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Review: God Save The Queen by Kate Locke

God Save The Queen by Kate Locke (The immortal Empire #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

 Amazon  US/UK(£4.71) | Amazon kindle US/UK(£4.49) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 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.

* * *
Очень необычная вышла книга в жанре стимпанка.

Обычно стимпанк концентрирует своё внимание на псевдо-викторианской эре, однако Кейт Лок перевернула эту идею с ног на голову. Вместо этого, она описывает Лондон настоящего, которым до сих пор правит королева Виктория вместе с вампирами аристократами.

Благодаря Чуме, которая внесла вирус превращающий определённую часть населения в вампиров, вервульфов и гоблинов, аристократия пережила несколько веков, и естественно прогресс в жизнь Англии вносится очень неохотно. Женщины до сих пор носят корсеты, Лондон покрыт мостовыми, а все технологически ииновации выглядят как характерные викторианские гаджеты.

Англия разделена на элиту - читокровных паранормалов, полукровок, их детей, от обычных людей, которые занимают важнейшие посты в правительстве и помогают управлять государством или пополнять население такими же полукровками, и обычных людей, которые поддерживают инфраструктуру.

Люди естественно недовольны своим низшим статусом и между ними и элитой назревает очередной конфликт (первый был попыткой Революции).

Ксандра Вардан - полукровка, работающая в Королевской Охране, которая обеспечивает безопасность Королевы и аристократии во время официальных вечеринок и церемоний. Она довольна своей жизнью, ролью и порядком вещей, пока не исчезает её младшая сестра, а вместо неё семье подсовывают обгоревшее до неузнаваемости тело и побуждают их признать его и похоронить как ту самую сестрёнку.

Ксандра начинает расследование и в процессе натыкается на такой обширный и вышестоящий заговор, что он переворачивает все её представления о мире и самой себе.

Книга полна брутального экшна и читается как чистейшая городская фантастика в красивой обёртке стимпанка. Что очень приятно :)

Напоминает по стилю Шинан МакГвайер, но только совсем немножко, в остальном стиль Кейт Лок уникален и мне жутко нравится. Буду читать её остальные произведения, так как она пишет под несколькими разными псевдонимами.

Очень советую.


Nina @ Death, Books, and Tea said...

I love the look of this...dark, brutal and fast? Definitely my kind of thing. Thanks for the review!

Melliane said...

Great! I started to read it but had to many books to try so it will be for later, but I"m glad to learn more about it. thanks for the review!

Christina said...

Gah! I could have requested this and I didn't and now I regret it! Comp to Seanan Maguire? MUST HAVE.

Blodeuedd said...

Want!! Why did I not ask for it on NG? I mean last I checked it was still there. bad bad me

Unknown said...

This sounds a bit like a steampunk version of a book called Anno Dracula, ever heard of it? It was interesting (a horror story) but for some reason I didn't finish it.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Ahaha, Christina, Blodeuedd, I've requested it on NG, but Random House always rejects me more than accepts, so I was rejected :)

Heather, I did think of Anno Dracula when I was reading it, because that book has been on my wishlist for ages. Some day i hope to read it :)

Delhia, Nina, I hope you both read it! I found it fascinating!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh this sounds like my kinda read! Thanks for the review. I was just looking at this cover on Goodreads today wondering about it...going to have to add to WANT list. :D Thank you!

Hannah @ Dragons and Whimsy said...

I'd considered requesting this one but decided against it for good reason but definitely going to buy it at some point.

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