makes any sense. The story starts out in Gabriel De Leon’s present and then proceeds to backtrack to how he came to be in his present circumstances as Jean-Francois of the Blood Chastain records Gabriel’s oral history via the written word and sketches. In that sense it had a similar setup to Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. And yet, Gabriel is a captive which is likely the only reason he is being so forthcoming in telling the details of his life and how he became to be the Last Silversaint. The banter between Gabriel and Jean-Francois is absolutely hilarious which provides a nice bit of levity amongst the heaviness of Gabriel’s tales. Gabriel has lived a rather hard life which is evident from his stories so those brief moments of humor really help to break things up. There is even more humor added once Gabriel arrives at San Michon and the other silversaints are introduced… be prepared to write down some really fantastic insults!
Jay Kristoff’s writing really has a way of immersing the reader into the worlds he creates and it is no different with Empire of the Vampire. It was incredible to visualize certain scenes in my mind and have them match up very similarly with the illustrations. And let’s talk about the illustrations…. wow!!! Bon Orthwick (aka @monolimeart on Instagram) did a phenomenal job on the illustrations for this novel. Bon’s attention to detail in transforming Jay’s words into these stunning illustrations… just amazing.
Everything about this book so far has completely drawn me in! I love all of the different editions that are out there and had actually preordered 6 different editions for my collection! The book published in the UK last Tuesday so I actually received one of my UK editions yesterday and my first US edition is currently out for delivery! The Waterstones special edition is the one that arrived yesterday and it is bloody gorgeous! I can’t wait for my other editions to arrive and add them to my shelf. I have continued reading the rest of the book with the Waterstones edition.
*Please note: These are not glamorous vampires. This book is graphic in terms of violence and sexual content so proceed at your own risk.*
I received an exclusive sampler of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.