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.
Queen of the Dead was a fun and entertaining sequel to The Ghost and the Goth and it left me eager to read the third book as soon as possible! The story picks up soon after the prequel left off, and the action starts right away. In addition to lots of exciting new adventures and plot twists Alona and Will are back and better than ever. Stacey Kade has a knack for capturing both of them wonderfully and writing the dual perspectives flawlessly.
Will and Alona's relationship takes a bit of a backseat in Queen of the Dead, as the story focuses more on them as individuals as they are both dealing with a lot. Alona has just discovered her father and step-mom are expecting a baby and her own mother is clearing out her room and throwing out all her possessions. This was a big blow to Alona because she never expected her parents to move on so quickly and, on top of all that, she has to deal with other local spirits wanting help from Alona to get Will to help them move on. Unfortunately Will is a little distracted. He has finally met another ghostkeeper and she seems to be the key to discovering the truth about his abilities and his father. All of this combined makes for an entertaining and fun sequel and a lot of my questions from The Ghost and the Goth were answered.
I am so glad Will got his chance to really shine in this addition to the series and was able to learn so much more about himself, his past, and what he could do. Of course he still was there for Alona, though, and was just as sweet and caring as ever. Will did have to make some difficult decisions though, some of which left Alona pretty mad. I liked many of the new characters that were introduced and was glad to see some of my old favorites returning.
All in all, Queen of the Dead did not, in any way, fall into the sequel slump. It was just as witty and fun as the previous installment in the series and I can't wait to read more about Will and Alona in the third, and final, book in the trilogy.
Overall: 4.25 out of 5 stars
June 7, 2011/Disney*Hyperion/288 Pages/Young Adult/Book Two
Source: Publisher and Author (ARC)
Other books in the series: The Ghost and the Goth