*Disclosure: I received this book courtesy of Orbit Books
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.
Book 2 in The Parasol Protectorate Series
Sadly CHANGELESS does not live up to its title as it unfortunately changed a lot from the first book in this series. Not all the change is bad. As the cover shows, the steampunk elements have more prominence in this book (dirigibles, and even fax machine like devices), and a visit with Lord Maccon’s family fills in several gaps in his personal history.
The bread and butter of theses books remains a consistent high point. The dialogue is as smart and snappy as ever, full of intelligent humor and artful verbal sparing. And the characters are the same wonderful personalities from Soulless (with a few unwelcome additions and one notably scaled back Lord Akeldama. I’m hopeful that he’ll have a bigger role in the next book). The storyline, however, was a bit all over the place.
The idea of a phenomenon that humanizes any supernatural within certain areas provides a great catapult in CHANGELESS when both Alexia and her husband set off separately to discover the cause. But it never really develops beyond that fun premise. Alexia gets saddled with chaperoning her spiteful sister, navigating the complicated love life of hat-challenged Ivy, and avoiding various attempts on her life. When we eventually come back to the changeless phenomenon at the end of the book, it has almost nothing to do with anything that happened during the majority of CHANGELESS. And to be honest, the resolution to the problem was a bit of a let down.
I’m probably being unduly harsh here. CHANGELESS is suffering more from comparison to Soulless than anything else. Soulless was one of my favorite reads in recent memory, and I expected CHANGELESS to be even better. It’s not. But despite its flaws, I’m still recommending it largely because the ending was a stroke of brilliance. I was completely shocked and simultaneously overcome with an all consuming curiosity about what will happen next when Blameless releases on September 1st.
Sexual Content: References to sex. References to homosexuality. A few scenes a mild sensuality.
Click HERE to read an excerpt of CHANGELESS
- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316074144
- ISBN-13: 978-0316074148