Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Review: The Queen is Dead (The Immortal Empire #2)

Title: The Queen is Dead (The Immortal Empire #2)
Author: Kate Locke
Genre: SciFi/Fantasy (Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal), Alternate History, Romance
Rating: 5/5
Pages Count: 352 (Hardcover)
Publication Date: February 5th, 2013

Plot: (from Goodreads)
Nothing lasts forever---and immortality isn't all its cracked up to be.

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. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. 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.

I talked about how much I loved this world in my review of the first book, but I just want to say it again because the world becomes even richer in this one. I didn't love this book much more then the first one, except for one character we got so much more of but I'm saving that, but maybe a little more. These books are a lot of fun to read, fast passed, and really good to boot.

They're not super heavy on the romance type of books, but - Xandra and Vex's relationship does play a huge part in these books, and in such a good way. Especially because of how supportive he is of her and, even though he's an actual alpha (he's the alpha werewolf of his pack), he doesn't try and tell her what to do. He'll ask, and maybe push her a bit if it's important to him, but he doesn't just tell her something and it's so, and she wouldn't put up with it if he tried - their relationship is just so good and, actually, adorable and it's one of my favorite elements.

Now, the only reason I'd say I loved this book more was because of one character, like I said earlier: Penny Dreadful. She's Val, who is Xandra's brother, sister, so to both of them - they're family. Penny works at this club called Freak Show and is trans and, from what I can tell, a seriously fabulous, impressive drag queen. There are some great descriptions of her outfits, that just made me ridiculously happy, because I love Victorian fashion and in this book it's that but mixed with modern and - basically what I wish my entire wardrobe was.

And now I'm going to go on a bit of a ramble, and I apologize, but this is the first book that had LGBT characters that were treated like everyday people. It was just expected to be accepted as fact from the readers. Xandra's sister, Avery, has a girlfriend (Fiance) Emily and it's not even talked about at first at all, it's just accepted. And I loved that.

There aren't a lot of books with LGBT characters at all, and I haven't read many at all, and I think because most of the descriptions I've read just sound like something sad. And I don't like sad books, I mean I do in a certain mood, but mostly I just can't read something I know is going to make me break down. Also - I've never read a book that had a trans character before. At all. So, yes, they're technically probably 'secondary' characters, but - Penny was in this book a lot, and she's such a great character. Like I said, though it's very accepted and just such a good way to have LGBT characters in books, because they should be there. And now I'm going to stop before I get more into LGBT characters or more diverse characters in general, because - that's probably multiple posts, but I did want to mention it in this review.

And, now to end my rant and review about this book, I just want to say I'd highly recommend this series, whether you care about my whole thing about LGBT characters or not this series is really good and so much fun.

Favorite quote(s):

I told him about my adventure at the chicken place instead.
"I'm beginning to think you shouldn't be allowed to leave the house," he said with a smile. "I've only been back a few days and already you've had more happen to you than most people have in a year." 

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