book 8: Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat

31Mar10

I purchased this book when I was in California in February. It was one of those moments of kismet; I spotted it on the shelf, saw the title and laughed out loud. How could I not buy a book with a title like “Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter“? Seriously? I snatched it up faster than you can say “And then Buffy staked Edward. The end.”

I suppose this fits into that new genre of inserting zombies/demons into the lives of established characters or historical figures that Seth Graeme-Smith started with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The genre seems to have exploded since the publication of that novel. I even own it, but I haven’t read it yet. I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction as well as historical fantasy, so combining them in this sort of innovative new way is something I am all for. As long as it’s done well.

And this book is a case where it’s done well. I actually really love the way that Moorat has woven the existence of demons and revenants and other such creatures of darkness into the life and times of a young and newly crowned Queen Victoria without making it feel weird or out of place. And this isn’t the Queen Victoria that most of us are more familiar with: an elderly but formidable lady, dressed in mourning and running her empire. No, this is the young and newly wed Victoria, madly in love with her Albert and still learning the ins and outs of running her empire.

Only not everything is as it seems with the Royalty of Europe. There’s demonic blood flowing through the veins of royals. It’s an interesting but not unexpected turn of events.

The Royals aren’t the only ones up to no good here. There are MPs, minor lordlings with mad scientist leanings, plenty of zombies–some of whom are distinctly British in that way that Americans expect all Brits to be–any number of demons, and a secret society whose purpose is the protection of the monarchy. It’s a fun read, quick and light. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the plot, except to say that I enjoyed the characterization of Victoria, though it was a bit thin in places. Same goes for Albert. Some of the minor characters were better fleshed out, some less so. Though ridiculous almost in the extreme, the plot was enjoyable and never made me roll my eyes or groan.

If you’re looking for a fun read, something light and beachy but with lots of zombies, check this one out. You’ll enjoy it.

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