The second book of Gail Carriger‘s The Parasol Protectorate trilogy is a delightful supernatural steam punk novel with a sharp British wit.
As Changeless opens, Alexia Maccon, formerly Alexia Tarbotti, has been Lady Woolsey for about three months. Her werewolf husband is having a heated discussion with the castle’s ghost, waking her at some un-Godly hour before the sun has fully set. From that moment forth, a mystery unfolds … there is a plague of humanity turning the supernatural creatures of London, vampires and werewolves alike, into mortal humans and permanently exorcising the resident ghosts.
In her role as Mujah … a political post reserved for preternaturals (also known as soul-suckers, curse-breakers and the soulless, depending on who’s doing the naming) … Alexia must uncover how this is happening and finds herself chasing after her husband to Scotland to stop this “weapon” from falling into the wrong hands.
What Worked for Me
I’ll be honest, I really enjoy British style humor. I’ve been a P.G. Wodehouse fan for a long time, and this novel definitely has a touch of Wodehousian flavor. There is an abundance of silly names, such as Hisselpenny, Featherstonehaugh and Biffy. There are favored objects such as horrendous hats and parasols. And, there are romances that just don’t make any sense, experienced with great dramatic flair.
The main characters are well developed and I really enjoyed the interplay between the newlyweds, Alexia and Connall Maccon. Heck, Carriger made marrying a werewolf sound down right loving and sexy! Where can I get a husband like that?
I looked forward to each twist and turn this novel took, chuckling along the way as Alexia’s biting remarks were thrown about at unappealing hats, an overly-amorous husband and a self-absorbed, prissy sister.
What Didn’t Work for Me
Like so many really good series books, this book ended with a cliff-hanger. I won’t give it away, but damn! Now I have to go get me a copy of Blameless to find out what happens next. Erg.
Really, I’m hard pressed to come up with anything more substantial than that. Drat these well-written books! 🙂
If you enjoy the works of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Robert Asprin and P.G. Wodehouse, I think you’ll enjoy the humor in this book. If you enjoy being immersed in an alternate 1870s London where vampires and werewolves work with (and against) the Queen and contraptions make use of the aether, then I think you’ll enjoy the world that Carriger has created in The Parasol Protectorate novels. I voraciously consumed this novel and look forward to visiting this world again.
SCORE: 5 out of 5 Palm Trees Possible
NOTE: Although I received this book free to review, that did not affect my opinion of the book. Read past reviews of books Iâ€™ve received for free and youâ€™ll know I donâ€™t hold my punches.