You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor

Friday, July 15, 2011

REVIEW: Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade


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.


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423134672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423134671

**slight spoilers**

The story picks right up where The Ghost and the Goth left off.  Told in alternating viewpoints between Alona and Will, the story takes us through Will's search to learn more about his mysterious father, his unusual gift of seeing dead people and his relationship with Alona, a girl who wouldn't normally give him the time of day in real life.  Alona has figured out a few things about being dead now, she knows she must help people and remain positive to earn karma points and possibly move on to a new level of death. That is if she doesn't become too overly attached to Will and when Mina shows up while they are helping a spirit cross over, Alona's jealously flares!  Mina is a member of the secret, ghost-busting Order and starts to shed light on Will's father. While Alona tries to distract Will from Mina and contact him through his best friend Lily (who is really dead and moved into the light, but her body still works) and winds up in possession of her body.  This is when the fun really starts!  And where I need to stop giving away plot points. 

Stacey Kade is going straight to my list of authors I force people to read.  Her fun style of writing mixed with a healthy dose of snark is just the perfect thing to get anyone out of a reading slump.  Reluctant readers will find the plot easy to follow and with enough twists to keep their attention.  The characters are truly believable and even the ghostly situations don't seem at all far fetched.  Alona is straight out of a teenage dream and to watch her grow and change is a pleasure.  Will is very complicated and it is wonderful to see him come out of his shell.  It will be interesting to see where the story goes next.  If you like Marley Gibson, Marlene Perez or Kelly McClymer, you are going to love this series.


  1. Looks like a fun book. The idea of Alona working kind of reminds me of the television series Dead Like Me (although obviously a very different protagonist. A great, clever series if you haven't seen it already). I think this would be a book my students would like, seeing as I teach at a performing arts high school with many of the "goth" kids (although they're mostly going by "emo" these days :)

  2. I LOVED Dead Like Me -- I didn't even think of the connection. It seems so hard to find YA books that are entertaining and provide a good message. This story works on so many good levels.



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