Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.
The undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.
Tell Me More: Long-time readers of this blog will remember that paranormal stories don’t usually garner great reviews here for a variety of reasons. Happily, I’ve found a paranormal series that kept me interested and entertained, even through some eye-raising moments.
Kate Locke’s alternate reality, while fascinating, doesn’t quite make it when it comes to characterization. Xandra isn’t as fleshed-out as I would have hoped, and there were some parts of the story where I felt that her actions were out of character. I felt like I didn’t know her as much as I knew what she wanted. Certainly, I enjoyed the fact that she was so willing to protect and save her family from harm, but I didn’t feel like I knew who Xandra Vardan really was. The rest of the characters felt like halves of one another, as though every other person was just a foil for someone else.
Where Locke does succeed, however, is the exciting and captivating plot. Again, I don’t usually read paranormal fiction, but I was fascinated by the world Locke created. With werewolves, vampires, goblins and fae roaming the streets of London, how could I not be interested? Xandra’s job allows Locke to go into detail about each creature’s habits and idiosyncrasies–as a lover of detail, I appreciated this attention to the little things that give a story life. I could nitpick about some plot developments, but the reading experience itself was just plain fun. Taken at face value, this is a rollicking and punchy story about a world that is shifting in ways people can’t understand. It’s also a really enjoyable and hilarious story.
The Final Say: Kate Locke’s irreverent God Save the Queen is entertaining without sacrificing important plot lines. Definitely pick this one up if you love humour or paranormal twists.
Kate Locke is a shameless anglophile who wrote her first book at age 12. Fortunately, that book about a British pop band is lost forever. When not experimenting with new hair colors, Kate likes to hang out with her husband who, while not from England, can do a pretty convincing accent. She spends her days being bossed about by 5 fur kids and making stuff up — often while wearing a ‘uniform’ that looks suspiciously like pajamas. During ‘off’ hours Kate often screeches along to Rock Band (being a rock star was her second career choice if the writing thing didn’t work out), watches BBC America, or plays with makeup. She loves history, the paranormal, horror, and sparkly things. The author’s website can be found at http://www.katelocke.com.