Josh Reviews: God Save the Queen by Kate Locke

Posted August 10, 2013 by Joshua Burns in Josh, Reviews, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves / 11 Comments

Josh Reviews: God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
Series: The Immortal Empire #1
Published on: July 3rd, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Pages: 351
Format: Hardcover
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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.



God Save the Queen contests Soulless for the coveted Victorian era steampunk drama featuring werewolves and vampires.   I know I shouldn’t be mentioning this elephant in the room, this precursory shadow right off the bat but seeing as how it was my first reaction to the synopsis and, if any of you out there are familiar with Soulless (you should be), it is just about certainly going to be your first reaction.

Then I read the first chapter.   Ok, goblins.   A more young protagonist?   Probably due to the cover art, I had the idea ‘Xandra is somewhere in her teens.   She is actually twenty-one, just shy of Alexia’s twenty-five.   From there the differences just get more and more profuse.

God Save the Queen plays the conspiracy/just can’t trust the surroundings/even unreliable narrator cards in spades.    Sure, one can draw similarities between these two series but there is no doubt in my mind they can coexist and should coexist on just about anyone’s urban fantasy/steampunk wishlist.

One must ask then what exactly is so alluring about Victorian era steampunk featuring werewolves, vampires, and now goblins (except these creatures are called goblins but they are significantly more complex than that and as such I am not confident I could visualize their CGI appearance)?

The gadget angle isn’t swung around here, instead the slick slang vies for your attention.   No bludgeoning umbrellas or fancy hats.   Heavy on plot and heart.

Like don’t get me wrong the fact that it is Victorian era steampunk doesn’t so much do anything for me as the world that is created here is fairly alternate and fresh, which lends itself terrifically to the paranoid journey ‘Xandra is embarked on.   In other words, if like myself Queen Victoria as a historical character or dirigibles as a fanciful device do little or nothing for you by themselves, it is the aggregate of these foreign items that make these such great reads.

If I might treat God Save the Queen, on its own for just a moment as I have let it unfairly walk alongside with its Victorian era steampunk sister, the plot displays respectable flow, never treating any event with a luxuriant hand.   We are always left not knowing just enough to keep turning, and right into shocking twists, that, all of a sudden, make sense now that you think about it (i.e. the best kind of twists, not the exploitative “you’ll never see it coming” or the drull “I saw this coming a hundred pages ago”).

And let me tell you the central twist screams fun will be had in book two.

Books in this series:


Recommended: To sate your Victorian steampunk era fix
Like this, like that: The Clockwork Agents by Kate Cross and Incarnation by Emma Cornwall



Josh

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Reviews UF/PR novels with an eye for weres of all kinds.

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11 responses to “Josh Reviews: God Save the Queen by Kate Locke

    • Thanks! Soulless, you should think about that and, although the second Immortal Empire book is nowhere as good as the first I would recommend continuing the series. Jury’s still out about book three.

  1. I’ve had this one sitting on my shelf a while now. I picked it up because I’m a sucker for a great cover and love steampunk when it’s done well. Perhaps this will be my in-flight read on my trip to Vegas.

    • Uh in a word or two more, the Immortal Empire books, at least one and two, are a bit more snappy in terms of stomping and action than Soulless, which, although a tad more funny and mouthy, is significantly less stompy throughout all five books.

  2. Krista

    I didn’t love the first book as much as you did, but I’m glad I tried out the second book because it was awesome! The world building in this series is really unique. It definitely puts and interesting spin on the paranormal genre.