Friday, May 13, 2011

Who You Gonna Call?

Queen of the Dead

Written by: Stacey Kade

Released: June 7, 2011 by Hyperion

Summary: After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare - former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead - finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this - ugh - “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.

Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.

Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is - ahem - willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.

Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliff-hanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.

Yeah, not what I would have expected to happen in this sequel. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it. Maybe it was the direction that the ending took – and all subsequent scenes leading up the big action sequence – and how it was left more open-ended with a few unanswered questions than the previous.

I enjoyed the first novel, and with this one I think that I liked it a little better. You really get to see the softer side of Alona and her vulnerability more so than the first novel. Sure, she’s still a pain in the ass and snarky as ever, but that’s what I also like about her. I wish that I could say half the stuff she does to people who annoy me at any given time.

I didn’t care for Will as much in this novel. I wanted to shake sense into him. I mean, come on. Some totally random Rambo chick comes in through your bedroom window and you just go off with her to do some ghostbusting. But at the same time I couldn’t help but feel sad over his lack of knowledge about his own abilities and his dad’s abilities.

More seemed to happen in this book. Of course, it’s been almost a year since I read the first, so it’s quite possible that I’m not remembering details like I should, but I’m pretty sure that there’s more going on in this second novel. For sure there’s more romance between Will and Alona and there are more supernatural happenings – though strangely less ghosts – and of course the action sequences. But there’s also an added layer of ghost technology and understanding. Basically it does a fantastic job of expanding on the world created with the first novel.

If you enjoyed reading The Ghost and the Goth, I’m sure that this novel won’t disappoint. Once I started to really get into the story, it was really hard to put it down. I’m giving it a 7/10 and I can’t wait to see what else Stacey Kade comes out with in the future.

My thanks to Hyperion and netGalley for allowing me to read this novel before its publication date. I greatly appreciate the opportunity.

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