Gail Carriger comes to the blog today with the second in the Parasol Protectorate series, one that is quickly becoming a favorite for the clever world-building, characters and twists. Narrated by Emily Gray, please read on for my review of
I loved the introduction to the heroine in this series, Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon is everything that she should be as a heroine and more. Smart, sassy, quick to judge (but always fair) and a stickler for manners – she’d be perfect in an Austen novel as the ‘voice of propritey’, even as her own life is often far less than correct. A soulless, she’s a paranormal being that can, under the right circumstaces, negate the powers of other supernatural beings around her, the only exception being her inability to mitigate or correct her husband, Lord Maccon’s inbred Scottishness. Oh, the werewolf side of him doesn’t bother her overmuch, but his manners, the decibels at which he speaks and his inability to properly coordinate a wardrobe that is suitable to the eye and task are constant battles.
But this isn’t about Alexia’s priggishness, or even her marriage (not entirely – it is a largely significant factor with dialogue and interplay between them) but a story of a new threat, and how Alexia has become an integral cog in the wheels of checks and balances that keep the kingdom (or Queendom) running smoothly, with no one group assuming or abusing power, mostly due to deep-seated animosities. But, as the Mujah (advisor) to the Queen, Alexia has a responsibility beyond ‘wife’ and miss manners. When you add in the disappearing husband, an illness that only effects the supernatural community and a best friend with love-troubles, just where is her focus to be? Oh the twists, turns and clever phrasing and dialogue are a highlight in this book! From ghostly apparitions who serve as messengers, to a newly threatened woman and a vanished husband – dangers and revelations run from laugh out loud ridiculous to seriously tense, each fitting nicely into the framework of the world and its political structure, while still providing wonderful moments where London and the time stand out clearly. But, be warned, there is a cliffhanger here – and you won’t want to wait for the next.
Narration here is from Emily Gray and she IS Alexia with that ‘proper headmistress attitude’, and a sharp sense of humor and observation. Maccon is also clear and distinct, with his burr and a tendency to roar and growl, often because he can. Other characters are equally well presented and distinct, with tones that range from obsequious to reverential, and everything in between. Carriger’s prose is a highlight in this series: her ability to craft descriptions, emotions and scenes is a highlight, and the narration allows the words to speak where needed, letting listeners immerse themselves – taking the time to travel away to a new world full of intrigue, action and enjoyment.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #2
Also in this series: Soulless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless
Genre: Science Fiction / Steampunk, Setting: Britain, Victorian
Narrator: Emily Gray
Published by: Hachette Audio, Orbit
Published on: 26 September, 2017
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 36 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
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.
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.
CHANGELESS 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.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.