Sunday, November 15, 2015

Changeless by Gail Carrier Review

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.

CHANGLESS 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.

Published April 2010. Second in the Parasol Protectorate series.
4 stars.

I have read several books in a YA series that this author writes, I love the steampunk setting that was accompanied by supernatural creatures and spunky female leads. I recently picked up one of her newer books, something that would fall between NA or Adult fiction and I enjoyed it a lot. After I finished it, I picked of the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series and loved it as well. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first book to be. While it had the same lovable characters, fun settings, and was full of supernatural creatures, there was just something missing. I think it was perhaps because the pace was a little different from the first book. In the first book the action starts off in the very first chapter and there's lots of interesting things going on. In Changeless things do happen in the first chapter, but it seems to calm down for a few chapters, then surge again, then calm down, ooh then something has happened! It wasn't as consistent, I felt. It's not something that makes this book awful, just not as captivating as the first one, I think. I in fact took over a month to get through this book, but that was purely because I was busy and never found the time. It sat in my room with a bookmark in it that clearly showed me how little I had left to read (about an hour's worth of reading), but it took me ages to get back to it. 

Character wise...well the main character, Alexia, still made me laugh and smile and root for her, but it was also fun to see how she had changed, just slightly, as she is now a married woman. It wasn't much, but just the way things were handled slightly. And it wasn't a bad change either. Really, the whole book was enjoyable and even if it didn't get quite as quick of a start as the first book, I still read through it quickly when I had managed to pick it up. Alexia's husband is funny, protective and I really liked his character. I think he was a bit more contrary in the first book, but then they both were. I felt like the marriage has calmed that part down a little. We're introduced to Lord Maccon's old pack, which was fun for me. It featured a character from one of the other series that I've read and it was quite fun to see her in a different setting and a bit older! There are other characters that are full of life and hilarity of course, Miss Hisslepenny, Alexia's best friend, is a favorite. Another would be Lord Akeldama who is very fashionable and also very dead (vampire, don't you know). 

I love the world-building and voice that the author uses, it's so easy to picture the settings and world that the characters are in. This is probably either my favorite or one of my very top favorite steampunk series. I love how the machines and science bits of steampunk are accompanied by vampires, ghosts, and werewolves. It's honestly a great book and a great series. The plot is good, but I sort of thought something was being hinted and then it ended up being true. It's a tiny bit slow here and there, I kept waiting for something big to happen, bigger than what did happen. But I will say, the ending was torturous. She leaves it at a horrible cliffhanger. ;-; Overall, it's a good book that will most certainly improve your vocabulary and bring you some laughter. While, yes it didn't quite reach the first book's level, it was still very enjoyable. The writing is very much fitting of the period (so much so that I'm impressed every time I read it) and the characters are so unique they seem to own themselves rather than having been written into existence. If you are looking for a good steampunk series, I highly recommend this one!

Rating: PG/14
It's not exactly full of anything in particular, but there's married couple life described in so many words and the occasional mention of nudity or (maybe) a cuss word or two (I seem to remember it being mentioned that someone had swore, but I can't remember if any where actually written).

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