Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Review: Changeless by Gail Carriger

Title: Changeless
Parasol Protectorate #2
Written by: Gail Carriger
Published: April 1, 2010 by Orbit
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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. So 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. 

CHANGELESS is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

I am totally loving this series. I mean that really is no surprise, I loved this author's YA series and it's set in the same world (which is fantastic). Changeless is a great sequel that expands on the world and plot of the series in an interesting way.

My favorite thing about this series is the characters. Every time I marvel at how amazing the characterizations are in these books and Changeless was no exception. We got to spend more time with some of the fantastic secondary characters from the first book like Ivy, who is so ridiculous and silly in the best possible way. I can't help but laugh at her. We also got to see more of the characters who I know very well from the Finishing School series. Some of my favorites had appearances, some in a big way. I was so excited to see Vieve again. I loved her in the Finishing School books and seeing her as an adult is so amazing.

But the real star here is of course Alexia. I totally adore her. She's totally my kind of woman, sassy and tough with a mouth like a sailor. She's up for any adventure and will attempt to solve any mystery but is far from perfect with those sorts of things. I'm loving getting to know her in this series and seeing her in action. Same goes for Lord Maccon. In Changeless we get to see Lord Maccon in a bit of a vulnerable state as he has to return to Scotland and his former pack (shout out to Sidheag and Captain Niall). I love the two of them separately but together they perfect. The banter, the flirting, the kissing scenes. I'm not usually one for those sorts of things but here I like. But I think a lot of that stems from the fact that I really love both these main characters and want to see them succeed.

The other fantastic thing about this book is the plot development. Once again this was a book that is full of action and adventure. It really is never a dull moment for Alexia. Even something so normal as travelling to Scotland because a fight for her life and it made for a thrilling read. But this is also a book that was full of mystery but a subtle kind of mystery. There are clues to hunt for and a truth to be revealed but it wasn't a totally shocking reveal but little things from earlier in the book impacted things in a big way later, which I enjoy. And I will say that it kind of felt like a totally new series. Many of the plot points and threads from the first book were not really revisited and instead new things that I am assuming will impact later books were brought up. It felt a little like a restart rather than a sequel. But on the whole it was a really great story.

But the thing that did get readdressed and expanded on here was the world of this series. I love the way this series effortlessly combines steampunk and supernatural elements into a historical setting and that's exactly how I felt here. In particular, the steampunk elements were turned way up. There was much more talk about technology and inventions here (hello, Vieve was there) which was really cool. There was also much more to learn about preternaturals and their effects on the supernatural set. I loved learning about what Alexia can do and am excited to learn more as the series develops. There was also even some political elements as Alexia takes on the role of muhjah for Queen Victoria's Shadow Cabinet and some werewolf pack dynamics as she is now alpha female. It all shouldn't work together but it does.

All in all I am absolutely loving this series. It is honestly just solidifying how much I adore Gail Carriger's work. She writes amazing characters, thrilling plots, and fascinating worlds and does it all with charm, wit, and humor. These books are simultaneously lighthearted and complex and I am totally pumped to keep reading.

I give Changeless by Gail Carriger 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! If for some reason you have not finished this series and have only read the first book, let me assure you the second one is amazing. If you are looking for something fun and interesting and you are a fan of either steampunk of supernatural mysteries, check this series out. I'm loving it.

Have you read Changeless? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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