Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Review: The Queen Is Dead

The Queen Is Dead (The Immortal Empire, #2)Author: Kate Locke
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Orbit
Series: The Immortal Empire # 2

When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it's up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. Add this to a being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she's already lost one sibling, she's not about to lose another.

Xandra Varden 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 for some reason wants her head. Not to mention her werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy. Now she's the 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 it’s cracked up to be.

There was a dead rat nailed to my door.

People looked at me as they passed by. A halvie wasn’t that much of an oddity in these parts, though certainly not commonplace. Unfortunately word had got out, thanks to the rags, that there was a freaky new goblin in town. My photo had been in every paper a couple of months ago, first because of my love life, and then because of the scandal of my genes. I was something of a celebrity, though without the chat show appearances.

There’s more beneath London than old trains, catacombs, plague pits and tunnels. It’s not so much the long-forgotten rooms and caverns that a body need worry about; it’s the things living in them. I once heard that there’s a species of mosquito that is found only in the dank dark beneath my fair city. Some stupid sod actually risked his fool life to go beneath and find the bloody thing.

Churchill’s heart in my hand, warm and still beating. Churchill’s blood on my lips, coating my tongue. Warm sweetness sliding down my throat as my goblins ripped him apart. At least he had stopped screaming.

I have been so invested in this world and in Xandra’s life since reading the first book in this series last summer. I love the Steampunk feel, the bright, red hair, and Xandra’s incredibly independent personality. Before you start reading my review I highly advise you read the first book in this series because there will be spoilers and it will be very difficult to understand and follow if you are not aware of what preceded the events in this second book. With that being said, Xandra is back and better than ever in this book. She is now the queen of the goblins and has just recently lost her sister and best friend. Alas, the trouble is not over for Xandra. In the second installment in this series our beloved Xandra is accused of murder and is focusing on trying not to lose another sibling. The adventure has just begun!

The world building is still phenomenal in the second novel. I would even go as far to say that it is better. We see the goblin’s world and the passages underneath London explained and explored more by Xandra in this book and readers really get an inside look at Xandra’s new life and really see the difference in the mortals and immortals that rule London’s living realm. The class system is still setup and played out as it was before and the politics are growing continually worse.

Xandra’s character is obviously my favorite part about these stories and the rollercoaster ride that readers embark on with her character has been fantastic since page one. Locke’s characterization of major characters is superb and even the smallest details and dialogue gives you a deeper insight into a character like Xandra and her closest friends and relatives.  Xandra is still maintaining the same kick butt mentality that she did in the first novel and this time she has less to lose. I am anxious to read the next book in this series, which is due to release in November of this year.

***A HUGE thank you to the publishers at Orbit for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***


  1. I have this book started, but got sidetracked by books with a deadline unfortunately.I have enjoyed what I have read and loved the first one. Great review.

  2. I loved the first book, the world building was amazing, and I loved Xandra's character! I can't wait to get my hands on this one and see what happens next. Great review!

  3. Awesome review!! Loved the first one as well and cannot wait to see what else Xandra will be up in this series! Now if I could only find time to read this particular book amongst all the other books I am dying to read!

  4. Wow! That cover is fierce. Red hair and all. ;)