Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.
Welcome to the realm of 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.
©2012 Kate Locke (P)2012 Hachette Audio
Interesting new series which is probably more Urban Fantasy meets Historical Romance than Steampunk. I would also put this as a crossover from Young adult to adult. Small amount of sex, a lot of English swearing and violence.
I could not help but find similarities to Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate but it is not any where near as amusing and is far more gritty and most of the humour comes from anachronistic paraphernalia and altered history lines. There were no World Wars, Hitler was a failed artist, tampons, rotaries, bloomers and corsets are every day regalia and Sid Vicious and Queen Victoria Co-exist. The humour is more wry. Queen Victoria, a Vampire is not deceased and still rules with a Fang of Iron. This is a new world that we have not been privy too before.
The author is Canadian from the East Coast and is a big anglophile. Although a lot of the terms and speech in the book is truly English you can tell in places it has been adopted for the NA market, this does not detract from the mainly authentic feeling of a modern day Victorian London. The narrator does a good job. She keeps the story moving at the fast pace it deserves and gives Xandra a feisty edge that makes her believable and eminently likable even though she is a little unhinged at times. She is rather spoiled and tunnel visioned believeing all she is told but is staunchly loyal and protective For the UK listeners: I did find the narrator's accent a little odd as most times she spoke with a middle to upper class accent but on occasion used the harder As used in the Northern part of the country.
The reason I do not find this novel to be truly Steampunk is that there are not inventions before their time and very little science jargon and the usual suspects of Steampunk and not a single derigible in sight. The science seems to be more genetic and torture related being of a most disturbing nature. Again like the Parasol Protectorate there is a lot of dialogue about the types of food consumed, relationships with family and work and the outcast protagonist having an alpha boyfriend. Although women seem to not be under the Rule Of Thumb and have a say.
After the Plague during Victoria's reign the virus slowly turned the aristocrats into vampires and some of them (especially the Scottish contingent) into werewolves. Humans still existed and another breed emerged, a cross of the strongest humans with the Aristos has produced another group called Halvies who are used to protect the Aristos. Our protagonist is one of these and they are distinguishable mainly by their unnaturally coloured hair, speed adn strength.. Last and not least there are the Goblins living under the City.... There is a vague harry Potter feel at times but there is no magic. It is all genetic.
In the present time, London operates as usual, only the aristocrats and Queen Victoria are still ruling. The vampires have some sort of celebrity status, while normal people live no different apart from donating a pint of their blood occasionally and keeping a record of their DNA with state's hospitals so they can be monitored for the virus development. Also they always keep their children in after dark knowing a seedy adn brutal underworld exists adn they are not safe..
There is much unrest and attempts of revolution which will give people more rights and diminish the rule of aristocracy. Bedlam, the infamous mental institution still exists and many Halvies end up behind it's formidable walls. There is also a strange destructive drug that allows people to borrow the supernatural strength of those affected by The Plague however. humans will not last long on this.
Xandra Vardan is quite content with her life as a special guard, living with her half sister and brother, until her younger sister, Dee Dee, goes missing and a body burned beyond recognition is identified as Dee Dee. Then the plot takes off and were are lead into the underworld and lots of truths are revealed and twists and turns occur that shake the foundations of Xandra's belief system. Forcing her to see the truth of those around her and herself. As everything falls away she does not know who to trust.
One of the things I was not so keen on was that there waas an invented words for this verse, a bit like in A Clockwork Orange, that got very overused which again made me feel it was aimed at a younger audience.
I loved Kate Locke's non nonsense style with likable characters, action and a good deal of punching, Xandra is straightforward and likable and I think there will be great times ahead in the rest of the series.
Re-read Update: I loved this book. I liked the direction that the author took with the character, but I can't really say why without some major, major spoilers, but those of you who like a good story won't be disappointed. One thing that I did enjoy is that the main character was surrounded by her 'people'. In a lot(most?) of UF the main character is so solitary they may as well have grown up in a test tube--despite years of life, there is no 'life' around them. Not here, Xandra's is full of siblings, mentors, long-term acquaintances, etc. It is as full and messy as real life and I appreciated that aspect.
If you are looking for PNR or the detailed love scene, I'm not sure this is the book for you. There is a love interest, but that is not the end game to the story, and while Xandra has a healthy respect for sex, it no more rules her story than it does her mind.
I didn't know what to expect from GSTQ: I bought it on the strength of its rating and the reviews. I'm happy to say those positive reviews are warranted.
There is a strong romantic element to this story, and while I am not by any means a fan of romance novels, I have to admit I enjoyed experiencing the protagonist's budding romance with another major character.
I particularly liked the main character, who although strong and tough, is somewhat naive and rather bigoted. I particularly appreciated this aspect of the character, because her (anti-human, anti-Goblin) bigotry is a big part of her character, but is handled with delicacy. Moreover, like real-life prejudices, hers are not erased in the blink of an eye.
The speculative history is fun, and the author's note at the beginning helps straighten things out before the story even starts. However, I found the appendix at the end to be dry and more information than I wanted or needed. Still, it's short, and in no way detracts from the work as a whole.
The narrator adds a sophisticated and very listenable element to the story.
I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
I purchased God Save the Queen during a lull in other book series I was reading based on mainly the reader's reviews. I was not disappointed and now I can't wait for the next book in this series.
The story took a little at the start before it started to pull me in but when it did, I couldn't put it down. It is a refreshing tale that I'm sure will entertain you as it entertained me.
The book has vampires, goblins, and even werewolves but their story is told in a refreshingly different style. Goblins are almost always little dingy monsters with sharp teeth that are mainly used as battle fodder but here they are dangerous to the extreme even when alone. It is not the same old take on the same old characters.
This book also does a great job at mixing up the modern science and technology with the magical and mystical. One does not preclude the other but instead the author meshes them together very well and in a manner that draws the reader into the story.
Give it a chance and I think you'll enjoy the book.
Fascinating creation of a Streampunk world set in a fantastically alternated modern London, where Queen Victoria still reigns as a Vampire. The novel also includes a really well done mystery plot and a nicely written romance. I highly recommend.
I prefer urban/para romance right now for the fantasy aspect, but I listen to other genres as well.
Lately, pretty high. This book is very original. I had been looking at some steampunk books lately, but was afraid to take a chance on one in case I didn't like it. Then I read the synopsis of this book. This story has a mix of the paranormal (vampires, werewolves and goblins ) but it also contains bits and pieces of Victorian era of London that has been stunted because of a plague epidemic that has caused the aristocracy in the first place.
I love the main character. She's sassy and tough. She can take care of herself, but she can also admit she needs someone when the Alpha Wolf comes knocking.
No spoilers from me. This book is well written. Solid character development and good pacing.
That's a hard one. But this would make a great movie trilogy.
If your on the fence about a steampunk book but you like paranormal, give this a shot. You won't be disappointed. Also, if you like steampunk already but don't mind paranormal, this book is probably a good fit for you too.
Yes, this is the type of fantasy adventure story that I enjoy.
It would depend upon the friend. Not many of my friends read fantasy like I do.
She does a great job with the accents.
Why, yes, I would.
"There's no limit to the amount of good you can do as long as you don't care who gets the credit"~Dad
Yes, it starts out boorish and a bit slow but picks up soon. The story was good. The description of the world is done in a way that you slowly get involved in what is happening.
And it's nice to see a devoted man in a heroine's life who doesn't spend any time doubting her nor she him.
I don't want to give anything away.
Yes but in book 2 it is a different narrator, I wonder how that will be as I am listening to them all back to back.
This book was just okay. It was a bit confusing trying to figure out the combinations of creatures and how they became what they were. Once you get past the confusion I think the story could have been better and it did have potential that didn't happen. I don't feel an urge to read the second book, so I think I will pass. The narrator was not the worst but by far not the best. Maybe if you catch this one on sale it would be worth listening to. Otherwise don't waste a credit on this one.
O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught. Ralph Waldo Emerson. I Love to read, a great time for me is curling up with a great book!!!
For some reason, its rare to find the combintion of paranormal and historical romance. The once out there are mostly not very well done. That is what makes this a rare treasure.
It is really well written, with a perfect balance between the lore and the romance.
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