The year is 2012 - and Queen Victoria still rules with an immortal fist. She's 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 technology lives side by side with magic, where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include un-death) and hysteria is the popular affliction of the day. Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it's her duty to protect the aristocracy. But things get complicated when her sister goes missing. Xandra will not only realise she's the prize in a dangerous power struggle - but she'll also uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire itself.
©2012 Catherine Smith (P)2012 Hachette Audio
I enjoyed the story itself, it was entertaining with some new twists for the genre.
The narrator's decidedly iffy 'English' accent started out being slightly annoying. My initial feeling was that it was a book set in London and populated by British characters so why on Earth couldn't they find a British woman to narrate it???!!! This soon turned into it being a case of gritting my teeth before turning the mp3 player on to hear the next instalment.
At one point, I was playing 'spot the worst pronounced word' and 'tomb' pronounced 'choom' has to be it (and possibly the worst-ever example of over-compensating for being American whilst attempting a British accent).
Unfortunately, the werewolf boyfriend is Scottish, so she attempted to impersonate Sean Connery for him... sometimes. Other British regional accents, thankfully, she mainly didn't even attempt.
I think I could've overlooked her multiple misreadings and ignoring punctuation if I wasn't already so on-edge about her accents...
If they wanted an American to read the book, why didn't they let her read it in her own accent? That would have been slightly weird, but far preferable.
Please, please, American publishers of audio books, let a British person decide whether a fellow American is GOOD at British accents!!!!
I listen to my books while working, and I work alot!, love Detective, Dystopian, Science fiction, Fantasy, U/F, PNR and Steam Punk.
A dark urban fantasy with a modern day steam punk twist. I absolutely enjoyed the genetic science, political machinations, and strong characters.. it's difficult to put a different spin on weres and vampires but K.L does this without effort.... I have a new favourite author and for me personally cannot recommend it highly enough.. let me add that Courtney Patterson the narrator paces and interprets the book superbly..
The narrator truly did a remarkable job of brining all the stories to life. You could clearly distinguish the different characters.
There is nothing that comes to my attention that it is similar too, but for fans of Keri Arthur, Charlaine Harris, Tim O'Rourke etc I would highly recommend this,
The narrator is brilliant. What more can I say!
This was an enjoyable book well written and with a good pace that allowed the reader to take the " facts " on board. Courtney Patterson narrated the book well with no overlong pauses. But the accents she used were strange, especially the alpha werewolf 's and the, at times, strange British accent. I will definitely re read this book again. Would I recommended it, yes I would.
"Throughly enjoyed this one"
Oh, I am more than sure that I will. The universe created is a nice twist to all the vampire and paranormal stories lurking about as of late. I was superbly pleasently surprised. I expected less and ended up finding a little gem.
I'm about to run off to buy the second book available on Audible right now. That's just how much I liked it.
The characters are well developed and I appreciated the inner struggles and how things unfolded.
The whole concept I, again, really love.
And, may I point out, this is not romance disguised as a fantasy/paranormal novel. Sure, it does have its dossage of romance, but it weaves itself nicely into the story and is in no way the center around which it spins. Romance novel haters must not be worried, this one won't turn into a harlequin/bodice ripper tale.
Oh, I won't spoil any of you. Listen to it. It's worth the credit.
I do want to point out that I loved the little curse words created by the author as to adjust the ususal lingo to that of her created word. It was a nice touch.
There was a comment by the author at the end about using Emilie Autumn's disc Opheliac as part of the inspiration for this books and that it would have served nicely as a soundtrack for the story. Being a EA fan, I could not agree more. For more than one moment I could imagine, without having heard this afterword of the author, the songs of hers as a sort of backdrop to soundtrack.
It thought it a nice coincidence that the author actually inspired herself somewhat in the music that I connected with the book.
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