Monday, 25 April 2011


Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti, 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. But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. 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.

An Abundance of work commitments meant reading this second Alexia Tarabotti novel became quite a dragged out affair.

Not quite such an all round joyful read as the first volume this one tells the story of a curse of 'living' that first blights the afterlives of London's supernatural set before moving north to Scotland to afflict the remains of Lord Maccon's old pack. Alexia's investigation into this phenomena throws her into an adventure filled with spies, lies, assassins and intrigue.

The story this time is a little light. The set up is all in place for a rollercoaster romp but it never really delivers on this. The airship sequence could have been so much more than it ended up being and the climactic showdown was lacking in both derring-do and pathos. Too much time and effort was expended on Felicity and Ivy's bickering and nowhere near enough time was spent fleshing out the far more interesting Madame Lefoux. This leaves a large chunk of the book (the middle sequence) rather slight and unsatisfying.

All this negativity aside though I did enjoy Changeless. Carriger has a light touch and witty turn of phrase and the book was a fun way to spend a couple of sunny afternoons and the ending, whilst I have reservations (surely they (the core couple) must have contemplated the possibility of this knowing Alexia's powers - there are several references to everyone else having done so), certainly leaves everything wide open for the third book in the series.

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