Steel Victory by J.L. Gribble


One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.

Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.


Victory, Toria, and Mikelos are all interesting characters. I liked Max and Seri as well. It was interesting to see all the different creatures from vampires to elves integrated into a ‘normal’ society. However, most of the characters’ actions and unique personalities seemed forced at times and didn’t line up. They didn’t seem terribly complex either, but neither were they one-denominational. They just didn’t have that special something that really sparked my interest. Despite their somewhat flawed and lengthy character development, to me the secondary characters were the legs that held everyone else up.


I didn’t feel like there was anything particularly clever, or interesting about this plot. The writing itself was fine, if not a little mainstream, but the plot was boring. I found myself struggling to get through it. I took long breaks between chapters and the book just didn’t seem to end. I felt like it took forever to make a point and by the time the point or plot twist was made it was too late – I’d already figured it out.

The first 10% and the last 10% of this book are great! Sadly, I couldn’t lose myself in this world. I felt as though there was too much information in some areas while there was not enough information in others. This book and idea had so much potential that just seemed lost in a sluggish plot line.


This book fell flat for me. The open scene was great! I really loved the action and introduction to the characters, after that is stagnated and just went downhill fast. I felt like 50% of the book wasn’t really necessary. I get that most origin stories and character development take some time but this just took too long. This book is standalone enough that you could read it and be fine but it sets up a plot nicely for a second book. There were limited errors and the author kept pretty well to the character they started with but sometimes the characters knew things that only their compatriot would know…which made whose POV it was a little confusing.

If you need every detail explained and like books that go into detail about what it takes to run a government, this book will really interest you. It for sure covers the dynamics of a council and what it means to deal with all the complexities of a social structure. Sadly it just wasn’t my cup of tea – I really wanted to love it but it just didn’t catch my interest.


3 stars.

It was okay. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, I was pretty neutral over the entire plot/characters/setting. Overall it was too much detail with not enough of everything else. If you like exploring human complexities and the psychology of how people react this may interest you. Also vampires, elves, and all sorts of shifters!


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