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God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
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God Save the Queen (edition 2012)

by Kate Locke

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2473946,499 (3.86)21
Member:dulcibelle
Title:God Save the Queen
Authors:Kate Locke
Info:Orbit (2012), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle
Rating:****
Tags:paranormal, steampunk, vampires

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God Save the Queen by Kate Locke

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
***4.5***

First: do not read the blurb of the next book in this series. It contains spoilers for this one.

The story: It starts a bit slow thanks to a sort of info dump, which isn't overwhelming considering how rich this world is. The author still managed to reign in all that and we got information about this world and its history bit by bit in the rest of the book.
Alexandra Vardan is a half-breed belonging to elite Royal Guard. Someone went to a hell of trouble to convince her, her family and the world that her sister is dead. What follows is a steampunkish thriller with political elements. I loved it.

The world: It is a combination of Victorian England and 21st century, so they use computers along with gas lamps (and electricity) and various mechanical vehicles. Too many things to name. Imagine the combination of the two.
Queen Victoria is a vampire. Aristocracy consists of vampires and weres. Aristocrats often hire courtesans whose sole purpose is to give birth to half-breeds.
These are not the only ones who live in this world. Humans are there too (courtesans are humans) and, of course, goblins. Goblins terrify every other race. They live underground and they consider themselves higher than the rest, especially vampires.

The character(s): The story is written in first person, so it's not surprising to see that most of the characters are there to show Xandra's reactions, feelings, to whatever is going on at the moment or reaction of others to whatever is happening to Xandra or around her. Now that I think about it, almost all events in the book are completely tied to her. Even the one which started everything. None of that ruins the story.

Alexandra reminds me of Dorina Basarab a bit, how strong and how not stupid she is.
Other characters will probably get more space in the rest of the books.

The romance: There is a bit of that here, but it is not the focus of the story. It is told as just one part of the Xandra's life. For those who like Scots, they won't be disappointed.
( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Style: 4 stars
Pace: 4 stars

Sometimes, I just want a relaxing, fluffy read. This fit the bill. I was really in the mood to read the newest Gail Carriger book, but since I was in the middle of Nano at the time, I didn't want to have her style infect my story. This was a good compromise. Same sort of tongue in cheek humor, only occasionally eye-roll inducing, and believable character growth. Though there were quite a few spots where I wished they'd had a better editor to either tighten a scene or to catch errors like words left out and such. ( )
  Jami_Leigh | Jun 22, 2014 |
See the full review at Short & Sweet Reviews.

God Save the Queen reminds me of a raunchier cousin of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. The Parasol Protectorate books are rooted in intrigue with a healthy does of whimsy, with true steampunk elements mixed in with an alternate universe England rife with vampires and werewolves. This book riffs on that, and there are a few very close similarities that raised my eyebrows. But God Save the Queen is overall a darker, grittier book with a brassy, in-your-face main character who isn't exactly willing to make nice with anyone. Xandra's got a good reason to stop playing by the rules, though, between the disappearance of her sister and the lies and cover-ups she's about to stumble upon.

There's a lot of strong language, sexual innuendo, and violence in this book, so use caution if recommending to teens or people who try to skip those things. If you toned down the language and the innuendo, it wouldn't read that differently than most YA books, to be honest -- the sex scenes in God Save the Queen are almost always glossed over, and YA books seem to be peppered with language and violence these days anyway. I didn't think that this was a perfect book, but it was a quick, genuinely fun read, and if I have the opportunity, I'll probably check out any following sequels. ( )
  goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
This was a fun book that I'm not entirely sure how to categorize. It's set in London in modern times (urban fantasy) but Queen Victoria is still alive and ruling. Technology is present but different and fashions take their cue from Victoria still (steampunk). The aristocracy is mostly made up of vampire & werewolves but they became supernatural due to the reaction of their blood to the plague (sci fi). Book classification geek aside, this was a fun read. I admit that I found the writing a little awkward in the beginning - lots of dashes between thoughts - sometimes leading to run on sentences. But after a little while I found the rhythm and had a good time with it.

Xandy is a halvie, the product of an aristo vampire father and human mother. There are pluses and minuses to this state. Much of the book is Xandy learning things about herself, her family and the development of the different groups. The strength of this novel is definitely the world building. The different races, how they came to be and interact are fascinating. There's also family drama and a sexy werewolf love interest to keep you reading.

I'll be picking up the second in the series sure enough. ( )
  CCleveland | Nov 27, 2013 |
Xandra is a half-vampire, her father a vampire and her mother one of the courtesan carriers of the plagued genes. Like many halvies, she serves the vampiric and were aristos that rule the county, in her case as a Royal Guard – and one of the Royal Guard’s best. And they need to be good – after the Insurrection, there are considerable human forces constantly seeking to overrule the immortal Queen Victoria and her vampiric court.

But, despite this, Xandra finds herself caught up in one of these treasonous movements herself, despite her position as Guard. When her sister is taken in to the notorious mental hospital of Bedlam, where Xandra’s mother was said to have died, Xandra confronts her own fears to find the truth. Unwilling to be dismissed, her investigations uncover surprise after surprise – and a deep conspiracy that rocks the place of all halvies in society. She ends up torn between family and duty – and betrayed by people she trusted beyond all others.

And through that she has to learn the truth not just about her friends, her family and her society and leaders – but also about herself. Her true nature, her true being and what that really means.

This book had a very shaky start for me. I start reading and am instantly treated to one of the longest, most convoluted info-dumps I’ve ever read as Xandra mentally resumes the entire world for me, the creatures, the politics, the history, her family and her personal history. It’s huge, it’s long, it’s interspaced with lots of area description and emotional exposition and it’s pretty hard to follow – I actually had to re-read several parts to double check the huge amount of information being imparted.

It put me off and, if I’d been skimming in a book shop deciding whether to buy or not, I’d have put it back on the shelves, disappointed. But it is worth holding on, getting through that shaky beginning and keep on reading. The world is revealed again in more sensible terms, the characters are more developed and then the real plot kicks in.

Once you get into the book, the world is fascinating. The supernatural here is a plague – the plague – kills people but leaves some survivors with offspring that carry the plague, that eventually over the generations changes them into vampires, werewolves and – when the werewolf and vampire plagues combine or through throwbacks, the lethal and terrifying goblins. The book is set in the 21st century, but it’s a very different world from ours. It’s a world where the immortal vampiric Queen Victoria still reigns, ruling a vampiric and werewolf aristocracy that precariously rules over a majority human and disgruntled populace. In between are the half-weres and half-vampires, serving the aristos with their much greater numbers.

Because it’s 21st century, we have much of the same technology displayed as you’d expect. But because there’s also powerful elements demanding the world stand still – the Queen’s conservative sensibilities, the aristos discomfort with the modern, there’s also a very strong steampunk aesthetic. It has a really interesting mix of modern and Victorian values – with things like a deadly fear of gossip and reputation, but a casual, liberated view of sex and sexuality.


Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Lockeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Higgins, DonMapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
House of IndulgenceCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panepinto, LaurenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sipley, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for my sisters: Heather, Linda and Nathalie. I could list the reasons why, but that would be a book in itself.
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Book description
Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.

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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316196126, Hardcover)

Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.

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.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Queen Victoria is the undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground, and where mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. In this world, being part of the 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 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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