Cover design: Lauren Panepinto
Cover photograph: Derek Caballero
Cover model: Donna Ricci
THE PARASOL PROTECTORATE: BOOK THE SECOND
Publishing Date: 1 April 2010
Usually I start these reviews with the Flap Copy (what many people call the publisher's blurb), but as Gail Carriger says on her website this gives away the ending to Soulless, the first book in the series. So I'll just have to write my own very brief flap copy:
Strange happenings in London makes Alexia travel to Scotland.
There she has to investigate while dealing with the intricacies of werewolf pack-dynamics.
Changeless picks up almost directly from the ending of Soulless (my review of Soulless here). The first chapter will bring you up to date on what has happened since the ending of the first book. To be fair, the story does not continue on from Soulless, but not only does Changeless contain spoilers for Soulless, but you will of course have a deeper understanding of what is going on if you have read the first book. I for one would not recommend you start here.
Miss Carriger continues on in the great style she did in Soulless here. There's still plenty of action and suspense, and she has actually managed to ramp up the humour a notch. Not bad when I found Soulless hilarious.
The world of Alexia Tarabotti is expanded upon, we get lots of new information that fleshes it out and makes it seem even more real. Among the added elements we get a look into are the British Army, dirigible flight, and we get a really good insight into how werewolves function in miss Carriger's universe. All of these elements function perfectly and only added to my enjoyment of the story.
There are a couple of new supporting character's introduced here. Among them a werewolf and a mysterious French woman. There is also one Scottish character that is integral to the story, but saying anything more would be to risk spoiling, so I'll leave it for you to discover for yourself.
All the new characters add to the story, and none of them seems thrown in just for the sake of adding to the cast from the first book. Miss Carriger instead uses them to make her story come alive even better for the reader. This is also the case with two characters from Soulless who take on a larger role in this book.
To wrap up I will just say that this book have made mean even stronger fan of Miss Carriger than I was after Soulless, and for me she has now become a must-read author in the Humorous Fantasy/Alternate Reality(Steampunk) genre.
I encourage everyone who likes this type of book to pick up Changeless, after first reading Soulless of course.
My review of Soulless -Parasol Protectorate: Book the First is here.