Spoilers for the first book in the series, The Ghost and the Goth, ahead! Read my review of book one here.
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.
The Ghost and the Goth surprised me with how funny and purely enjoyable it was, so I was hoping for the same from this sequel. Luckily, even with the things I didn't like, this book completely met my expectations and I liked it just as much as its predecessor.
The strength of this book really lies in the voices of its two narrators, Alona and Will. Although Alona is still a bit annoying because of her refusal to listen to Will's advice and her tendency to get into situations that will surely backfire, no matter what she gets herself into, she always manages to make her snark, freak-outs, and more vulnerable moments, a blast to read. Will's chapters are equally as nice not only because he provides a respite from Alona's strong personality, but also because he has a whole different set of problems. I wish some of the supporting characters, mainly the new people, were as developed as the hero and heroine, but even though the new characters didn't get as much attention, I was more than satisfied with Alona and Will.
Because of the dual narrative, there is also always plenty going on in this book. Will and Alona spend a lot of time apart in this installment, which made me sad because they're such a nice pair, but happy because they each get into different predicaments. The constantly rotating point of view did make it difficult for each person's story lines to really start moving, which annoyed me because I wanted to know more about the shady activities they were getting involved with, but because there's always at least something mysterious happening, I did not mind as much as I would have otherwise.
Although I wanted more from the new story lines and characters, I found Queen of the Dead to be a funny and exciting follow-up to the equally delightful The Ghost and the Goth.
Book details: Hyperion/Hardcover/$16.99