It’s book Monday! Today I’m gushing about God Save the Queen. One lucky commenter will win my ARC and I got it *signed* by Kate Locke over the weekend for you. Open internationally, closes July 1, at 11:59 PM PST.
When Orbit asked me if I wanted to read this new steampunk urban fantasy series, I was like, um, heck yeah. The basic premise of God Save the Queen had me intrigued immediately. It’s 2012 and Queen Victoria is still in power–and is a Vampire. Told from the point of view of 22 year-old Xandra Vardan we’re taken on a wild romp through an alternate history where the British Aristocracy are paranormal and technology has evolved in a very steampunkian sort of way. They have many of the same types of devices we have (cars, cell phones, etc), but they run on different technologies. Xandra Vardan is a “halvie” — her father is a Vampire, her mother human. The halvies often act as protectors to the paranormal aristocracy and Xandra is an elite guard. When her sister goes missing, she’s plunged into a darker side of society, and once she starts digging for the truth, nothing will ever be the same.
I love Xandra, because she’s a badass. She’ll also go to great lengths for her family, especially her missing sister. She’s resourceful, intelligent, and can kick ass in a ball gown. What’s not to love? In addition to the action and intrigue, there’s also romance. Oh, Vex. Yes, Vex is a sexy werewolf, and an alpha, but he’s also very supportive, which was a great twist from the usual grabby alpha male.
Her world is incredible, weaving in technology, alternate history, and myth and legend. It’s gritty and dark, despite the balls and parties of the aristocracy, which Xandra often attends due to her position in the guard. In addition to Vampires and Werewolves, we also meet the Goblins, which add a great twist to the many-layered culture Kate has created. Like any good “punk” there’s plenty of rebellion, especially among the humans, who feel oppressed by, and are a bit afraid of, the paranormal aristocracy. I have a feeling that war may break out in future books…
God Save the Queen is a great romp through alternate London, a fun and exciting read that’s hard to put down. I actually had to stop myself from reading it and wait until I had an opportunity to read uninterrupted, because once I got about 5 chapters in I didn’t want to stop, and literally stayed planted on the bed reading while my child watched cartoons and ate cookies for the rest of the afternoon. The ending left me wanting for more and I love how she has explanations and a glossary in the back.
Seriously, I loved this book and had a hard time formulating a review that was more than “crazy good shit” and “this books kicks ass.” If you’re a fan of the Parasol Protectorate books, I’d recommend checking this out. I can’t wait for book 2 to see what happens to Xandra next. Can’t I have it now?