Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco. This was my first book by Chupeco despite having some of their other books on my TBR for a while. I will definitely be prioritizing those a little more after enjoying this one. This book is available now wherever you pick up your books!
Full of court intrigue, queer romance, and terrifying monsters—this gothic epic fantasy will appeal to fans of Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree and the adult animated series Castlevania.
Remy Pendergast is many things: the only son of the Duke of Valenbonne (though his father might wish otherwise), an elite bounty hunter of rogue vampires, and an outcast among his fellow Reapers. His mother was the subject of gossip even before she eloped with a vampire, giving rise to the rumors that Remy is half-vampire himself. Though the kingdom of Aluria barely tolerates him, Remy’s father has been shaping him into a weapon to fight for the kingdom at any cost.
When a terrifying new breed of vampire is sighted outside of the city, Remy prepares to investigate alone. But then he encounters the shockingly warmhearted vampire heiress Xiaodan Song and her infuriatingly arrogant fiancé, vampire lord Zidan Malekh, who may hold the key to defeating the creatures—though he knows associating with them won’t do his reputation any favors. When he’s offered a spot alongside them to find the truth about the mutating virus Rot that’s plaguing the kingdom, Remy faces a choice.
It’s one he’s certain he’ll regret.
But as the three face dangerous hardships during their journey, Remy develops fond and complicated feelings for the couple. He begins to question what he holds true about vampires, as well as the story behind his own family legacy. As the Rot continues to spread across the kingdom, Remy must decide where his loyalties lie: with his father and the kingdom he’s been trained all his life to defend or the vampires who might just be the death of him.
***Thank you to Saga Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
It has been quite some time since I’ve read a vampire story, and I was excited to dive into this one hoping for a fresh take. It had plenty of familiar elements alongside some really cool new ideas. The vibes were super spooky, and the gothic atmosphere was one of my favorite things about the book. The descriptiveness of the text brought the gloomy sullenness of the environment to life and transported me to this brutal world where human and vampire relations were balanced on a knife’s edge.
There was a ton of action right from the start, and the creatures were truly terrifying at times. Zombie vampires and vampire hunters with fascinating weapons and unnatural reflexes… How cool is that? There were plenty of riveting battle sequences that felt cinematic in scope, as well as intimate duels filled with tension.
I liked the characters, but they all seemed a bit flat. Zidan was probably my favorite because he definitely had the dark, brooding warrior vampire thing going for him, along with his brilliant scientist mind. Remy was cool too, though, and I thought he had the most emotional depth because of his journey of opening up and learning to accept love after being used as an object by everyone his entire life. Xiaodan was a bundle of sunshine, quite literally, and I liked her attitude and demeanor. I just felt she was kind of one-dimensional. As for their relationship, I thought the throuple was super hot. There was lots of teasing that the three of them would get together, and the sexual tension was intense at times. I wish there had been a bit more focus on the sex after all the teasing, but there were quite a few really hot moments even if it wasn’t as many as I wanted. I never felt much of a romantic connection between the characters, either, just a sexual one. So, I didn’t really buy the love angle at all. Maybe if there is a sequel, their relationship can be deepened a bit. I did really love the vampire hunter falling for the vampire couple angle of the romance, though, and there was a voyeur scene that was absolutely scorching.
The plot was really fascinating. It started out as a detective story centered around a murder investigation before expanding into a realms-wide conspiracy. There was plenty of intrigue and so many twists and turns I lost track a couple times, but it was a fun ride that kept me guessing. Was the plot perfect? No. There were some holes in it, but I wonder if they were left purposefully to set up mystery for a sequel. The main conflict of this story ended with this book, but there were definitely plenty of threads left hanging for the story to continue. Personally, I’d love to get a sequel because I’m really curious to learn more about the world, its history, and the different vampire courts, which felt largely relegated to the background in this story. I enjoyed the world-building done for the human kingdoms, and I’d like to learn more about them as well. However, the world-building, in general, was a bit clunky at times with quite a bit of info-dumping that made some of the dialogue feel like a history lecture. There was also a lot of ‘telling’ to move the plot forward, especially the investigation aspects, and it seemed many important details were told to us by the characters rather than experiencing them organically.
Overall, this was a refreshing take on vampires that had plenty of action, intrigue, and sexual tension galore. If you are looking for something gloomy and gothic to read this spooky season, I definitely recommend giving it a try. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
6 thoughts on “ARC Review – Silver Under Nightfall”
Great review! This makes me feel a little better about requesting that my library order this one rather than me purchasing it (re: a couple of plot holes and slightly flight characters). BUT I do still want to read it, especially given the comp to Castlevania.
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This era of speculative fiction writers do not hide their experiences with video games.
This is the 3rd novel about vampires with a “different” approach to them. Regardless, I am excited to read this book. Great review!
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Thanks! I don’t read much vampire stuff. So, I was excited to get to this one. It had the typical vampires, but it also had a new, really cool vampire-zombie hybrid.
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