God Save the Queen  - Kate Locke This review also posted at A Bookish Compulsion

This is my first five star book of 2013, an easy rating to make as it truly blew me away. I loved how different this book was; taking Victorian Steampunk in a whole new direction and immersing me in a world that was both vibrant and compelling. I truly enjoyed getting to know and interact with the various characters throughout this story and while some of the twists and turns had me as upset as our main character in the shortcomings of humanity in general and certain individuals in particular, the fact that I was invested enough in the world to be upset is a recommendation in and of itself.

The world of this book is built around the history that vampires and werewolves are the product of a genetic mutation caused by the outbreak of the Black Plague and resulting in the creation of the Prometheus Protein, a new genetic material. The use of this mutation in the plot affecting everything from the societal structure to technological developments was nothing short of genius. While it was not an overt implementation, and some of the explanations of this new now were a bit clunky—most notably to me was the music storage and phone integration—it was still woven in such a was as to be an organic implementation of the alternate history.

I very much enjoyed the characters in this book. Alexandra, Xandy, was a spunky fun heroine to follow who exhibited the stubborn unwillingness to change that made her relatable and the strength to face change in the end that made her a true hero. The romantic elements very present it this book were to me a weak point; a bit one dimensional and rushed they took on more of the tone of horny teenagers than an adult relationship. However, as that particular area of the story is left open I am hoping than in future books it will be strengthened and deepened to more fully reflect the depth found in this light-hearted and captivating read.

I give this book a star-struck five stars.