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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant second book in series
This book continues on from Soulless, I think that the books do need to be read in order to fully comprehend the situation and understand how all of the characters fit into Alexia's life. Alexia still has her parasol, but now an upgraded James Bond version. For those who have not read the first book, the series is set in the Nineteenth century where werewolves, ghosts...
Published on 4 April 2010 by P. Dhinsa

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let down
After reading Souless, the first in this series, I was hoping this was going to be sharp, fast moving and witty. Sadly it just didn't live up to my expectations. The lead characters were predictable and the plot just dragged on so I skipped to the last chapters. I won't be re-reading this book, it will instead be donated to the local charity shop.
Published on 4 Sept. 2012 by C. Goodwin


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant second book in series, 4 April 2010
By 
P. Dhinsa (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This book continues on from Soulless, I think that the books do need to be read in order to fully comprehend the situation and understand how all of the characters fit into Alexia's life. Alexia still has her parasol, but now an upgraded James Bond version. For those who have not read the first book, the series is set in the Nineteenth century where werewolves, ghosts and vampires are the norm. Alexia is the only preternatural in London, a person without a soul, who with her touch can take away supernatural powers. Alexia is highly intelligent, half-Italian and too brown, too curvy and too exotic to be considered attractive in society. Still Lord Maccon (a werewolf alpha) finds her very attractive.
Alexia is now married to Lord Maccon, and the relationship is still as unique and physical as in the first book, not soppy and romantic, but funny and entertaining. In Changeless we see many of the characters travel to Scotland to visit Lord Maccon's old pack. They are there to investigate a strange moving phenomena, where all supernaturals in an area lose their powers and stay mortal.
I found this book to be even better than the first, the writing is witty and sharp. The plot is interesting and the end of the book has a great new storyline set-up for the third book, Blameless - which I am now desperate to read!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure, werewolves and a passion for parasols!, 30 May 2010
By 
Read Me (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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Alexia returns in this second novel to Victorian London a happily married woman, still minus a soul and now the Alpha-in law to a large pack of werewolves. So when she awakes one morning to find her husband Lord Maccon shouting at their resident ghost about matters supernatural she decides to investigate for herself. She soon discovers that the werewolf and vampire populace are becoming human within a certain radius. A changeless werewolf is a vulnerable werewolf so concern all around - Alexia herself becomes under suspicion as her soulless state induces these very conditions. So in order to prove that she is not the cause of some new weapon she has to follow the source of this condition; leading her straight to the former pack of her husband in Scotland. Combine this with a French hat-maker, a scandal raising best friend, some attempts at murder and a fraught dirigible journey and Alexia's life gets very complicated.

Alexia is a brilliant character, she is exactly what you've always wanted historical heroines to be - sassy, feisty and a minefield of ettiquette. Lord Maccon is still all roar and bluster with his amorous intentions towards his wife still a principal distraction for him. Their relationship is still based upon wit and some dashing verbal altercations. For me this is one of the main appeals of the novel (and the series) while the language and manners are all very proper and correct, Alexia and Maccon are both incredibly forthright and often rude with sarcasm knowing no bounds. Carriger's style of writing is detailed, after all this is the Parasol Protectorate and outfits must match accordingly with accesories. In keeping Alexia's new parasol has received a Bond-ish upgrade and now includes poison darts, acid and other tricks.

The novel skips along at a good pace, each chapter leading you into the next until you realise you've read half the book! Its been a while since I read anything that left me grinning from ear to ear but Carriger manages it beautifully. If you like your history a little alternative, if you like your supernatural with a pinch of realism, if you think heroine's should do the rescuing as well as being rescued or if you just fancy something that will make you laugh out load every now and then - then this is for you. Read it's prequel Soulless snap this one up then order the next tile Blameless. Long may this series reign.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly even a better pick-me-up than a Box of Chocolates, 22 May 2010
By 
T. Hamilton "Alwyn" (Beaune France) - See all my reviews
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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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy follow-up to Soulless, 11 Oct. 2010
By 
Expat "Sarah" (Thuringen, Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Changeless: Book 2 of The Parasol Protectorate (Paperback)
I enjoyed Soulless, despite misgivings about language (Americanisms, swearing inappropriate to the time especially in front of, and by, ladies) and I enjoyed this, the second book in the series. Unfortunately the language issue is worse this time around, and the book could in places do with a good edit. If you've read the first book, in which you find that Alexia's power as a preternatural (soulless person) means that if she touches supernatural beings they become human again - and the point is made that this can happen even if she is wearing gloves - then like me you will question how she can have her husband lay his hairy head in her lap and let her scratch behind his wolf's ears without turning back to his human form. But that and a few other inconsistencies besides it's still a good book.

Alexia is now married to Lord Maccon and is part of the Shadow Cabinet. If you've read Soulless, you will understand, if not then I suggest you tackle that before this book, because they really do make more sense when read in the correct order. Problems among supernaturals send Lord Maccon to Scotland and Alexia follows, in a dirigible. She does this because the trains are suffering from a strike (not very Victorian that, but never mind) and there is a dirigible service to Scotland (equally un-Victorian, but that is down to the Steampunk genre to which the series belongs). A French inventor (female) is introduced and Alexia gains a James Bond-esqe parasol to help her solve the problems. Her annoying sister (one of two annoying sisters, actually) comes along, as does her friend Ivy of the silly hats. More werewolves are introduced, the familiar ones from the last book appear and Alexia's vampire friend Lord Akeldama appears too. It's funnier than Soulless. It has an ending that makes you need to read Blameless, the next book, as soon as possible. Don't try to take it seriously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty steampunk romance that's full of twists and mayhem, 9 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Changeless: Book 2 of The Parasol Protectorate (Paperback)
3 months after SOULLESS and Lady Alexia Maccon is married to a werewolf Alpha and working as muhjah to Queen Victoria. When her husband, Conall, receives news that a plague of humanity has broken out in London, which is exorcising ghosts and left werewolves and vampires without their supernatural powers he rushes to investigate, leaving Alexia to deal with a regiment of werewolf soldiers who've just returned to England and are miffed to find that their Alpha is not there to greet them and best friend Ivy Hisselpenny, who's become engaged to the heartbreak of Conall's clavigar, Turnstell.

When Conall's investigations carry him off to Scotland and his former pack, Alexia follows him to do some investigating of her own. No lady can journey north without an entourage however and Alexia's accompanied by her French maid, Angelique, Ivy, bitchy and self-absorbed sister Felicity, Turnstell and Madame Lefoux a cross-dressing French hat maker and inventor. Soon they find themselves embroiled with werewolves who are unable to change and a mummy unwrapping party and most inconvenient of all, attempted assassination. Armed with a custom-made parasol, acute logic and acid-honed manners, Alexia is determined to uncover the truth ...

The second in Gail Carriger's steampunk paranormal romance series is another wittily told tale of mystery and mayhem. Although it's slow to start this is so as to provide more detail on the world that Carriger's created and I found the information on werewolf soldiering and its importance to the Empire and the dynamics of the Shadow Council fascinating.

There are plenty of twists and turns and while the pace meanders at times, it's the journey and the characters you meet that are most important. Of these, the cross-dressing Madame Lefoux is my favourite - intelligent, pretty, strong-willed and with Sapphic tendencies she's a successful businesswoman and talented scientist and her scenes really spark.

Although there remain a few Americanisms in the text, these didn't spoil my enjoyment and my only readl criticism is the ending. I'm not a fan of cliff-hangers anyway but this one turns on a particular character being quick to assume something when circumstances provide an obvious and logical counter-argument. For me, it was a sour and slightly strained note for the character concerned, even given previous information about them.

Nevertheless, it's a funny read, Alexia is a great heroine and I will definitely be reading the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic second book!!, 14 Jun. 2010
By 
Claire Mill "Cem" (England) - See all my reviews
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This is the second book in the Parasol Protectorate series from Gail Carriger. I loved the first book in this series and was really looking forward to it. I was not disappointed!! It picks up about three months after Alexia's wedding to Lord Conell Maccon, Alpha werewolf of the large Woolsey pack, and she's more or less adjusted to life in the pack. Until of course there are suddenly many more wolves to deal with, and camping on her front doorstep (very inconsiderate of them too!). But it can't hold Alexia's attention for long. For some reason all supernaturals in a certain area of London have found themselves decidedly mortal again. Very bad news for the ghosts, because it meant sudden exorcism. *poof* no more ghosts in that area. Alexia's new position as muhjah for the Queen means she has good reason to investigate it. Her investigations lead her to Scotland, where her husband also disappeared, without a word to her, to. But being Alexia, a preternatural generally feared by the supernaturals, it is not long before things get even more complicated and she finds herself the specific target of some serious unpleasantness, both with the company she finds herself in and the acts being done against her.

This book was as fast and fun as book one. I am completely in love with the spunk and attitude from Alexia in the Victorian London setting. Add in the Scot's with their slightly less than respecful attitude to the English with Miss Hisselpenny's crazy hats, Alexia's simpering half-sister Felicity and Lord Maccon's claviger, thespian Tunstell (who may or may not be in love with Miss Hisselpenny) and you get serious entertainment as well as drama. I love it!!

There is depth and intrigue to just about every aspect of this story with some surprising twists along the way. We meet some very entertaining new side characters, as well as getting to know those we've already met better. I love the way Alexia and Conell play off each other. They're both strong willed characters who like having their own way and they seem to spend as much time yelling at each other as not. In a loving way, mostly.

I got warned by a couple of people on Jocelynn Drake's forum, very strongly, not to read Changeless before Blameless is out in September. I didn't get the advice until I was halfway through, which was kind of a shame because I should have taken it. The ending is shocking, totally didn't see it coming (well, one part of it I did, the other I didn't) and oh! I so need the next book right now!! I won't say the emotions involved because I don't want to ruin it in anyway for anyone. It was fantastically done and it leaves for a lot to be sorted in the next book. Left me hanging completely. I both love and loathe when that happens. I always hate the wait, I'm a very impatient person, but at the same time, I love it because it adds to the suspense and fun. If 'fun' is the right word... Still, this was a fantastic follow up to Soulless with drama and humor blended together seamlessly. This is a series that has easily jumped to my favourites list. Bring on Blameless!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put the kettle on, the Parasol Protectorate is back!, 26 May 2010
By 
A. Razeto "Dr.Annouk" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Any book which introduces us to a character named Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings is worth reading, I say! Add to this the protagonist Alexia, a Victorian lady with a very practical mind (which everybody knows comes from having no soul) and a mysterious curse affecting the supernatural community, and you have the perfect excuse to brew a fresh pot of tea a sit down for a delightful read! The cocktail of steampunk, urban fantasy and (alt-)historical fiction would be enough to make us giddy, if we weren't already too busy drooling over Lord Maccon, the alpha werewolf! Changeless is as inventive, witty and fast-paced as the author's previous novel, but it has an advantage over Soulless, as its best feature is being one of those rare books that gives you pleasure just by thinking about reading it! Miss Carriger we salute you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars She did it again!, 27 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Changeless: Book 2 of The Parasol Protectorate (Paperback)
I'm writing this review straight after finishing this book and honestly, I'm a little upset right now about what happened at the end. I'm finding it hard to get over it! It really tugged at my heartstrings...Conall needs a slap around the back of the head. I'm hoping Alexia provides him with one in the next book.

I found myself loving this book just as much as I did the first. It did seem to be like an in-between kind of book and wouldn't really stand on its own if it wasn't part of a series. But, honestly, I don't care because I'm loving the series as a whole anyway. I thought the plot was great. It wasn't as good as the first book in the series but it held its own and I liked it regardless. I still found myself turning the pages as fast as I could.

What really stands out in these books, this one especially, is the characters and the writing. Alexia and Conall in particular, they really had me laughing a lot of times throughout the read. They also really made me feel for them whenever they were anxious or upset. This is where the ending comes in again. I swear I felt my heart fall into my stomach. It says a lot about a writer when a reader can identify or relate to any character at that level. It makes reading the book an entirely different experience to a book where I couldn't really care less about the main characters.

I can't really say anything more about this one. I just adored this book and really recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of urban fantasy - I can guarantee it will get a laugh out of you at least, it's just too witty not to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Changeless... and why not?, 25 Feb. 2013
By 
J. Mcdonald "Yelochre" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Changeless: Book 2 of The Parasol Protectorate (Paperback)
As the follow-on novel to" Soulless", "Changeless" offers more of the same lightweight Steampunk/fantasy/comedy mix, set in an alternative Victorian Britain.

Alexia is now Lady Maccon and muhjah by appointment to Queen Victoria's Shadow Council - which will mean nothing to you if you haven`t read the first book. Settling into married life with her werewolf husband, this episode sees our heroine travel to Scotland (or Gail Carriger`s idea of Scotland, complete with unintentionally hilarious dialogue which seems to have its origin with Scotty from Star Trek) in an effort to solve a mystery affecting the supernatural communities` special powers. Of course it also presents more of Lord Maccon`s back-story, with an excuse for more retro-science, new characters and more comedy of manners.

This is a very entertaining, engaging series; nothing very taxing intellectually, but good fun with a tongue-in-cheek irreverence for language and historical setting.
If you are contemplating reading this, be aware that these novels are very integrated as a series and are best read as such and in order - but if "Soulless" clicked with you, you'll positively want to continue with this camp, inventive, outrageous cycle of novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, I'm glad to say, 3 Jun. 2010
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Skeadugenga (UK) - See all my reviews
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The acerbic Alexia Tarabotti just gets better as a character. Now married to Lord Connall Maccon, their relationship as chaotic, adversarial and frankly physical as before, the trials of living with a pack of werewolves don't even cause her to break stride. The delightful humour is well up to the standard of the first book.

As Mujah, Alexia now has covert authorisation from Queen Victoria to get involved in supernatural matters which might threaten the empire. As a result we get to accompany her on a dirigible ride to Scotland and experience the workings of cutting edge steampunk communication technology, plus an upgrade to Alexia's now truly redoubtable parasol. My favourite characters from the last book are all present and we see more of Miss Ivy Hisselpenny and her horrendous hats although slightly less of Lord Akeldama. Ivy in fact provides most of the light relief as the story takes a darker turn.

There is a significant gear shift at the end of the book which makes it almost impossible to wait patiently for the next one. Please Gail, write faster.
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Changeless: Book 2 of The Parasol Protectorate
Changeless: Book 2 of The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger (Paperback - 2 Sept. 2010)
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