Kate Locke’s debut is an alternative history that combines paranormal, steampunk, romance and fantasy. As the author put it in an interview with USA Today, “My world is an alternate world where vampires and werewolves are a result of the Black Death, and where World Wars I and II never happened. Hitler never amounted to anything but a failed painter eaten by vamps in the 1940s. Sid Vicious is still alive, and Queen Victoria is still on the throne.”
God Save the Queen is Book One of Locke’s Immortal Empire series. Book Two, The Queen Is Dead, is due in February 2013, followed by Long Live the Queen in September 2013.
Locke also writes YA fiction as Kady Cross, under which name she has published The Girl in the Steel Corset (2011) and The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (2012) with Harlequin.
If you have teens in love with England after watching the Olympics last month, this is a fun recommendation. Also one for fans of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series.
Adult/High School–In a reimagined Great Britain, a mutated form of the bubonic plague has taken root among the nation’s royalty, causing the infected to acquire certain abilities and sensitivities. The plague first appeared in the 1700’s; by the time of this story, Queen Victoria, an immortal vampire, is 175 years into her reign and the aristocracy consists solely of vampires and werewolves. The rest of the population consists of halvies, the offspring of vampire “aristo’s” and human courtesans; goblins, the greatly feared offspring of one were and one vampire parent; and humans, who don’t hide their hatred of the other groups, and are generally kept at a distance. In this first volume of the Immortal Empire series, readers meet Alexandra Vardan, daughter of an aristo vampire and a human mother. As a member of the Queen’s Royal Guard, Xandra is completely loyal to the crown and is indeed sworn to protect it. But a search for her missing sister changes everything. It starts with a trip underground to meet with the goblin prince and ends up with everything Xandra believes about her family, England’s social structure, and even herself being turned upside down. Locke’s rich detail draws readers into this fascinating world, making the journey with Xandra thrilling, frightening, and shocking. Her romance with a sexy aristo werewolf adds spice but never detracts from the action. This paranormal/political thriller mash-up (with a light sprinkling of steampunk) is sure to engage teens who enjoy exciting, genre-blurring stories.–Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, CA