Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: Changeless by Gail Carriger

Changeless is the sequel to Soulless, and it maintains the same fun, and witty air of its predecessor. Changeless features Alexia as a married woman dealing with a strange phenomenon that has the supernatural community in a tizzy as Ghosts are spontaneously exorcised, Vampires are living and breathing, and Werewolves have only their human form. As part of the small advisory council to the Queen, Alexia decides to look into the matter for herself, which takes her and an uncontrollably growing entourage on marvelous adventures involving: Werewolves in Kilts, Inappropriate Emotional Attachments, and travel via Airship.

I definitely enjoyed reading Changeless. Changeless introduces some new and fascinating characters especially Madame Lefoux, French milliner and inventor, also the creator of The Parasol, a wonder of modern technology if slightly less fashionable than preferable. Madame Lefoux while having an integral role in the investigation of also makes for some awkward scenes in which the Frenchwoman flirts with Alexia and results in mixed feelings. With the addition of more characters and Alexia’s venture out of London, some of my favorite characters from Soulless were given far less attention than I would like: In particular, Professor Lyall and Lord Akeldama. It was however, fascinating to get a more in depth look at one of Alexia’s sisters, Felicity, and her dear friend Ivy, even though by the end of the novel I was ready to dump both of them in a lake because I can only take so much empty frivolity. Alexia’s relationship with her husband, Lord Maccon still has the same passion that characterized their relationship and if anything has become more tempestuous now that they are married.

In Changeless, Gail Carriger’s Steampunk influences are seen in full force with Dirigibles, Communicators and Gadget Laden Parasols. I loved the scenes on the dirigible especially the fight scene! Changeless also revealed a bit more of what it means for Alexia to be a preternatural and not all of the revelations are precisely positive or easy. It was also a nice touch to introduce figures from Lord Maccon’s past and to see the shift in perspective that it granted Alexia. I thought that the conclusion of Changeless was well wrought with enough loose threads to keep my interest piqued even without the massive cliffhanger. In the end, Changeless only succeeded whetting my taste for more of the same and I’ll definitely be looking forward to the release of Blameless in September.

For a detailed diagram of Alexia's Parasol, check out this Blog Post by Gail Carriger.

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