I read The Immortal Empire series by Kate Locke a while ago.
God Save the Queen – #1
The Queen is Dead – #2
Long Live the Queen – #3
An alternate history, where an immortal Queen Victoria still rules and the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires. Goblins – terrifying creatures that seem to be a mix of vampires and werewolves – live underground. There is an uneasy balance between the undead Aristocrats, those of mixed parentage (aristo + human = “havies”) and regular humans.
Quoting the goodreads description:
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.
I was attracted to the first because it was supposed to be Steampunk, I thought the cover was intriguing, and I like alternate histories.
What I did like:
- Strong emphasis on family ties
- Xandra is definitely a strong female character! She kicks butt! She’s stubborn and intelligent, if in denial a bit.
- Detailed world-building.
- Enough action / entertainment to keep me interested in reading the remainder of the series.
What I didn’t like:
- I didn’t find it to be all that steampunk-y, and although the alternate history was interesting, I’m not usually all that interested in vampire / werewolf / paranormal stories (The Parasol Protectorate series being an exception, e.g. Soulless) and this one reinforced that they aren’t often my thing. This was more urban fantasy than steampunk.
- There was a lot going on – lots of background to figure out, and lots of different creatures to navigate.
- I felt that the writing was a bit juvenile and over-the-top in some of the expressions. I felt like it was trying very hard to come across as mature (for YA) and that sort of rebounded and made it seem silly and juvenile. An uncomfortable marriage of “historical” with modern day slang / phrasing.
- Too much focus on outfits.
- Meh on the romance … I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t love it either.
My thoughts on the whole series: Okay, but weird. 3/5 for all.