Interesting new series which is probably more Urban Fantasy meets Historical Romance than Steampunk. I would also put this as a crossover from Young ..Show More »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.
This is the second book in The Immortal Empire series. I know the third book in the series will be titled, Long Live the Queen, and release in Octobe..Show More »r 2013. I am unsure of whether there will additional books in this series after that one. I really enjoyed this book, it was just pure fun.
I listened to this on audiobook. The narrator does a stellar job of capturing Xandra’s personality perfectly. I read the first book in this series in paperback and listened to this second book. This was one of those series where I actually enjoyed listening to it more than reading it!
Xandra is struggling to find her place in the world. She is unsure whether or not she should accept the crown of the Goblin Queen. Then her sister shows up, upset that their brother has gone missing. Xandra is forced to use her Goblin connections to try and figure out where he has gone. Vex, of course, is at her side to bring some werewolf sensibility to the mission.
Xandra is trying to get her life back together after finding out she is the Goblin Queen. When her brother goes missing she is dead set on investigating his disappearance. Xandra grows a lot in this story. She learns to set aside some vendettas and take up her responsibilities. It was fun to watch her grow and change into a better person.
Xandra is plucky, tough, fun, and loyal. I really enjoy her as a heroine. Vex is the perfect counterbalance; he loves her and respects her...but he also doesn't let Xandra get away with being irresponsible or shying from decisions that need making.
I love the world this story is set in. Modern day London but with goblins, vamps, weres, and halfies. You have vampires and weres as the Royals. Goblins as the race that everyone is terrified of and halfies dealing with the fallout. The world is an absolute blast and you never know what you will find around the next corner.
The story is action packed and full of mystery. The book clips along at a good pace and is very engaging. The book is well written and fun. Mostly this is a mystery, but there is some relationship stuff going on between Xandra and Vex. The plot definitely isn’t romance driven though. This is more of a high octane urban fantasy read.
Overall this was a delightful and absolutely enjoyable book. This book was incredibly fun to read and very well put together. Xandra and Vex have a lot of tough problems thrown their way, but they react like mature adults and still have fun on the ride. Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy with a Victorian flare.