Changeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #2)
March 30, 2010
Historical Paranormal Steampunk
Paperback, 374 Pages
Reviewed by Mandi
Why I read: I loved the first in the series, Soulless and preordered my copy of Changeless long ago.
Favorite Quote: Anything out of Lord Akeldama’s mouth – “I suppose, you know all about it, you high-powered political daffodil, you.”
Preternatural Alexia Maccon (she was born without a soul) and her werewolf husband, Lord Woolsey, have been enjoying three months of wedded bliss. Madly in love, and never shy in showing their affection, they have been enjoying married life much to the surprise of others around them. Alexia and Conall didn’t quite hit it off when we first met them in Soullless, but their anger and sarcastic remarks has turned into romance, well romance that still includes much sarcasm and they both couldn’t be happier.
Alexia is now muhjah to Queen Victoria and part of the Shadow Council, working with a vampire and werewolf representative resolving legislative and political matters to the crown. Conall continues to work for BUR, (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) and both jobs keep the couple quite busy. But they are about to become busier. Vampires and wolves are losing their supernatural abilities in certain regions. It also appears ghosts in the affected area are being exorcised. The presence is travelling, and after it leaves an area, the supernaturals regain their abilities again, except for the poor ghosts who no longer exist. These wolves and vamps feel very vulnerable when they become human and many start to panic to find out what is behind this invisible force. Alexia is blamed at first, because she is a preternatural – when she touches a supernatural, she takes away their abilities while in physical contact with them. But obviously she is not touching every supernatural in the region so she is dismissed as the perpetrator. Could it be a weapon? Some kind of plague? Conall goes to investigate in Scotland, where his old clan resides. He thinks there is a connection, and leaves without telling Alexia – but of course, she is not going to sit back and let him have all the fun.
Soulless was on my top of 2009 list last year and Changeless is going to make an appearance this year. Gail Carriger has an adorable voice. The way these characters talk and interact are absolutely charming. I could probably find a favorite quote on every single page. Conall is this big, loud lumbering wolf, with a huge physical presence that frowns upon pomp and circumstance and loves to nibble on his wife. He is very intelligent, and takes his job very seriously, and yet his wild wolf side always shines through. Alexia on the other hand is very graceful and proper, but not faint at heart. She can handle blood and gross things, but gasps in horror if someone is not holding their tea cup properly. Conall will attack her with kisses in a hallway and she will pretend to push him away, full well knowing she wants the smexin’ as much as he does. Their chemistry is so cute and funny and totally romantic.
The supporting characters are great fun in this book too. Lord Akeldama, the very flamboyant vampire that is good friends with Alexia and knows every piece of gossip makes an appearance again. Alexia’s friend Ivy Hisselpenny is back, wearing her absurd hats and is given a love interest in this one. Towards the end she writes a letter to Alexia that had me laughing so hard. We are also introduced to Madame Lefoux, an inventor that befriends Alexia but trust is missing on both sides. She journeys with Alexia to Scotland and when Alexia is poisoned and subsequently attacked, she is not quite sure where to lay the blame. Madame Lefoux dresses in masculine attire and is also is quite affectionate in her advances with Alexia which leaves her quite perplexed. She is a very strong character that really steals the show in this book.
The mystery of why the supernaturals are losing their power plays out well and has a satisfying end. I actually think the mystery overshadows Alexia and Conall’s relationship in this one and would have loved to see more time for the couple. The very end leaves you with a cliffhanger – one that I absolutely did not see coming and I am very surprised events unfold as they do.
Changeless is a great addition to the Parasol Protectorate series and I am so glad we only have to wait until September for the third, Blameless to come out.