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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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3423832,058 (3.82)22
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 40 (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.
( )
  Aneris | Oct 31, 2016 |
4.5/5
Very unusual. I can tell you that straight away.


Most steampunk novels operate in fictional Victorian era. Kate Locke completely turned this notion on its head and instead gave us present steampunk society where Queen Victoria never died and instead became the undead and rules for all eternity.


After the Plague during Victoria's reign the virus slowly turned the aristocrats into vampires and some of them (especially the Scottish variety) into werewolves.


In the present time, London operates as usual, only the aristocrats and the Queen 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.


Of course there is unrest and attempts of revolution which will give people more rights and diminish the rule of aristocracy. There is also a strange destructive drug that allows people to borrow the supernatural strength of those affected by The Plague, but the downside of it, - you burn out pretty quickly. Women wear corsets, phones and computers are adjusted to steampunk aesthetics, etc.


Xandra Vardan is a halvie, who works as a part of Royal Guard protecting the Queen and nobility during official events and ceremonies. She is quite content with her life, until her younger sister goes missing, and a body burned beyond recognition is supposed to be buried in her place.


Xandra investigation uncovers the darkest secrets and makes her question everything she believes in about the order of things and her own origins.


This book is dark and quite brutal. The Pace is breathtaking. Some bits of it reminded me of Meredith Gentry and Toby Day's series by Seanan McGuire. I loved Kate Locke's non nonsense style, and I'll definitely be reading more. It's very visual, bright and pure urban fantasy wrapped in attractive steampunk packaging.


Very much recommended. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
I am not going to give this one a star rating.

It's the start of a new series with a new pseudonym by the author. Well written. Characters that were not one dimensional and actually had relationships besides just the love interest.

If you enjoy genres like alternative history, steam punk, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and like lots of British tv imports like Torchwood (or conspiracy theories like in X-Files) -- it's your thing.

I knew was steam punk going in but read on a friend's recommendation who knew I liked goblin stories (okay, the Goblin King in Labyrinth, George MacDonald's Curdie/Princess tales, and Jim C. Hines' goblin books). Touted as original. And had original storyline and cast of characters. Most of the world building was Victorian "early reign" stuff and there was no way you were not aware was set in Great Britain. I do realize author was deliberately going for that setting and fondly noted the cylinders and aethernet references as homage to all the lovely cliffhanger black and white SF serials I used to watch.

It fit well with a penpal read here at goodreads (and you have to love the expression on character's face on the bookcover), so I started to read.

Personally, I have just had all the steam punk I can take (well, okay, I still like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and all the contemporary SF writers from the era) and too many chick lit books have Britished me out. Alternative history--very rarely something I like.

That's a matter of personal taste (I also can't stand Torchwood or most of the conspiracy type of reads/shows) and is why I am not giving a star rating.

Again, writing was very good and storyline was original, characters engaging.

I waded thru 30% and yelled at friend recommending. Almost got interesting for me. After 50% still did not like (again, kept almost but not quite getting interesting for me) and did manage to finish for penpal read. Maybe last 5 to 10% of book, after investing my time, I was into the action and what was happening to conclude the story. Less because I got any more interested than that I had put in the time. For me, tried both too hard and not hard enough with the pseudo-science behind the worldbuilding; and, as an American, I don't think I am one to judge how well done the British aspect was (in my opinion, rather formulaic on the British stuff as seen thru a typical American anglophile-author's eyes versus someone who spent any amount of time in England).

I actually think it could be the start of a very good series. If it's your thing.
  Spurts | Oct 29, 2015 |
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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Lockeprimary authorall editionscalculated
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:56 -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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