The Greyfriar - Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith What a potent mixture:
- An alternative history setting that has the human states and kingdoms huddled around the equator since the repelled-by-warmth vampire (homo nosferatii) clans crawled out of their hidden spots to initiate the Great Killing in 1870, leaving only enough human prey alive to keep as cattle herds.
- Steampunk elements like pneumatic sailboats cruising the skies that somehow underline both the excotic atmosphere of the strange British-Egyptian-Persian Empire and the war-and-power-crazy American States, who have dropped a little farther south on the globe (Who doesn't hate Senator Clark with all her heart? do I ask).
- Gruesome horror scenes provided by cold-blooded, underestimated, zombie-like vampire clans who can fly by changing their bodies' density and who swoop down onto their human cattle leaving the streets of former Europe littered with mountains of decaying flesh and carpets of crunched bones.
- Action, action, action: A fearless, faceless vampire hunter, a brave princess skilled in martial arts, armies, vampires ambushes, traitors ...
- Dangerous politics, weak kings, cunning planners, advisers who are to be trusted or not to be trusted, a vampires prince with a craving to be human and a vampire prince with a craving to rule the world.
- Predudices, conceit, sibling love, hope, the essence of being human.
- Subtly changing points of view.
- A but later started sweet, sparkling and heart-warming Beauty-and-the-Beast-worthy impossible romance between a dashing, idealistic, vulnerable hero with an aching heart and a strong-willed and lovely heroine, which even includes a library (of fifteen volumes).
- An ending of the sort which ties most of the lose strands but wets your mouth for more adventures to come.

What did I think? I thoroughly enjoyed it and I thought "What a potent mixture!" Didn't I say that already?

Note: Although the date on the cover says "It's now 2010" this is no science fiction story set in the future. Apart from the steampunk elements the alternative history novel could be set still in the Victorian Era.