The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke
Series: The Immortal Empire #2
Published by Orbit
Published on: February 5th, 2013
Genres: Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
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When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it's up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Add this to being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she's already lost one sibling, she's not about to lose another.
The Queen is Dead retreads much of the same territory of its precursor. Mostly it seems to set the stage for an explosive end to the trilogy so here’s hoping this drag pays off. Most of the plot points here remain minor and if you could call anything major it would be holdovers from last year’s book. On the other hand, everything that one has come to love about this world – hip lingo, corrosive diet, attitude, alternate history, goblins – put in strong appearances.
The real complaint lies at the book’s center the plot of which concerns another missing person case. A perfectly good opportunity to “raise the stakes” and endanger more of Xandra’s world was passed over to instead characterize a couple side characters. Really my criticism, although circuitous, is severe. The very success of this series now hinges on the capstone, the final nail in the coffin because hardly any twists or weaknesses are brought down to bear this time around. If a good ole’ gut-wrenching reveal has not been saved for the finale then the whole trip, especially the start, which had so much potential, will be put to eternal shame.
On the werewolf front, I still find Vex’s name to be annoyingly close to Val’s, Xandra’s brother. Certainly it reinforces a bit of the incest wish but it’s just a pain when as I am reading I see a V and I want to instantly associate V with Xandra’s werewolf lover then have to take a couple more seconds to straighten out the rest of the letters. This is a very minor complaint since it predominantly concerns my own reading momentum.
It may be worth mentioning as well that although much of the missing person case deals with Val, we learn absolutely nothing about him and, by the end of the investigation, he remains just as much a cardboard cutout as before. Perhaps the most characterized of any of the “sides” here was Penny, Val’s transvestite “sister”. Her or the goblin prince, William. Probably, William. I liked William a lot. For a goblin that is.
|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|