Queen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth #2)
by Stacey Kade
288 pages - Hardcover
Expected publication: May 31st 2011 by Hyperion Book CH
Source: NetGalley/Hyperion Books
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.
I had so much fun reading Queen of the Dead. Every page screamed hilarity and excitement. Talk about page-turner! I was so absorbed into the world of Alona and Will I can’t even remember anything that happened outside the book while I was reading it. I commend Kade for being able to write such a fantastic novel that combines humor, drama and romance into a light and easy to read masterpiece.
I loved Alona in the first book, but I loved her even more in this book! She’s still the same old fashion-obsessed cheerleader who makes sarcastic comments. She doesn’t back down against anyone. Be it a battle against bitchy ghosts/ghost talkers or a well-built ghost that cold-cocks dead cheerleaders. And I just love how well-developed her character is in this second installment. She was rather flat in the first book. No development whatsoever, but just hidden goodness finally rising up to the surface. Which eventually hid again. But in Queen of the Dead, I can’t help but feel proud of her. She’s still self-absorbed most of the time, but it’s hard to get mad at her especially when she’s as hurt as much as she’s being impossible. It’s so good to finally see her soften up a bit and show vulnerability.
Will, on the other hand, is finally getting a better grasp with what happened to his father. With the indirect help of Mina, the new ghost talker, he finds another way of ‘helping’ spirits, but in a way that will make him choose a side, between the spirits and the living. As much as I like Alona, I enjoy reading Will’s narrative more. I’ve read quite a few books that are told from a boy’s perspective, but none of them has the same funny yet soothing voice that Will has.
I am also very happy with the turn of events. I’m surprised and unsurprised at the same time. I kind of have predicted the events before it happened so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but why it happened and what happened after are way beyond my prediction. This also has more depth than the first book. I was expecting the humor before I even started reading this, but the drama? I actually cried! I empathized with Alona despite her tendency to be so selfish. But she made a huge sacrifice that was way too un-Alona and it made me like her even more!
Queen of the Dead has twice the hilarity, drama, romance and depth of its predecessor, The Ghost and the Goth. So many lessons can be learned from here. It just goes to show that this has much more to it that what some people may call a fun but unrealistic romance between a spirit and a living person. Queen of the Dead is about family, love, sacrifice and ultimately, acceptance. I laughed, I cried, I empathized with the characters, and most of all, I freaking want the third book NOW!
Rating: 5/5 stars!
Disclosure: I received this e-ARC from the publisher (Hyperion Books via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review.