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Witty steampunk romance that's full of twists and mayhem,
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.