God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
I won a copy of Kate Locke’s God Save the Queen during one of the monthly LibraryThing giveaways and let it sit on my TBR review pile since July… I finally got around to reading it while working on NaNo. It might be the novel’s fast pace, or its fun, snarky characters, but Xandra’s misadventures kept me sane during start of the writing frenzy and provided me with just the right kind of entertainment to keep me from going down the road of writerly one-track-mindedness.
The novel is set in a sci-fi-ish, steampunkish, present day, alternate London ruled by a vampiric Queen Victoria, and inhabited by vampires, werewolves, goblins, and a special hybrid breed of “halvies.” There’s a neat explanation about how these species came to be as a result of the Plague, but the book does a better job of explaining it than I do. This is the first in the Immortal Empire series, so there is a lot of world-building, and plenty of conspiracies and plot bunnies are introduced to set the series in motion.
My one pet peeve is that blurb on the back of the book does it a complete disservice. After reading the blurb, I assumed the novel would focus on the vampiric Queen Victoria, but it is really about [Ale]Xandra Vardan, halvie and kick-ass member of the Royal Guard. When Xandra’s half-sister, Drusilla, dies, Xandra is the only one who suspects that her sister’s suicide is more than it seems. Underground rebellions and dangerous encounters abound as Xandra tries to learn the truth of her sister’s death, only to find more than she bargained for… including a goblin Prince and a sexy werewolf.
Even while trying to work on my own writing, I became totally immersed in Locke’s alternate London. Xandra is just the kind of heroine I enjoy and Vex is the best kind of supportive hero-lover figure. I want more!