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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing paranormal mystery!
When I heard about God Save the Queen, I thought it sounded awesome, so picked it up quite quickly. What I didn't realise was just how awesome this book was going to be!

I don't even know where to start, but I think I should address the description above first, as it's slightly misleading. Other than the fact that this book contains paranormal creatures, there...
Published 24 months ago by Jo

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Gothic trash
This is really silly, but going by the cover, that was what I was expecting.
An entertaining, tongue in cheek short read.
Published 17 months ago by Loulou


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing paranormal mystery!, 10 July 2012
By 
Jo (London, England) - See all my reviews
When I heard about God Save the Queen, I thought it sounded awesome, so picked it up quite quickly. What I didn't realise was just how awesome this book was going to be!

I don't even know where to start, but I think I should address the description above first, as it's slightly misleading. Other than the fact that this book contains paranormal creatures, there is no magic. And even with the paranormal creatures, that's more down to biology than magic. But to the story. This isn't a story about Queen Victoria, despite what the title suggests. She is a character in the book, but she's not the main character, or even an important secondary character - this book is all about Xandra. Xandra is a halvie - half human, half paranormal creature, in her case, vampire - and is part of the Royal Guard after years of training. She is badass, and she's only 22 - sorry, I mean two and twenty. She is extremely loyal when it comes to her family, so when her younger sister, Dede, goes missing, Xandra is determined to find her. But her sister's whereabouts isn't the only thing she discovers...

I really can't tell you more than that. Right from the very beginning, we're thrust onto a roller-coaster of twists and turns, lies and deceit, and a conspiracy. Something is up, but neither you nor Xandra can work out what they hell is going on. You have no idea who Xandra should trust when she is told something different by each person she meets, when people are holding out on her, and things she thought were so for most of her life turn out to be the complete opposite. What starts off as a search for a loved one ends up becoming a search for the truth on a much larger scale, with political intrigue and questions concerning herself. They say when you don't know who to trust, trust yourself, but how can you do that when you're not entirely sure who you are?

Despite the paranormal world Xandra lives in and her job, God Save the Queen is more a mystery than an action-packed novel. There are a number of fights and squirmishes scattered throughout the novel, but this story is more about using your head and your smarts more than your fists and your Bulldog revolver. Kate Locke is simply amazing, because you're constantly kept guessing as to what is really going on. I had several theories going on, but it never all really clicked into place for me until one page before it did for Xandra. It's absolutely thrilling to never really know what is going on, or who to like. Despite the lack of lots of action which I'm used to in an urban fantasy, I was constantly excited by this novel and eager to see where things led.

The world building for God Save the Queen is just brilliant! There is science! Yes, science! Not hard to understand science, but an actual credible explanation for the existence of vampires and werewolves in the Aristocracy, all because of the plague! And it makes perfect sense! Though, if some people have some trouble understanding it, it's explained brilliantly at the end of the book - all genetics and biology! Then there's the world itself. It's London, England this year, but not the London we know. Due to the paranormal Aristocracy, certain events in history didn't happen, and because of this, 2012 in Queen Victoria's reign is very different. Women still wear corsets and dress in ball gowns for royal events. There is technology, but it's very different from out own; people can ride around in horse-drawn or motorised ones, or their version of cars and motorbikes. You will recognise mobiles, computers, even fax-machines, but they're very different from our own with different names. Even CDs and DVDs have their own cylindrical counterparts in this world! There's no clockwork, so it's not a steampunk novel, but this topsy-turvy modern-historcal London makes for a fascinating read.

There are so many other things I could talk about, but I would come close to spoiling the book, so I'm going to leave it here. Basicially, God Save the Queen is a fantastic, intriguing, exciting paranormal mystery that will have you turning the pages faster than Xandra can run - and that's saying something! I cannot wait for the sequel, The Queen is Dead, which is released in February 2013. This was completely unputdownable, and every bit as gorgeous as the cover!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different urban fantasy, 5 July 2012
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This book came up on a website as a recommendation - what's not to enjoy? It's lovely and British... it's full of some fantastic alternative universe fantastical ideas... I started reading it and then had to stay up late to read more and find 5 mins here and there.

Personally I hate plot spoilers.. so I'm not writing one of those. But for a light, funny, diverting, thrilling (but not scary scary) read, this is an excellent book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous take on steampunk society in present era!, 23 July 2012
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Very unusual. I can tell you that straight away.

Most steampunk novels operate in fictional Victorian era. Kate Locke completely turned this notion on its head and instead gave us present steampunk society where Queen Victoria never died and instead became the undead and rules for all eternity.

After the Plague during Victoria's reign the virus slowly turned the aristocrats into vampires and some of them (especially the Scottish variety) into werewolves.

In the present time, London operates as usual, only the aristocrats and the Queen are still ruling. The vampires have some sort of celebrity status, while normal people live no different apart from donating a pint of their blood occasionally and keeping a record of their DNA with state's hospitals so they can be monitored for the virus development.

Of course there is unrest and attempts of revolution which will give people more rights and diminish the rule of aristocracy. There is also a strange destructive drug that allows people to borrow the supernatural strength of those affected by The Plague, but the downside of it, - you burn out pretty quickly. Women wear corsets, phones and computers are adjusted to steampunk aesthetics, etc.

Xandra Vardan is a halvie, who works as a part of Royal Guard protecting the Queen and nobility during official events and ceremonies. She is quite content with her life, until her younger sister goes missing, and a body burned beyond recognition is supposed to be buried in her place.

Xandra investigation uncovers the darkest secrets and makes her question everything she believes in about the order of things and her own origins.

This book is dark and quite brutal. The Pace is breathtaking. Some bits of it reminded me of Meredith Gentry and Toby Day's series by Seanan McGuire. I loved Kate Locke's non nonsense style, and I'll definitely be reading more. It's very visual, bright and pure urban fantasy wrapped in attractive steampunk packaging.

Very much recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice change from the average Vampire story, 17 Oct 2012
By 
C. J. Sanderson "Khun Kwai" (Bangkok Thailand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I must admit I was sold on buying this book based on the core statement of the Author "Vampires don't sparkle"....

The world that Kate has created is unique, it's not your average world of Vampires skulking in the shadows, and there's no 4000 year old "secret" waiting to
be exposed to the world. There are secrets but they are novel and interesting.

The book moves along at a solid speed, tight and easy to read and while the book is part of an on going series you are not left at the end of the book with
too many open plot threads, everything comes together nicely, leaving just enough to leave you wanting the next book, but not so much that you are left irritated
by where the book has ended.

The characters on the whole are fun and interesting.

My only real negative thought on the book was that the love interest in the book gets a little too much coverage. More intrigue and less love in the next book
in the series please!

If you like alternate history, vampires (who don't sparkle) and intrigue then this is a great book to pick up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...and oh yeah, vampires don't sparkle., 30 May 2013
By 
simon211175 (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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The quote used above is what drew me in to reading this book. Found at the end of the introduction, regular readers of my reviews will know that it would hit just the right note with me to make me want to read more.

I'll admit that I've seen these books before whilst searching for stuff to read, but never really looked twice. Then they appeared in my recommendations as something to read after another brilliant book by Kate Griffin (Stray Souls (Magicals Anonymous) this time for anyone that cares).

So there I was, reading this book about vampires and werewolves and goblins and a really old vampiric Queen Victoria. And it was good. I was liking it. The fight scenes were well written, and the story had a good style to it that makes me think I'd read more from Kate Locke.

I did have one problem with this book though, and it probably won't be an issue to most of the readers, but I really wasn't interested in reading about how great Vex was, how caring he was and such a great cook, and well, the perfect man (if the perfect man award included werewolves obviously). It's true that vampires don't sparkle, but the romance element of this book took us down pretty much the same route, and I was disappointed in that - sorry.

So would I recommend this, and would I read more? Well, yes - to both those questions. The story intrigued me, and I would like to see how it progresses. I'm not sure when I'd get round to reading the others though, but I'm sure I will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immortal Empire book 1, 28 Aug 2012
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
As soon as I saw the cover I knew I wanted to read God Save the Queen - it was the combination of the steampunk style outfit with modern London buildings in the background that raised my curiosity. You've got to love a heroine with bright red hair too! Reading the blurb and discovering Kate Locke has created an alternate history where Queen Victoria didn't die - she was actually infected with the plague and became a vampire - just sealed the deal and moved this onto my 'must read' pile of books. Imagine a world where Queen Victoria is celebrating her 175 year on the throne, a world where the British Aristocracy were all infected with a plague that turned them into vampires. The same plague that turned the Scottish Aristocracy into werewolves but didn't really have any effect on the main population. You have a world full of steampunk technology, where women wear corsets and where your heritage dictates your place in society. You also have a story that is a mixture of urban fantasy, alternate history and steampunk - in other words a story that is full of awesome.

Our heroine is Xandra, a 22 year old halvie who was born of a vampire father and a human courtesan and who now works for the Royal Guard protecting the Aristocracy. When her sister Dede goes missing and is presumed dead Xandra is the only one who doesn't believe what she is told, she is convinced that her sister is still out there somewhere and is determined to find out what happened to her. Even Xandra's brother Val and her other sister Avery believe that Dede is dead so she is on her own when it comes to the investigation. The more Xandra starts digging into Dede's disappearance the more she starts to uncover about her own past and the secrets those she is closest to have been keeping from her.

Xandra is the kind of character I find it easy to care for, she is strong and independent but she is also caring and she knows when to accept the help that is offered to her. She has been kept in the dark for her whole life and everything she thinks she knows is completely turned upside down throughout the story. I can't say much more without giving spoilers so I'm just going to say I was impressed with the way she coped with the revelations that were thrown at her. I really found myself liking her family unit, particularly the relationships she has with her siblings but some of the characters I'm most interested in finding out more about are Vex (the Alpha of the British werewolves) and the Goblin Prince. I have a feeling there are a lot more secrets still to uncover and I'll be interested to see how the story develops in the next book.

Considering God Save the Queen was written by an American author it had an authentic British feel to it that I really enjoyed. Add in a great cast of characters, a mystery that kept me guessing and some fabulous world building and this is a book you won't want to miss out on. I can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment and will definitely be adding Kate Locke to my list of authors to watch out for.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, a good read, 3 April 2014
By 
Diana Fleming - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Urban fantasy meets steam punk. A good combination of action, character development, and devious (non-sparkly) vampires. I was intrigued that the author managed, somehow, to make cannibalism seem like a perfectly normal development for a heroine. Added a nice touch of darkness without being too much.

A pleasant surprise from a new (to me) author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant heroine, 16 Nov 2013
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Loved the heroine - who doesn't bite her limp in anxiety (in fact more likely to bite someone else's when vexed). I loved her, and her relationship with Vex which is healthy and grounded (not twisted and full of fluttering). The world Kate Lock has created is brillient in its fun and complexity. I want more!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A romp through steampunk London., 26 Sep 2013
As a general rule, I love steampunk books, and Kate Locke's 'God Save The Queen' continued that trend for me. The story begins with Xandra asking some dangerous people (the goblins) for information about her missing sister. Right from the start, the world-building was really well done, little details being explained quickly enough that I could build a good picture in my head of how things worked, without it ever feeling like "info-dumping".

I enjoyed Kate Locke's interpretation of vampires and werewolves. Through the many waves of plague that came to Britain, human DNA mutated to fight that, and the people who have this stronger DNA become either vampires or werewolves. Interestingly, it's mostly the aristocracy who carry this, so humans really are the bottom of the pecking order in this country.

Although there is a small romance thread with Vex, the romance itself is not a big part: instead, it gives Xandra one more person she has to figure out whether she can trust. He assures her that he's been interested in her for a while and not just because of what she is, and so far we as readers have been lead to believe that. However, I'm still a bit sceptical about what he sees in Xandra and why he had noticed her before the events of the book begin. I hope this is something that will come up again in the second book of the series, so that we might get more reassurance of whose side Vex is on, and what he likes about Xandra.

There are lots of twists, and many problems for Xandra to overcome. There is one thing about 3/4 of the way through the book when she finally understands something about herself and puts together all the things she's seen that I think was a bit overdone. It was something I'd realised much earlier on, and I find it hard to believe that Xandra took so long to make the connections when she'd lived with these world rules all her life, whereas I'd been reading about them for just a few hours.

Overall, I enjoyed this quick romp through 21st century/Victorian London, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel. I give 'God Save The Queen' 7 stars.
[Originally posted by me at my review blog, The Book Bundle - link in my profile.]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vamps, Goblins and Steampunk, 27 May 2013
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first in the series and I couldn't put it down. totally hooked and will be following avidly. highly recommended reading.
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