Leap of Faith – Joshua Rem

1 October 2018
Leap of Faith Book Cover Leap of Faith
The Rufino Factor
Joshua Rem

Chomp necks and don’t get caught: the life of a vampire as Rufino Endicott would have described it before he became one. Six years later, he knows that dodging the angry men with the swords is the easy part of being what he is, and that the paranoid, isolated lifestyle is the real enemy. Oh, he’s deluded himself into believing that his life isn’t so bad, but that bubble is about to burst.

One night, completely out of nowhere, Rufino develops feelings for one of his potential blood donors. In doing so, he begins to realize just how much his vampirism has cost him, and how much he wants to regain what he’s lost. What he doesn’t realize is that this woman is not who she seems to be, and that his road to recovery will be a treacherous one.


Leap of Faith is the first book of the Rufino Factor Series by Joshua Rem and it’s based in the fantasy land of Nyobi. Nyobi is a peninsula nation which is home to various mythical beings including vampires, druids, dwarves, trolls and humans. All is not well in the kingdom, as forests are being destroyed, vampires are hunted, and various factions are manoeuvring for battle.

Rufino Endicott is a halfling vampire, who can feed off his victims, without killing them. He is wonderfully drawn as a witty opportunist, especially with the women, but he must keep his vampire reality hidden. In the Salty Squid Tavern in Borallis, he seeks an opportunity to connect with a woman and feed of her for his blood needs. Into the tavern walks a 6-foot stunning woman that has a strange effect on him, he sees her not just as a food source, but with a twinge of attraction, a feeling he hasn’t experienced since his conversion to vampirism 6 years earlier. After a period of time and a little drunk, she invites him back to her room.

In her room, behind a locked door, she soberly reveals her name as Kiralyn Frostwhisper, a druid, a powerful infamous sorceress that is sworn to kill all unnatural beings. Rufino expects death to be instant but instead, Kiralyn makes him an offer, kill someone the druids have targeted and make it look like a vampire attack gone wrong. Accept, and he can name a price – refuse, and she will kill him. Understandably he accepts and his price is a proper date with her so he can understand how he has developed these feelings. This precarious atmosphere is wonderfully created with a sense of deception, threat, manipulation and greater forces that are playing a high-risk game of conflict.

The essence of the book now unfolds as Rufino decides to take the Leap of Faith and meet Kiralyn rather than go on the run. He travels, metamorphosed as a bat, separately to the rendezvous location, questioning how he can just kill someone, wondering how he has developed feelings for Kiralyn as an undead, and who, and why do the druids want someone killed. She did suggest it wasn’t murder, it was an execution for crimes committed against the land. The pace of the story was quite slow at this point and I did wonder why so much storyline was consumed with very little action or reveal. The plot in this book is very thin and while it’s great that the story isn’t rushing to get all the details to you immediately, you realise that this is the first book of the series and we’re in this for the long haul.

When Rufino and Kiralyn meet in Tundora their dialogue and thought processes as they manoeuvre attempts to discover each other’s background and character, is brilliantly done. The probing humorous conversations are the real high point of this novel and how they delicately position themselves while still untrusting of the other is superb. There is a growing bond, mainly based on Rufino’s humour but he does push the discussion as they examine the reasons for killing someone and the impact on their conscience if they take another life. Is there another way and how can you feel so protective of nature and freedom, yet plan to commit murder? Why do 2 killers think like this?

In the great tradition of a “To Be Continued” story the biggest surprise in the final chapter of the novel, leaves the reader on a cliffhanger. Now I have to read the next book, which I’m looking forward to.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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