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I Belong


Review: The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke

The Queen is DeadTitleThe Queen is Dead

Author: Kate Locke

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Steampunk

Series: The Immortal Empire (Book 2)

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316196134 (Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316196130 (Orbit)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

Nothing lasts forever—and immortality isn’t all its cracked up to be.

When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it’s up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. Add this to being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she’s already lost one sibling, she’s not about to lose another.

Quick & Dirty: This urban fantasy with a twist of steampunk is a dark, fun read that packs quite an adventure for the main character.

Opening Sentence: There was a dead rat nailed to my door.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The Queen is Dead is the second book in the Immortal Realm series. It is not quite as action packed as the first book in the series, God Save the Queen, but it still has quite an adventure. Alexandra or as everyone calls her, Xandra, is still trying to get used to the fact that she is half goblin and that the goblins want her as their Queen.

This novel is set in modern day London with some steampunk elements, mainly the style of dress. The world has been divided by a plague that has left some people born as vampires, werewolves or goblins. The vampire and werewolf full-bloods often make up the aristocracy (aristos) and/or the rich. Then there are the halvies (half human, half vampire or werewolf) like Xandra. They are mainly trained and used as a Royal Guard to take care of the aristos but not always. Then there are just the plain jane humans. The humans outnumber the halvies and aristos but years ago they lost a war against the aristos so there is still a lot of prejudice.  Sometimes the terminology can be a little confusing or overwhelming but there is a glossary at the end of the book to help explain some of those terms.

Xandra’s brother, Valentine, has gone missing. He was last seen being kidnapped by some unsavory characters while investigating the disappearances of halvies from a bar. She enlists the help of the goblins and Val’s other sister Penny Dreadful to unlock the clues and find out where Val has been taken. In the meantime, Xandra is being investigated for murder, has to decide whether to become the goblin queen and has to find out who is attacking her and why. Oh yeah, and she has to try and prevent another all-out war between the vampires/werewolves/goblins and the humans. And, of course, all sides are playing her in a bid for the goblins strength in case of said war or even the possibility of a war between the werewolves and vampires themselves.

There was really a lot of things going on with this story that at times it did seem overwhelming and I often wondered how things would tie together in the end. The Queen is Dead was a entertaining novel and I enjoyed how the author tried to tie in old time dress and values into a modern world. My only stupid complaint was trying to remember how everyone was related to Alexandra, I know parts of it were explained but I still kept forgetting who was who.

Xandra is a tough as nails heroine who wants no ones help. Sometimes she is a little too tough. She takes charge of the situation no matter what – the consequences be damned. Of course, when she does ask for help, her plans always get blown to pieces so she is pretty much left to fix it herself. Although she does eventually find out what it is like to have good friends and goblins on her side.

Overall, The Queen is Dead was a fun (if at times a little dark) read but that is what I like about urban fantasy. I would recommend this book for fans of urban fantasy with a twist of steampunk. I do want to see what is next for Xandra and this strange world that she lives in.

Notable Scene:

His fork clattered to his plate. I think he might have actually barked in frustration. “Enough. I adore you like mad, but woman, make up your fucking mind. You’re a

goblin, and no amount of whining and wishing it were different can change that. Do you think Victoria wanted to rule the Kingdom when she was but eighteen years old? The goblins want you as their queen – a position with decidedly more clout and power than the one you currently hold. I know you don’t want to be a monster, but sweetheart, you don’t need a crown to be a monster. You already are one. We’re all monsters. Not many,

however, get asked to be the ruler of the most feared and fucking loyal creatures on the planet.”

I stared at him. Every word he said was true, but only three echoed in my empty skull. “You adore me?” It wasn’t love, but I’d take it.

For a moment he looked as though he didn’t know whether to throttle me or kiss me. “Is that the only part you heard?”

“No, I heard it all. That’s just the part I liked best.”

Vex smiled. “Eat your breakfast.”

“Aren’t you going to ask if I adore you?”

A shake of his head sent a lock of hair falling over his forehead. “I already know the answer,” he informed me with a smile.

The Immortal Empire Series:

1. God Save the Queen

2. The Queen is Dead

3. Long Live the Queen

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FTC Advisory: Orbit/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of The Queen is Dead. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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