When a friend emailed me with studying woes and angsting over Literary Analysis I sent her two things as a pick-me-up via snail mail, a box of Chocolates, and a copy of "Soulless" with a post-it note stuck to the cover saying "the book equivalent of chocolates".
A pick-me-up is exactly what these books by author Gail Carriger are for me. They're face paced, they're funny, they're witty and they have that rare ability to draw you completely into a fantasy world without you even realizing they're doing it. In this instance the world is a slightly lopsided Victorian London full of werewolves and vampires, that somehow manages to be both comfortably familiar and completely fantastical, and most of all...surprisingly plausible. After discovering this world in "Soulless" I immediately pre-ordered "Changeless", and was not disappointed by my second visit.
"Changeless" picks up several months after the events of "Soulless" with Alexia nee Tarabotti, ensconced as Lady Maccoon and Alpha Female of the Woolsey Pack. Being wonderfully pragmatic in addition to having no soul, and therefore being a sort of walking antidote to the excess of soul of the supernatural set, Alexia is just the sort of woman to keep a pack in line and report as Muhjah to Queen Victoria. And, as "Blameless" opens, her skills and parasols are put to the test as she is faced with her first major crisis: a loss of supernatural ability is sweeping through London, and moving north and no one knows what is causing it. But Alexia plans to investigate.
However this is not the only thing on Alexia's plate. A regiment encamped on her lawn, a husband who mysteriously runs off to Scotland without telling her, a best friend determined to make a fool of herself both in her choice of headwear and her flirtations, a mysterious and not un-suspicious French Inventor and a self absorbed half sister who can't seem to grasp the big picture, all round out the things Alexia has to contend with. Oh yes and someone is apparently trying to kill her.
Like "Soulless" I read most of "Blameless" not aware that I was quite literally wearing a huge smile the entire time. It's impossible not to enjoy these books, they make me laugh and grin with anticipation the whole way through and I may even have told off a character out loud towards the end while completely wrapped up in the story (fortunately I wasn't in public, I've learned to read these books in privacy since they make me laugh out loud far too often).
"Changeless" is probably one of my favourite books of 2010 so far, and needless to say I'm more than a little anxious to get my hands on "Blameless". In case my boundless enthusiasm for this book isn't already clear, I completely encourage anyone who isn't already as hooked on this series as I am to go remedy that immediately and get themselves a copy.