Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Long Live the Queen

Xandra Vardan has finally accepted the goblin crown and sits as their official matriarch. Life has never been more complicated since the factions are all vying for the goblins to be on their side (except the humans). Things are even further complicated when a creature created by the nefarious labs experimenting on halvies is going around killing people with the ability to shapeshift to look like anyone. The already strained relationship between aristocrats and humans is pushed to the breaking point, which will possibly lead up to another uprising. Xandra has to figure out a way to unite against all the factions against whoever is behind the mad scientist labs in order to keep everything from descending into chaos.

I've been eagerly waiting for the last installment of the Immortal Empire series. I love the world it's set in and each book reveals more and more about it. It's not the typical steampunk and is set in modern times with modified Victorian sensibilities and fashions because she still holds the throne. Technology and society have still progressed, but are all colored with a Victorian lens. The glimpses of the other countries are also intriguing. Since the United States don't have the aristocracy, vampires and werewolves are revered actors, performers, and inhabit popular culture. Also, seeing people from history in much different roles than what they were remembered for is fun to read and hard to predict. The world is a unique mishmash of the two time periods and it's addictive. I think this is the last Xandra's story, but I hope other stories are told within this awesome world.

The plot takes off at breakneck speed and doesn't stop. It had so many crazy twists and turns that I couldn't guess what would happen next. Ali, the young girl made from Xandra's DNA, is the most volatile and mysterious character. I thought Xandra's reactions to her would become cringe inducting and horrible, but she kept her head. Characters tend to lose their brains when children get involved. However, when Ali proved to be too dangerous, Xandra valued her existing relationships over a monster she had never met before who she happened to share genetic material with. Xandra grows a lot within the novel. She absolutely accepts the goblins  and her own goblin nature despite their gruesome habits. Her relationship with Vex is refreshing because they are truly equals. So many paranormal romances feature these horrible, domineering alpha male types that I simply don't find attractive. Vex is strong, but doesn't put down Xandra or push her around to show it. I also found their love story quite sweet, which is hard to do when carnage and plots to overthrow the queen are happening all over the place.

Long Live the Queen is a satisfying ending to Xandra's story. It was an exciting story with unpredictable twists and turns along the way. The characters are all interesting or infuriating in their own ways. I will definitely be reading more of Kate Locke and I also recommend her teen series written as Kady Cross.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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