Just so you all are aware- this is the beginning of a week where I share my latest obsession! This series has me coming back for more and more because it is just SO FUN! It’s not perfect, and there are some things that are just beyond the beyond – but it is exactly what I needed (what we all do) a dash of escape and fun in a world that isn’t quite ready for prime-time.
Kate Locke comes to the blog with my latest (and ongoing) obsession. OBSESSION y’all – this series had me snatching at my headphones to get back to it with each break I had to take. The first in the Immortal Empire series is here today with
God Save the Queen
Set in a modern-day yet alternate universe Britain, England is ruled by the now-immoral (and vampiric) Queen Victoria, Churchill is involved in literally everything (and also a vampire) the Aristocracy is a cadre of Vampires, there are Werewolves based out of Scotland (for the most part) and Goblins occupying the tube station. Half-Bloods, the product of Vampires and Human women specifically chosen for their genetic makeup and called Courtesans are the ‘protectorate’ and a majority of Scotland Yard, Royal Guards and, of course, a few are living their own lives quietly. But all isn’t quiet: the humans are restless, Half-bloods are disappearing, and there are tensions everywhere. This is the environment in which we meet Xandra, daughter of a Duke, a half-blood, part of the Royal Guard, favorite of Churchill and all-around bad-ass with a mouth, skills and sense of humor. Xandra is brought into the thick of things when her baby sister Dee-Dee is locked up in Bedlam (yes, that Bedlam – it still exists) after claiming for years that her child (that everyone assumed was stillborn) was with her lover and his wife (another Duke) and her grief and stories pushed her over the edge. With her now presumed dead (even though Xandra has questions) the story takes flight and we are off in this twisty, mystery, action-packed, threat-around-every-corner sort of story that puts Xandra right into the thick of it.
Asking questions, turning over every rock and even venturing to the Goblin Prince to ask for help – Xandra discovers that her mother (long believed dead) and a half sister, as well as her own baby sister DeDe are all part of a Resistance movement based in Bedlam and comprised of many who have been tortured and maltreated at the hands of someone powerful, and unknown. Xandra is wonderful – impulsive but caring – determined to protect and stand up for those she loves, and truly thrown several twists when the world that she believed she understood is very different from the world as it is – this first story is the opening of her eyes and the formation of her support system – with the introduction (and immediate attraction) to Vex – the Alpha Werewolf with his title, polish, years examining and watching the political maneuvers and his undeniable sexiness.
It wasn’t perfect – some things a bit too ‘contrived’ and lots of British bits tossed in to give that ‘feel’ of London, Xandra is too stubborn and too trusting by halves, and her first reaction to most things is to doubt her own skills and powers – and what her eyes see. Lots of questions, many go unanswered in this story – but it’s FUN and clever, and the narration by Courtney Patterson was well-performed and fit the voice of Xandra well and perfectly. Most of this story was told in Xandra’s voice and from her perspective – while other characters are built slowly to take their own form and come alive. I’ll be honest – this was unlike anything else I’ve read or listened to – and the twists, turns and ever-snarky voice of Xandra with her humor (often self-deprecating) hit me frequently. I enjoyed it and couldn’t stop myself from listening to bits over and over again – and diving right into book two. (I’m on the 2nd listen of the full series now – I’m that obsessed and it gives me more each time.)
Stars: Overall 5 Narration: 5 Story 5
Title: God Save the Queen
Author: Kate Locke
Series: The Immortal Empire #1
Also in this series: The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen
Genre: Fantasy / Alternate Universe, Fantasy / Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Goblins, British, Contemporary Elements, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Elements, Humor elements, Magical Realism, Multi-Cultural, Mystery Elements, Paranormal, Romantic Elements, Science Fiction Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Shifters, Suspense Elements, Vampires, Victorian, Werewolves
Narrator: Courtney Patterson
Published by: Hachette Book Group, Orbit, Hachette Audio
Published on: 5 July, 2012
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 36 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
The first in an alternate fantasy series where vampires, werewolves, and goblins rule London.
Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.
The undead matriarch presides over 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. It’s a world where the nobility are 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.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.