Author: Kate Locke
Series: The Immortal Empire #1
Release Date: 07/03/12
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.
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 being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.
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.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
My favorite part of this novel was how the plague mutated and is the cause behind vampires, werewolves, and goblins. I especially like the lengths in which the author went to make it scientifically believable. The little details included really made the book for me. I also really enjoyed all of the intricacies involved in society. I especially liked the interactions between the Aristos and the Halvies. Xandra's search for the truth involving her sisters made for many twists and turns I wasn't suspecting, and this novel kept me on my toes from beginning to end.
Pace: 3 Stars
I loved everything about this book... Except for the pace. There were a number of points in which it felt like it would never end. It took me about eight days to finish, and that's way too long even for me. I had a hard time coming up with my rating for this book because of the pace. Normally, when a book drags for me, it's because of more than one factor. This is the first time I've come across a book that was amazing, but really slow-moving. There were a couple times I almost put it down, but I had to know what was going to happen because the plot had me hooked and I enjoyed the characters too much. Around two-thirds of the way through, the plot started flowing a little more and I finished the rest in one sitting.
Characters: 4 Stars
Xandra was a great leading lady. I really enjoyed her thirst for the truth, even if ignorance was the easier choice. She had to make some tough decisions and learned some things about herself that weren't easy to hear, but she didn't let it get her down. In fact, she gained a confidence throughout the novel I was a bit envious of. Her siblings were each unique and interesting characters, and I hope to see more of them in the next novel. Even though the goblins aren't seen in the greatest light, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the goblin king.
Cover: 4.5 Stars
This is the most adorable little hardcover I have ever seen. When I picked it up and saw how tiny it was, I'll admit, I giggled. It's barely bigger than a mass market paperback and smaller than even the smallest trade paperback I could find on my shelves. Instead of a dust jacket, the cover image was right on the hardcover. As for the actual cover image, I loved the representation of Xandra. Between the bright red hair, the tiny handgun, the clothing, and the cover model's expression, it was exactly how I imagined Xandra to look. I loved the gritty background and the bold font. My favorite part was the little poster on the back that said, "Keep calm and pray for dawn."
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I bought a copy of this novel for my own reading pleasure.