Queen of the Dead: a review

Posted 6 June, 2011 by Danny in / 6 Comments

Queen of the Dead
by Stacey Kade
Published: May 31st 2011
amazon, Barnes & Noble
(available as Kindle/Nook and audio-book editions)
Book provided by publisher through NetGalley for fair review.
Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth

This is the sequel to The Ghost and the Goth. You can find a cutie’s corner review of the first book by clickity clicking here. As always, if you have not read the first book, then I recommend you not read this review.

 a description:
Alona is dead and Will is the only living person who can see her… or is he? With high school now out, the two of them are struggling to figure out what to do with their lives and their budding, nearly impossible romance. When Will meets someone who might have the answers he’s been looking for all his life- about his father, his gifts, and his future- Alona finds herself worrying about what it will mean for her future. With her parents now trying to move on and Will refusing to do as he’s told, Alona Dare takes matters into her own hands, in an extremely drastic and life changing way.

some cutie thoughts:
As with the first book, it took me at least fifty pages to really get into this story. I faced two challenges: a) Alona Dare who is one of the most selfish people in literature (and that’s saying a lot) and b) the simple fact that I could not for the life of me remember what happened in the first book.

Problem a: Alona Dare is an extremely unlikable character, while Will is completely adorable. When going back and forth between the two characters’ perspectives, I often found myself getting annoyed that I even had to bother with Alona. However, what I really like about Ms. Kade’s writing is that she always finds a way to make me hope for Alona. As selfish and outrageous as Alona gets, Ms. Kade doesn’t excuse her behavior nor reward her for it, but forces her character to learn and become a better person, which in turns, makes me want to stick with the story and see what will become of Alona Dare, cheerleader extraordinaire. Add in the fact that I find the premise interesting, the writing solid, and Will’s storyline completely compelling, the story does suck me in.

Problem b: Usually, a sequel will give you a run down of the last book within the first few chapters. This always seem so annoying and unnecessary, unless it is not present, as is the case with Queen of the Dead. It’s not that the first book is forgettable, the simple fact is that with so many sequels to keep track of, one has a tendency to get overwhelmed by all the back story that needs to be remember. While eventually there was a “run-down” of the events that took place in The Ghost and the Goth, it happened closer to the end of the book, which did frustrate and distract me from the story.

Problems aside, I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely a refreshing break from the sequel formula of late. Instead of focusing on a love triangle, Ms. Kade flushed out her characters’ personalities further, placed fresh, new road blocks in their ways, and allowed both Alona and Will to grow without the relationship drama being the forefront of the novel. I liked the tie-ins to the first novel and thought the plot was extremely interesting and unique. Overall, Queen of the Dead is great story telling in my mind. I even found myself begrudgingly cheering for Alona.

My Bewitched Rating:
I enjoyed reading this novel.
And whilst the cover makes it seem vapid,
there is a lot of depth to this story.
I would definitely welcome a third book in this series.
Until next time–
Yours truly,
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6 Responses to “Queen of the Dead: a review”

  1. "As selfish and outrageous as Alona gets, Ms. Kade doesn't excuse her behavior nor reward her for it, but forces her character to learn and become a better person, which in turns, makes me want to stick with the story"

    Love it when authors manage to make me not completely write a character off no matter how much I want to at times. I like that Alona tries your patience but yet you still hold out hope that you'll get to see the progression and growth you're looking for in future pages. Nice review Cutie!
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  2. I agree with you about Alona. While she is really annoying and selfish, she does learn from some of her mistakes. And I love Will! Such a sweetie!! Thanks for the review! I did like the first book but I really wasn't sure I wanted to put up with more of Alona but I guess I will give it a try. =)

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  3. I've been super petty and avoided this series simply because the covers remind of those of Generation Dead, which was such a failure of a novel for me. I'm impressed by the high rating for this, despite the flaws though, so I'm adding book one to my TBR to try! Awesome review 🙂
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