Tour Post: Queen & Commander

Today we're taking part in the Xpresso Book Tour for Hive & Heist - the new book in the Hive Queen Saga by Janine A. Southard. I'll be reviewing the first in the series, Queen & Commander. Let me know what you think and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 
Enjoy x

by Janine A. Southard

Pages: 266
Publisher: Janine A. Southard
Publication Date: March 8th 2013
ISBN: 9780988646841
Received From:  Xpresso Book Tours


**WINNER 2013 IPPY AWARD -- Silver Medal for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror E-Book**
On a world where high school test scores determine your future, six students rebel. They’ll outrun society as fast as their questionably obtained spaceship will take them.
Rhiannon doesn’t technically cheat the Test. She’s smarter than the computers that administer it, and she uses that to her advantage. She emerges from Test Day with the most prestigious future career possible: Hive Queen.
Gwyn & Victor are madly in love, but their Test results will tear them apart. Good thing Rhiannon is Gwyn’s best friend. Rhiannon can fix this. Queens can do anything.
Gavin is the wild card. Raised off-planet, he can’t wait to leave again... and he’s heard of an empty ship in orbit. The Ceridwen’s Cauldron.
Both Luciano and Alan fit in the system. They don’t need to leave. Only their devotion to Rhiannon spurs them to join the Cauldron’s crew.
Spaceships. Blackmail. Anywhere but here.


This is probably one of my favourite space themed books ever. It's up there with Beth Revis' Across The Universe. I think the most accurate way to describe this book is it's like Joss Whedon's Firefly but for teenagers. The whole idea behind the book, of having this hive like community is really interesting and well written. It's a fun, easy read that will have you dreaming of the stars.

Queen & Commander follows a group of unorthodox teenagers as they try to carve they're own futures. The rules of society says that on a ship you have a Queen and that Queen has her Devotees. They swear their allegiance to her and they'll do anything she requires of them and in return she will make them part of her Hive. Part of her family. However, Devotees are all male. That's the rule and breaking it isn't worth thinking about. That is until Rhiannon puts her Hive together so that her best friend Gwyn can stay with her boyfriend Victor. Not a single member of this crew has any training when it comes to running a ship. They'll learn as they go along. But maybe the rules are there for a reason?

I really admired Rhiannon throughout this book. She's only 16 and yet she's strong and determined. She knows what she wants and she'll do anything she has to go get it. There was also this venerability to her that I think a lot of YA readers will really connect with as well as a strength that the reader can look up to.


I just want to take a moment to appreciate Alan. He's brilliant and he knows it. He had me smiling and shaking my head at times but overall he has to be my favourite character from the whole book and I can't wait to read more about him in Hive & Heist. He's a bit of an arse but I love him.

However much I love this book there was one big problem. This book has THE MOST FRUSTRATING ENDING EVER! Queen & Commander is a ridiculously good read. It was well written and humours and had a story line that rivalled and episode of Firefly (I think I've already said that). The only reason I'm not giving it 5/5 is because it went and did the only thing it could that would ruin it for me and that was give it a sodding cliffhanger. Okay, so maybe it wasn't the worst cliffhanger I've ever read but there were SO many things left up in the air. What about the Queens?? Where is the ship? Are they going to get in trouble because of Gwyn??

Saying all that though it doesn't change that fact that I adored this book. The character's all had their own unique voices and the use of third person to tell the story gave the reader a whole spectrum of information that made reading Queen & Commander really rather intriguing. I recommend this book completely! But if I had one little tip, make sure you have book two, Hive & Heist, on stand by for when you've finished. I can't tell you anything about book two because I haven't read it yet but if it's anything like this instalment we won't be disappointed.

From one Captain to another! 

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**I received this book as an ARC from Xpresso Book Tours to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.**

About Janine

Janine A. Southard writes and edits speculative fiction in between working on videogame projects. She’s attended more than the average number of universities, which she claims is a FEATURE. (“Oxford educated, but Californian at heart.”) She’s also lived and traveled in Europe, the United States, and Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle with a husband (and a cat) and sings with a Celtic band.

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  1. Ha I feel like I fail - I haven't watched Firefly (I know, right?) nor read Across The Universe!! But I do have that book on my shelf at home so that counts for something, right!? >.< Anyways, it sounds like this one is really good and I'm kind of a sucker for a great cliffhanger. Any ending that can shock me or make me go AAAAGH!! usually are the most memorable for me. But it depends how it's done though. Thanks for the warning anyways ;)

    1. You NEED to watch it! I was a little sceptical going into it, but once you get past the first 5mins (they're a tad boring) you'll be watching it straight for the next 10 hours ;)
      Cliffhangers are one of my book pet hates! I book should be able to stand on it's own, add in a cliffhanger and it almost makes it reliant on the next book. But as I said that is the only thing I had a problem with. Great book!

      Mily x