Krista Reviews: Stacey Kade's "Queen of the Dead"
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.
In this second book in the Ghost and the Goth series it’s The Ghost Whisperer vs Ghostbusters. In The Ghost and The Goth, we are introduced to Alona and Will who have decided they are going to help the ghosts instead of trying to ignore or fight with them. It’s the best of both worlds, that is until in book 2 we are introduced to Mina. While Alona and Will are on a mission in an old haunted house to help Mrs Ruiz cross over, they have just walked into the middle of a robbery and Mrs Ruiz is pissed off. Mina appears with her metal box contraptions and light stick that saves them from the dangerous situation…for now. Mina works for a secret ghost containing group only known to Will as the “Book Group”. They knew Will’s father and they may hold the answers to why he committed suicide years ago. Alona is not happy with the introduction of Mina into Will’s life, and her resulting decisions will change all of their lives forever.
Stacey Kade has a fantastic way of bringing us into the characters’ lives. They are well written, solid characters and the voices match those of the current day teen exactly. The rotation of the chapters from Alona’s perspective to Will’s is ideal to help portray the different views on the dead vs the living. It also helps with the pace of the story keeping in all of the interesting details with very little down time between events.
I am hoping in the next book to see some more conflicts between the two ideas of helping the ghosts cross over peacefully, or not giving them a choice and containing them just for existing. I personally would like to see them work out a mixture of both ideas. And I’m still in a little bit of a shock over what Alona did in this book and am very interested to see what happens in the next chaper of her life. I am growing to love both of these characters very much and maybe they really do have a chance to be together forever. That is, if the “book group” doesn’t interfere first.
Stacey Kade – Queen of the Dead
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by Hyperion Book CH
ISBN 1423134672 (ISBN13: 9781423134671)