Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Changeless by Gail Carriger: RIP V Review II

WARNING: I try to avoid spoilers, but they are possible (even probable), since this is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate. Soulless is the first. I recommend reading them in order.

This book has been moldering away on my shelf since April. I read Soulless last year. I added this to my RIP Challenge V, and I'm so glad I did. I kind of wish I'd read Soulless again before I started, but it was easy to get back into the series with this book. Here's the cover description:
Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.
While it's been a long time since Soulless, I enjoyed this book more than the first one in the series. I don't remember laughing out loud nearly as much at Alexia's commentary and inner dialogue. The author seemed to really hit her stride. Alexia was as biting and clever as ever, and the new characters introduced were just as entertaining. We also learn a lot more about existing characters, which I think is great.

This book is a lot more steampunk than the first was. I never read steampunk (that's not to say I won't ever, but I have never :P) I got a little confused with the descriptions of all the machines and how they work. Lots of made up words, I think. Nonetheless, I liked the steampunk additions overall. It was just a little technical for me.

I wasn't crazy about how it ended. I felt like the story arc in this book could have carried over more into the next, but Carriger wraps it up quite nicely (almost too nicely?), with one um...interpersonal exception. Either way, if you pick up this book, I highly highly recommend you have Blameless in hand before you finish. Quite the cliffhanger.

I really don't have any bones to pick with this book...it was enjoyable from start to finish.

Bottom Line
Overall Rating: 4 / 5
Buy or Try? Buy
More? 2 of 3 (so far) in The Parasol Protectorate
Plot: 4.5 / 5 
Setting: 4 / 5 
Characters: 4 / 5
Pace: Fast
Descriptiveness: Prose
Fantasy factor: Low fantasy

Amazon.com Link


Michelle (my books. my life.) said...

I keep seeing these book pop up on blogs. I'd like to give them a try sometime.

Kate said...

I'm with you - I enjoyed Soulless, but found Changeless much more limber with the writing and characters. I'm looking forward to Blameless now, even though I usually hate sequel bating (which Changeless definitely did.) I think I also enjoyed Ivy a lot more in this one, as she didn't seem quite as daft. Great review!

Kailana said...

I really want to read this series, but I haven't got around to it yet. I have heard good things, though!

Escapist said...

Michelle, do! I think you'd enjoy them.

Kate, me too! Thanks :)

Kailana, they're great. And I thought it was going to be a trilogy, so I was happy to find out it's a planned series. :D

Kah Woei said...

Nothing like a series that gets better and better. Glad this one is on my wish list.

emmegailsbookshelf said...

I just finished reading Soulless and am adding this one to my RIP reading list!

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