Reviewed by: Megan S. of StellarFour.com
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
I read a lot of Urban Fantasy; it started with Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics when I was six and I’ve been devouring ’em ever since. So, it’s not often I come across a vampire tale that doesn’t feel like I’ve read it a hundred times before and I see no point in wasting my time on the same old same old. Of course, the mere fact that a story is novel isn’t enough to win my heart. I require an intriguing plot with solid world building and kick-ass heroines. I demand the whole package. I guess you could say I’m kind of a high maintenance reader.
Lucky for me, I found Kate Locke’s God Save the Queen. The inventive and entertaining read was everything I want in a new series.
Kick-ass heroine? That would be Xandra Vardan. Xandy is the halfie (half-blood) daughter of a vampire duke and a human courtesan. She, her halfie siblings, and their brethren were bred to protect the supernatural aristocracy who rule over the United Kingdom in 2012 and Xandra is one of the best. Unlike most UF heroines, Xandra respects the system and would give her life to save England’s queen.
New twist on vampire mythology? You betcha. England’s queen isn’t Elizabeth II, it’s Victoria. Yep, the same one who took the throne in the first half of the 1800s. Xandra’s world began to diverge from our own history in the 1700s with Mad King George. While our king suffered from porphyria (that’s the disorder often tied to vampire mythology), Xandra’s suffered from the Prometheus Protein, a mutation of the bubonic plague. As royals continued to interbreed and time marched on, future aristocratic generations developed into vampires, werewolves, and half-blood offspring.
Intriguing plot? God Save the Queen’s got that, too. Xandra’s family is everything to her and, when her sister Drusilla goes missing, our girl does what she has to find her. Turns out what Xandra needs to do is venture into a den of goblins, the ultraviolet and unwanted bastards of werewolf and vampire unions. The information she gleans from the Goblin Prince leads her on a path to uncovering a conspiracy that could change her world forever.
Solid world building? Locke put some serious thought into creating Xandra’s world and the results are awesome. In a world where the U.K. has had the same monarch for almost two hundred years, history and social conventions are markedly different from ours. The old Victorian norms and taboos are still in place and technology lags behind our own. God Save the Queen has a definite steampunk feel to it but it isn’t overwhelming nor forced. It feels completely natural and supports the plot well.
Guys, I sped through the book so quickly that I was annoyed at myself as soon as I finished it. I didn’t want to wait to find out how the mystery ended so I raced to the ending. Don’t get me wrong, the ending is very satisfying but devouring the book so quickly means that I now have that much longer to wait until the next one. The Queen is Dead won’t be out ’til February 2013. Take your time with this one and savor God Save the Queen.
Sexual content: Sex