Changeless by Gail Carriger
24 March, 2011
You may recall how I enjoyed Gail Carriger’s steampunk urban fantasy Soulless a few months ago. I was eager to get my mitts on the sequel, Changeless, and lo and behold I found it in the library. It’s fate, I tell you.
This was as enjoyable as the first book and I raced through it like nobody’s business. I don’t really want to give anything away except that preternatural Alexia Tarabotti and supernatural Lord Conall Maccon are now married and embark on another adventure when something sinister sweeps through London, compromising the supernatural abilities of the vampires, werewolves and ghosts that populate the city. When Lord Maccon disappears off to Scotland to sort out some urgent business with his former pack, things come to a head when Alexia, who now works for the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, follows him on the trail of the mysterious object that is causing such havoc amongst the supernaturals. But that is not all that Alexia has to contend with as she comes face to face with Conall’s former werewolf pack, still feeling anger and betrayal at his abandoment.
Once again we are re-united with all the familiar characters we met in Soulless including Alexia’s chum, the deliciously camp vampire, Lord Akeldama, and his impeccably attired and aristocratic drones as well as my favourite werewolf, Professor Randolph Lyell, Lord Maccon’s Beta. We finally get to meet blond and buff Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings, Lord Maccon’s Gamma who has returned with his troops from India and has set up camp in the back garden of Woolsey Castle, and the mysterious Madame Lefoux, milliner cum spy, who accompanies Alexia to Scotland and has connections to the Order of the Brass Octopus. The sinister goings-on have something to do with the nature of the soul, something which Alexia lacks, and we can see that things are going to get a lot more complex before the series ends.
My only gripe is that I noticed a lot of Americanisms creeping into the text of what is otherwise a perfectly English/Victorian steampunk fantasy.
However, there is murder, theft and secrets galore and a seriously fantastic cliffhanger and I cannot wait to dig into the next book Blameless which is waiting for me on my TBR.