Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2) by Gail Carriger
I didn’t wait too long after finishing Soulless to purchase Changeless, the second book in Gail Carriger‘s Parasol Protectorate series. I adored the first book and went into Changeless with high expectations, which were thankfully met.
Changeless picks up shortly after Soulless, the first book in the series. Alexia Tarabotti and her husband, Lord Maccon, are enjoying connubial bliss and their work for the Her Majesty, Queen Victoria. All of a sudden, Alexia finds herself with a regiment of werewolf soldiers camped out on her front lawn and a mystery on her hands: why are the ghosts of London being exorcised, and supernatural beings losing their powers in the same area? Alexia decides to figure out what’s going on, armed with her parasol, the latest fashions, and a motley entourage. She eventually ends up in unfashionable Scotland, taking on werewolf business as only someone soulless can.
Gail Carriger catapults you right back into Alexia’s world, with her quirky writing and pithy dialogue. Alexia remains an unparalleled protagonist – brusque, intelligent, unfashionably frank (though slightly more fashionable in terms of wardrobe, thanks to her new maid Angelique) – and she’s joined by a wonderful group of supporting characters, including a couple new faces. We also get some back story on her husband, thanks to the trip to Scotland. This is a fantastic development for readers who want to learn a small part of Lord Maccon’s 200+ year history, and gives the character a lot more depth and gravitas.
The main mystery – why supernaturals are losing their powers – has a fascinating resolution that brings up many issues I hadn’t thought about. *possible spoilers ahead* One of the issues was brought up by one of the other characters: how much is Conall aging from skin to skin contact with Alexia? Given that they have an extremely active sex life and that even a graze can make him mortal temporarily, he must be aging everyday, which will likely affect him in the long run. I can’t wait to see how the author and the characters will deal with this. The author has also introduced some intriguing new characters and I can’t wait to see more of them, particularly Mme Lefoux and her inventions. She’s a very compelling addition and I hope she’ll be in the next book.
At the end of Changeless, events in the third book, Blameless, are established. Since the blurb is out, I’m going to say that I’m really excited about it. Alexia’s pregnancy should make for a wild ride, since werewolves aren’t supposed to be able to have kids. I’m assuming it has to do with the fact that Lord Maccon becomes mortal when he has skin contact with Alexia. I guess I’ll find out if I’m right in a few days, when Blameless comes out.