Author: Kate Locke
Genre: SciFi/Fantasy (Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal), Alternante History, Romance
Page Count: 354 (Hardcover)
Publication Date: July 5th, 2012
Plot: (from Goodreads)
The start of a thrillingly original new urban fantasy series—set in a dark alternate world where the Victorian age never ended...
The Year is 2012—and Queen Victoria still rules with an immortal fist.
She's 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 technology lives side by side with magic, where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath) and Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it's her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But things get complicated when her sister goes missing. Xandra will not only realise she's the prize in a dangerous power struggle—but she'll also uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire itself.
I read this book when it first came out in 2012 and then never ended up continuing the series. When I picked it up, randomly during the 24 hour read-a-thon, I couldn't remember anything that'd actually happened in it for some reason. And I still don't really remember that first read through of it two years ago, but anyway, onto the actual review.
I really enjoyed this book, overall. I loved the world that was created, that they lived in, it was gritty and fun and had a mixture of more modern and Victorian things. And the Victorian time periods is one of my favorites that to read about, it's interesting to see authors write ways around certain conflicts. This books is much more modern, of course, it doesn't take place in the late 1800's, but still in the Victorian time period - just in 2012. And I haven't read much alternate history, not nearly enough, but I always tend to love it - it's just interesting and this was no exception to that rule, the world building in this was so interesting.
My favorite part of this book, besides the setting, was the characters. Xandra is a kick-ass and just kind of awesome all around main character, and I loved her siblings as well. How they all had the same aristocrat father, but different mothers, and were so different at points. And I like reading about siblings, as an only child it's interesting to me, and all of the Vardan's were just fun to read about in general.
To wrap it up, I'd definitely recommend this book. It was fun and Steampunk, and I'd also highly suggest, if you can read and listen to music, to have Emilie Autumn playing in the background. I had totally forgotten that the author was a fan, until I read the Acknowledgements and Locke mentions her, but it fits the setting so well, almost perfectly.
"Bitch," Penny said slowly, "You are my fucking hero."
"I assume you've introduced yourselves," I commented.
"Of course," Avery retorted, expression slightly affronted. "His lordship helped me and Em carry in groceries this morning."