Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Changeless by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, 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 into the backwater of ugly waistcoats, Scotland, 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.

My take: 2 looks
This second book in the Parasol Protectorate series did not grab me like the first one did. Perhaps it was the introduction of the characters and very different premise of the vampire/werewolf story. Perhaps it was the introduction of steampunk as an integral part of the Victorian world. This book included those items, but they were established this time. Characters were brought back, but I was very frustrated by the lack of development of newly introduced Channing and no building at all in the recurring characters. All of these things lessened my enjoyment.

On the other hand, I tend to think the first one was just more cleverly written. Alexia was strongly drawn in the first novel, wielding her parasol and her independence like the weapons they were. In this case, she was more of a tool to move the story than the story itself. There was no true antagonist, even to the end. When the "whodunit" was finally revealed, you had already guessed it.

The sexual tension between Alexia and Conall in the first was reduced to mere wanton lust and sex in this installment. I wanted more of the playfulness and shared respect in their coupling, and not simply a pile of discarded clothing on the floor. It reminded me of an animal being in rut, and I don't think that's what Carriger intended.

Lastly, the ending was shockingly inappropriate. I literally stared wide-eyed and mouth agape as I read the last few pages. It was so out of character and unnecessary to add this extremely negative ending. It was not the interesting and heart-stopping twist that I suspect it was meant to be. I found it so distasteful that I may not read the third book for a while, if ever.

With that said, I can't recommend this one.


  1. That's too bad that the second book was not as great. I've heard many great things of this series by John W over at Bibliophile. Should I start reading it?

  2. Yes, Vonnie, read the first one and see what you think. I loved the first one. I read another review that loved the second but not the third. :) It's an interesting take onthe vampire/werewolf world and has a lot of steampunk influence. I think you will enjoy it.

    1. Thanks! Now...the vampires do not sparkle, right? lol