Sunday, July 13

Audio Review: The Queen Is Dead by Kate Locke

The Queen Is Dead

The Immortal Empire, #2
Kate Locke

Genre: SteamPunk/UrbanFantasy
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Date of Publication: February 5, 2013
Abridged or Unabridged: Unabridged
Length of Production: 10 hrs and 24 mins

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     Audible    Downpour

Xandra Vardan 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 its cracked up to be.

After having finished God Save the Queen, the first book in the Immortal Empire series by Kate Locke, I was very impressed.  I was a bit worried when I started this second book, because sequels are either hit or miss for me.  So when the story started, I was even more afraid with a narrator change. If I get a character's 'voice' in my head, it is usually set and any disruption takes me a while to get over. However, Moira Quirk however did a smashing job.  By the end of the first chapter, I could somehow tell that the accent was natural and not affected.  Ms. Quirk also did a better job with the Scottish and Goblin accents. It took this story to a whole nother level.

Xandra has accepted that she is a goblin, is even starting to enjoy the perks of being queen, but hasn't officially been crowned or truly taken the reins of power. It has been a couple of months since the end of book 1, and she is slowly adjusting to her new life in a new house in a new neighborhood.  Relations are still strained between Xandra and her siblings. Then she gets a call from her paternal brother's maternal sister, Penny Dreadful, that their shared brother, Valentine has gone missing from Freak Show.  He was investigating the disappearances of some 'halvies' from the show at the behest of Penny.

Xandra turns to her goblins for aid, and Prince William shows her a picture of Val leaving Freak Show, apparently of his own volition, between 2 'Betties'. When these same 'Bettie' return and try to snatch Penny, Xandra barely arrives in time to save her.  On top of all this, Scotland Yard has been given information that Churchill was killed in the Plague Den and begins to harrass Xandra into confessing to the crime. Xandra is now racing against the clock to find and saver her brother, protect the rest of her family, all the while avoiding Scotland Yard.

As with any good story, the plot gets thicker and more tangled as you go along. One thing I adore about this series is that although Xandra keeps being placed in these outrageous situations, she mostly uses her own common sense, the long lived wisdom and patience of her Alpha boyfriend Vex and the steady guidance of Prince William to plot the best course of action. If she does fly off and do something stupid, they are there to ground her and remind her to "pull her head out of her arse".  I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. The series continues to be a delight.

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