Long Live the Queen by Kate Locke

Title: Long Live the Queen
Author: Kate Locke
Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Fantasy; Steampunk; Urban fantasy
Format: Hard Cover
Why I read it: I checked out the first two and loved them.

What it’s About: (Taken from goodreads) Queen Victoria wants her head, Alpha wolf Vex wants her heart, and she still doesn’t know the identity of the person who wanted her blood. What she does know is that a project from one of the ‘secret’ aristocrat labs has gotten free and she’s the only one who can stop the perfect killing machine — a sixteen year-old girl. With human zealots intent on ridding the world of anyone with plagued blood and supernatural politics taking Britain to the verge of civil war, Xandra’s finding out that being queen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and if she doesn’t do something fast, hers will be the shortest reign in history.

The Review: This book was fast paced, just like the first two. Xandra seemed to be adapting better to being a goblin. In the second book, she seemed to still be questioning herself and where she belonged, so it was nice to see her with more confidence in that regard. I love Xandra anyway, but I loved that her relationships were complex. I know she cared deeply for her siblings, but when it came to her parents, she wasn’t sure if she could trust them and I’m glad for that. I don’t think I would like her as much if she trusted anyone too easily. The story itself was fun. I’m glad that it strayed from the “missing sibling” thing it had going on in the first two books. Like I said, the book was fast paced, but not too much. There were quiet moments, but not so quiet it became boring (I’m looking at you 7th HP book). The action was just enough to get you on the edge of your seat and not want to put the book down. This book would have been perfect if not for some of the things that bothered me. First, where was Penny? I loved her in the second book and she proved to be an important character, so why not include her in this book? Secondly, Xandra herself. Like I said, I loved her but she was stubborn. I get wanting to try to figure things out for yourself first, but I also know when to ask for help. Especially when people that I love and trust are offering that help. I loved the story, but some of the twists were either not twisty at all or not resolved. And the ending felt rushed.

Did I like it? I loved the whole trilogy. In fact, I want more. While I did feel that the story was over, I didn’t want it to be. I want to know how Xandra continues to balance her life with the Goblins and life with Vex. And I think that this will be one of those books that stays with me. It obviously won’t be a big phenomenally, greatly loved book/trilogy like Hunger games or Harry Potter, or even Lord of the Rings, but It is one that I will always think of.

Would I reread it? Eventually, I think I will. But I have so many other boks that are on my list, I don’t know when it will happen.

Would I purchase it? Already did.

Would I recommend it? Again, I already did. I put the first book up for consideration in my book club.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke

Title: The Queen is Dead
Author: Kate Locke
Length: 337 pages
Genre: Fantasy; Steampunk; Urban fantasy
Format: Hard cover
Why I read it: Sequel to

What it’s About: (Taken from Goodreads, because if I don’t, spoilers will have to happen) 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.

The Review: In the last book, I loved Xandra. In this book, I love Xandra. Locke has a way of letting her characters grow and learn from their mistakes and pasts without sacrificing what we already love about them. Not something a lot of authors can do. The mystery aspect of this book was very well written, and I never would have guessed half the things that Xandra and Vex discovered. I guess what I’m saying is the book wasn’t too predictable. And the secondary characters were just as delightful as I expected them to be. I hated the ones readers were supposed to hate, I loved the ones readers were supposed to love. And Locke’s world building didn’t fail either. She did a wonderful job reiterating what the information from the first book and adding more information. But as with all books, there were things I didn’t like. While I loved Penny, I think Locke’s terminology or more explanation of her would have boon nice. I think it was great to have a transgender character, but Locke’s knowledge of trans people as a whole is a bit stunted. Maybe. I could be wrong. But Locke’s grasp on Penny seemed a little…”I’ll write this character to show how accepting my AU London is, but I don’t know much about the type of people I’m trying to make her represent.” You know what I mean? And Vex seemed to give in to Xandra a little too much. They had arguments and Vex challenged Xandra on her decision of if she wanted to take the throne as Goblin queen, but he also seemed to back down on his stance with her as well.

Did I like it? Yes. I think That is putting it Mildly, but yes.
Would I reread it? Yes. I think it will be just as goos the second time around.
Would I purchase it? Already have 🙂
Would I recommend it? Yes, but only to people who like Steampunk or Alternate Universes.
Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

God save the Queen by Kate Locke

Title: God save the Queen
Author: Kate Locke
Length: 351 pages
Genre: Fantasy; Steampunk; Urban fantasy;
Format: hard Cover
Why I read it: Random Library Find

What it’s About: Xandra Varden is a halfie (vampire/human) who is part of the royal guard. When her sister goes missing, it is up to Xandra to find her. Along the way Xandra uncovers secrets that turn her world upside down and changes everything she thought she knew about the world she’s been part of since birth.

The Review: Many people may not know this about me, but I love steampunk. And this book is no exception. Only is’s got a bit of a twist. Instead of being Victorian England with modern technology, it’s Modern day England with a taste of The Victorian era. Xandra was by far my favorite character. She was tough, but also vulnerable. And fiercely loyal to her siblings. Xandra doesn’t shy away from not only questioning authority, but making it known that her family comes before her duty to the crown. She is very knowledgeable about the society she lives in the way it works and the way she learned about it growing up, but very much in the dark about it at the same time, and I think that naiveté is what made her so relatable to me. Then there is Xandra’s love interest, Vex. I loved him. He was supportive, he was protective of Xandra while at the same time understanding that she could take care of herself. it was clear that Vex considered Xandra very much his equal, and that was refreshing. And the relationship between them feels natural, not forced, And Xandra doesn’t let it get in the way of her goals to uncover the lies she discovers while looking for answers. I loved the world building. Lock made it so that the world of Vamps, halfies, humans, werewolves, and goblins was fun. It was absolutely delightful to learn about how each species coexisted and served each other in order to survive.

Unfortunately, like all good things, the book was not perfect. The main villain, while not a complete surprise, seemed more like an after thought. There’s no sense of who he is really, except that he is someone that Xandra trusted and looked up to. That’s it. There is no really getting to know him. He seemed more a backstory to the main story. Like Locke knew she needed a bad guy, so she made him part of the story, but didn’t pt the main focus on him. Also, I didn’t like that it was slang heavy. I know it’s alternate universe and all that, and some of the slang was pretty self explanatory, but There was a glossary in the back. I don’t enjoy that. Especially when it’s a slang word or phrase that isn’t even in the glossary. That got on my nerves. And I could have done without some of the repetitiveness I don’t need to told how much Xandra loved her dagger or how much she looked like her siblings. It was like in Harry Potter, the constant reminders that Harry looked like his father, but had his mother’s eyes… We get it, genetics makes you look like your family members. Over all though, the book was one that I didn’t want to put down. I stayed up way too late and finished it within a few hours of checking it out of the library.

Did I like it? I did. It was fast paced, but had moments of calm and I never felt bogged down or overloaded with information.
Would I reread it? I think I will one day.
Would I recommend it? I would, but only to certain people who I know would enjoy it.
Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Dorothy must die by Danielle Paige

Title: Dorothy must die
Author: Danielle Paige
Length: 452 pages
Genre: YA
Format: ePUB
Rating: 4/5
Why I read it: Seemed intriguing

What it’s About: Amy Gumm is swept from Kansas to Oz in a tornado, just like Dorothy Gale from Wizard of Oz. Only Amy’s version of Oz is vastly different from Dorothy’s, and it’s all because Dorothy has become a power hungry tyrant. Now it is up to Amy to save Oz and make it what it once was.

The Good: Since I first heard about this book I was itching to get my hands on it. I love the idea of Dorothy, the Tin man, the scarecrow, and the lion being evil. Amy herself was flawed, and rough around the edges, but I loved her. I also loved the fact that Paige wasn’t afraid to be gory. I love dystopian Oz.

The Bad: The lack of information. I know it’s the first book in the series, but I was hoping that as the book progressed, there would be more back story as to HOW exactly Dorothy became a corrupt power-hungry tyrant, and how the Beloved sidekicks became what they did. I’m hoping the second book explains a bit more.

Final Thoughts: I loved this concept. I do think that it could have been a great one off book instead of a series, but I also love that it there is going to be another book. Paige has the potential to build on something that is already good, and make it even better.

Goddess of the Night by Lynne Ewing

Title: Goddess of the Night
Author: Lynne Ewing
Length: 294 pages
Genre: YA
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2/5
Why I read it: 2014 Series Challenge hosted by A Novel challenge

What it’s About: Vanessa, Catty, Serena, and Jimena are Goddesses of the moon and each have their own special powers that they must use to defeat and ancient evil called the Atrox and their followers. Vanessa can become invisible, Catty can time travel, Serena has the ability to read minds, and Jimena has premonitions.

The Good: When this series first came out, or at least when I first started reading it, I loved it. The concept was different than what was out there at the time, and the same can be said now. I love how the four girls have vastly different personalities, but they become friends very fast. I like the California setting. It helps warm me up when I’m feeling a bit too cold. Ewing has a flair for descriptions, and making you feel every scene of the book. I guess it’s from her background as a screen writer.

The Bad: The girls are wooden. in fact all the characters are wood, even, sadly, the “hippy” type characters. I guess it’s understandable since this was the first book in the series. Vanessa was the worst. She was the central character of the book, but I just didn’t care about her. I wanted to slap her most of the time. She was too afraid to do anything “wrong” including, but not limited to prank phone calls…. Yeah. Then there are the unrealistic situations. If my best friend in the whole world went missing, I would not A) keep it from my mom for a week, or B) get dolled up in a too short dress and body glitter and follow a guy I don’t know into a neighborhood I’m unfamiliar with.

Final Thoughts: When I first read this series, I got to book 5 and then the books went out of print. I scoured used book stores and yard sales to find the remaining eight books and complete the series, and I’ve finally done it, and I’m happy. I’m even happy to re-read the series, but maybe it’s first book syndrome or maybe it’s something else, but I think I’ve out grown the series. We’ll see.

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Length: 336 pages
Genre: YA,
Format: ePUB
Rating: 3/5
Why I read it: Debut Author Challenge

What it’s About: After Alexa’s parents are killed, She and her brother decide to disquise her as a boy and both join the prince’s guard. One night Alexa, Prince Damian, and a fellow guard are kidnapped and Alexa’s secret revealed.

The Good: Alexa was a kick-ass heroine, and I loved that she didn’t take shit from anyone, not even the prince. I absolutely loved all the action. I loved reading about just how kick-ass Alexa was. And the descriptions of the landscape, and just how despicable the king was. I also Loved Damian. He proved to be just as bad-ass as Alexa, and despite starting out to be an entitled brat, he showed real depth and you kind of couldn’t help but like him.

The Bad: The love triangle. The minute Alexa’s secret was revealed both Rylan and the prince were confessing their feelings for her. I think the love triangle was an unneeded part of the plot. Not to mention that the minute Larson introduced Iker, you knew he was bad news. I’d rather my baddies be a little less obvious. Also, it seemed that Alexa was so scared of revealing that she was a girl so much that she was scared to show emotions. Almost like she thought that being male meant she had to be robotic.

Final Thoughts: This book was intense. There was murder, sorcery, breeding houses, and rape in this book. There were times that I wanted to yell at Alexa to use her brains a bit more, and there were more than a few times I had to put the book down just to gather my thoughts and breath, but over all I can’t think of anything that I really had a big problem with. And it was very unputdownable. I was so invested in this book, I didn’t go to sleep until I finished it.

The Mortal Instruments City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Title: The Mortal Instruments City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Length: 485
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Format: ePUB
Rating: 2/5
Why I read it: Curiosity

What it’s About: After going to a club and witnessing three teens, Jace, Isabelle, and Alec, kill a demon, she learns that they are shadow hunters. She also learns that she is a shadow hunter, but her mom, having fled that world, has had Clary’s memories erased since the age of two in the hopes that Clary would never know the life of Shadow hunting and down worlders and demons. However, after spending time with Jace, and learning more about the shadow hunting world, it is up to Clary to find the mortal cup and stop Valentine’s plans.

The Good: This book was definitely different from the usual YA that is out there. It had vampires and werewolves, but it had other supernatural beings that I, at least< haven't seen in a lot of YA. I would have liked to see more of them.

The Bad: Where to start? Despite having a strong start, the book went down hill fast. The downhill point for me was when Simon got turned into a rat. Then it got worse. I downright hated Jace. He was to much of a smart ass, and he got on my nerves. He was so insincere with everything. Some parts of the book were too drawn out, and there were some parts that were unnecessary. The book seemed to drag on. And while Some characters I hated, there were some that I felt didn't need to be in the book at all, and some that were so overshadowed that it made me wonder why put them in at all?

Final Thoughts: I was so happy when I reached the halfway mark. I very rarely look forward to a book's ending like I looked forward to this one. I was counting down how many pages I had left. If you haven't read the book, do yourself a favor and skip it. The movie was SO MUCH BETTER.