Kate Locke returns with the second in The Immortal Empire series where Xandra finds more news, more danger, more answers and more questions in
The Queen is Dead
I’ve already said I’m obsessed with this series, and this book fit right in. We’ve learned that Xandra is “extra special” beyond the usual half-blood, and that she’s been picked (or born to) the position of Queen of the Goblins by the goblin-prince William. Her friend Penny (another half-blood, half-sister to her brother Val and a drag queen) has noticed halfies gone missing from the cabaret club she works at, and Xandra’s sister Valentine (heir to the title and Inspector at Scotland Yard) has gone missing – last seen when Xandra’s clues led her to a “horror show’ where humans are the entertainment as Aristos feed upon them until death. There are also questions (and some stories) about laboratories that are experimenting with some of the halfies, in fact, Xandra’s sister Fiona, living with her mother in Bedlam, was one of the experimented upon. There’s a question about Churchill’s disappearance, his never-ending obsession with Xandra was one of the causes of his death – but these questions lead straight to Xandra’s door.
DeDe is truly dead now – and Xandra is still feeling guilty about that – for it was at the hands of Churchill, her mentor, her protector and the man she believed was on her side – until she knew he wasn’t. There’s a piece of Xandra that is all too willing to become self-absorbed and take on the blames for everyone else’s troubles – but she’s getting better at sorting things out – even as she is denying the full power of her goblin side, and desperate to find Val, she’s captured as well.
This is the part of the story where we get more answers to long-held questions, even as more arrive. Vex is still stalwart and by her side – providing a calming influence on her and chastising her for going off half-cocked and not considering consequences. There are reasons that people are being taken and experimented upon – and some of that information is coming to light. But with Victoria gunning for her and not one but two potential murders in which she is a suspect, the detective following her a solid pain in her ass, and the obvious threats to her life – she’s still got her mother and sister in Bedlam looking to lead an uprising against the monarchy…. it’s pretty full on with new sides of Xandra, William, Vex and the threats coming out frequently.
Narration for this installment is provided by Moira Quirk and she picked up smoothly where the last book left off. A bit different in inflection and tone for Xandra, with more distinction for other characters, the accents, emotional inflections and the pauses to catch up (as small as they were) made a huge impact and kept me glued to the story. Again, the writing isn’t perfect and often if feels like info-dump as things are brought in and explained – but this is a story that you ‘go with’ the flow – and the twisty bits are often unraveled (or explained) in the final epilogue – where a dictionary / footnote-like series of terms and twists are laid out. I’m still obsessed with this series – as of this writing I’m on my second go-through of the books, and if you want non-stop action with a heroine who is far from perfect with attitude, skills and a great sense of family and humor – this is the one for you!
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story: 5
Title: The Queen is Dead
Author: Kate Locke
Series: The Immortal Empire #2
Also in this series: God Save the Queen, Long Live the Queen
Genre: Fantasy / Alternate Universe, Goblins, Suspense, Action / Adventure, British, Contemporary Elements, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Elements, Humor elements, Magical Realism, Mystery Elements, Paranormal, Science Fiction Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Time Travel / Alternate Universe, Vampires, Victorian, Werewolves, Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Published by: Hachette Audio, Orbit
Published on: 2 February, 2013
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 25 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
The sequel to Kate Locke’s spectacular Immortal Empire series that began in God Save the Queen.
Xandra Vardan is the newly crowned Goblin Queen of England. But her complicated life is by no means over.
There are the political factions vying for her favor, and the all-too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. Not to mention her werewolf boyfriend has demands of his own, and her mother is hell-bent on destroying the monarchy. Now she’s the main suspect in a murder investigation — and Xandra barely knows which way is up.
What she does know is that nothing lasts forever — and immortality isn’t all its cracked up to be.
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.