God Save the Queen: The Immortal Empire #1 by Kate Locke

God Save the Queen: The Immortal Empire #1 by Kate Locke

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.)   

AudioBook Review 
Stars: Overall 5  Narration5  Story 5  

God Save the Queen: The Immortal Empire #1 by Kate Locke

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
ISBN: ‎ 0316203912
Published on: 5 July, 2012
Format:Audiobook
Source: Hachette Audio
Pages: 400
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 36 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound Book Depository GoogleAudibleDirect from Publisher
See this Title on Goodreads

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.

About Kate Locke

ate Locke has always enjoyed making things up — a trait that often got her into trouble as a child, but by which she enjoys making a living. Before writing fiction full time she worked as cook, a journalist and in a photo finishing lab where she saw enough pictures of naked people to rival Hugh Hefner. A guy once asked her out after giving her a roll of film that he expressly requested she develop and print. The entire roll was images of him stark naked in the woods. And no, that’s the kind of thing you just don’t make up.

In her late 20s Kate sold her first book and enjoyed a 10 year career writing under a different name. Her love of fantasy and the paranormal refused to leave her alone, and one day, while sitting on the couch thinking of making a very scary career move, she started jotting down notes for a book she wanted to write just for the pure enjoyment of it; a book just for herself. That book became God Save the Queen. Her agent thought they could sell it — Kate wasn’t certain. Then, the day after having her gall bladder removed (again, can’t make this stuff up), Kate got the call that Orbit books — her dream publisher for God Save the Queen — had made an offer. And it’s been more exciting than she ever imagined.

Like Xandra Vardan, the heroine in God Save the Queen, Kate values those she loves above all else, and has hair a color not typically found in nature. Unfortunately, Kate’s comes from a bottle. She’s married to a fabulous man who doesn’t seem to care what she does to her hair, puts up with her occasional* craziness, helps her plot, and treats her like she’s the best thing since lipgloss.

Kate Locke is pseudonym for Kathryn Smith aka Kate Cross/Kady Cross

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