Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Alexia Tarabotti
Book #: 2
Reading Level: Adult
Goodreads Rating: 3.99
Published: April 1st, 2010
Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, 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.Taschima's POV:
But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. So even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, 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.
CHANGLESS is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.
THIS IS A RE-REVIEW OF A TITLE I HAD ALREADY READ 5 YEARS AGO. SINCE CHANGELESS WAS PUBLISHED SO LONG AGO, AND I ALREADY HAD GIVEN IT A SPOILER FREE REVIEW THIS REVIEW MIGHT CONTAIN MILD SPOILERS FOR THIS BOOK, AND THE PREVIOUS BOOK.
It has been 5 years, give or take, since I originally read Changeless. A lot has changed in those 5 years, like for example Gail Carriger came out with a pre-quel of sorts to the Alexia Tarabotti world called Finishing School, but some things haven't like for example my instant hate/dread of Changeless' ending. Not to say the ending itself was bad, it is actually quite good, it just always gets to me because I always end up screaming at Lord Maccon about how he is being such an ass and what not. The ending still infuriates me, but there are a lot of things I managed to appreciate more this second time around which is why I so encourage giving this series a second go around.
The dialogue as always is excellent. I love Alexia's character, her strong will, her intelligence, her inner Italian fire. The beginning of Changeless was a little lacking, if only because Lord Maccon wasn't present. You spend the beginning missing him because he is the only one who can (safely) go toe to toe with Alexia. Their conversations are always my favorite part of the books as they always bring a smile to my face. So instead Alexia has to go around solving the biggest mystery to hit London in a while without her other half. Until that mystery brings her directly to his doorstep once more.
Quite honestly, Gail Carriger could write whatever plot she wants and I would still read it as long as she keeps her dialogue going. Crazy dragons attacking London? Sure, why not? But take Alexia's voice away and the series might as well perish. In this installment supernaturals are threatened by the appearance of a strange phenomenon that can turn them all human within a certain radius. The reason behind this occurrence was actually quite interesting to uncover since it deals with Alexia's ancestors and her soul sucking line. Plus it led for us to visit the Kingair pack for the first time, which is great because we get to meet Lady Kingair...
If you are a fan of Gail Carriger you have probably read her YA venture, Etiquette and Espionage. It is a great, silly, entertaining read that is not to be missed, specially since some of the newer characters you get to meet in Changeless are perhaps characters you already knew before. To me it was a little baffling seeing Lady Kingair and Madame Lefoux in this installment because in my mind they are still 16 and 8 years old respectively (I had to cross reference like crazy). Only not, because dear Sidheag and Vieve are quite adult now and living their own lives. Which begs the questions...
If Sidheag and Vieve were both at the Finishing School at the same time, why did they not know each other? Sure, they are only connected in that series via Sophronia (the main characters in THAT series) but they both frequented the soot room and knew of each other. Plus you would think Sidheag's ears would perk up once she heard the name "Lefoux" as it is the name of their old teacher. But I digress, because Changeless was written years before Etiquette and Espionage so Gail Carriger was just trying to connect everything as best she could. But still, after you read both series these things kind of nick at your reading experience since you wish it all connected quite beautifully. Though maybe it does... I have yet to finish the Alexia Tarabotti series after all. I stopped reading halfway through Blameless because of Lord Maccon and his stupidness.
No matter how much you know something is going to happen in a book you already read you somehow wish things went differently. Like, I always wish Sirius would step off that ledge, or that Dumbledore would have just cut off his arm or something. Up until this day you cannot say anything regarding Fred dying because I will either ignore you or burst into tears. I knew the ending of Changeless was coming, and I braised myself for it, but I couldn't completely prepare myself for how harshly Lord Maccon treated his wife. I understand his pride was hurt, not to mention his feelings, but could he be a bigger knuckle head? You age when your wife touches you but then you are SURPRISED other biological functions can occur as well? My oh my, what is wrong with the world. I understand it is supposed to be that one thing in their road that is supposed to be their problem to be overcomed by the next book, but, well, it did turn me off the entire series at one point of my life so... that's that.
No matter how stupid Lord Maccon was by the end of this book, or how ridiculously easy it was to tell who the "bad guy" in the story was (because, really, who else could it have been?!) I still enjoyed Changeless immensely yet again. I will continue on to Blameless now, and hopefully this time I will stick around until the very end.