Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
Release date: May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Purchase: Book Depository
Summary 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.
The latest installment in this Ghost series was every bit as enjoyable as The Ghost and the Goth. But it definitely brings forth more questions than it answers, acting as a setup I would guess for the third book. Who exactly is Will’s dad? While there are definitely things revealed about the man, they’re just tidbits with no real details. Who are these Order people, and what exactly do they do with the ghosts they capture? And the final question: Just how powerful a ghost is Alona? What she did was a complete surprise for me.
As mentioned right above, there are new people, who belong to an Order. They are just like Will, in varying degrees. People who can see/hear/interact with ghosts, or “echoes”. We’re introduced to Mina, an initiate trying to become a fully fledged member. Will of course is immediately interested in what she knows. Honestly, I really disliked her. Despite her situation, which isn’t good. I felt bad for her in that, but otherwise, no. Didn’t like her.
In terms of character development, it was nice to get more backstory on Will’s family, even if it was just bits and pieces. For most of the book though I was thinking Alona was having to go backwards in order for the story to advance. Which, now that I think about it, is what happened. But this also did allow for her grow in a way, near the end. I’ll definitely be interested to see what happens now that they’re past the point of no return.
All in all Queen of the Dead is definitely a worthy sequel to an awesome novel. Kade does an excellent job of keeping their voices unique and separate with the continued use of alternating chapters. She nails it. I definitely feel like I’m reading from the perspective of someone who is supposed to be around 18. And now at this point I’m eagerly waiting information on the third Ghost and the Goth novel!