This is a blog with spoiler free reviews. Most will be Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror, but there will be some books in other genres, including the occasional Non-Fiction review. There is an ongoing series of Cover Reveal Round-Ups, and sometimes I'll write an article on something that interests me.

19 January, 2011


Cover design: Lauren Panepinto
Cover photograph: Tiny Dragon Productions
Cover model: Donna Ricci


ISBN: 978-0-316-07415-5
Pages: 355
Publisher: Orbit
Publishing Date: 1 September 2010

On the cover:

   The publisher's blurb/flap copy on this book is a bit like Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan exiting a car, it reveals more than you need to see. So I'll just quote from Gail Carriger's blog :

"Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON  if you haven't read the other books first."

   There was some major events at the end of the second book in this series, Changeless, so this was an eagerly awaited book for me. And I was not disappointed.

   The opening chapter gives us a quick reminder of past events, and also gets us up to date with the story of Alexia. 
   This is a action-filled book, and Miss Carriger doesn't waste anytime in throwing us right into the middle of it. An early mystery is thrown into the mix, and we are off on a fun journey into Alexia Tarabotti's Europe.

   It is the traveling that helps make this book so good. By having Alexia travel out of the United Kingdom, in this case to France and Italy, Miss Carriger gets the opportunity to show off more of the world we are in. And she does this magnificently. There is a sense here that this is a fully fleshed out alternate history Europe. Among other things, we get to know much more about the paranormal's special place in UK society, and how some of the other countries in Europe sees them.
   This adds another layer to the background, or should I say Worldbuilding?, that Miss Carriger has put into the world of the Parasol Protectorate. As a fan of history, both real and alternate, I really appreciate that.

   Right from the start of the book we have events that helps us understand better who Alexia is, and how she has become that way. We get to see even more of how her family is, and this especially feels true to having formed the personality Alexia has become. We also get some surprising and intriguing information about Alexia's family background. 

   There is a parallel plot going on here, that I will not call a B-plot as it is just as fascinating as the story of what happens on Alexia's travels. And it also adds a lot to both characters and the world the story is set in.
   There's also quite a bit of historical fact, to this alternate world, sprinkled about in the book, something I found very rewarding. (Also keep an eye open for the hilarious names of some of the incidental characters.)

   Miss Carriger has continued the story of Alexia Taraotti in excellent fashion. This book gripped me from the first page to the last, and I am already looking forward to the next installment, Heartless, that is coming in June this year.
   Whether your interest lies in Victoriana, alternate history, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, or just an action-packed adventure, you almost certainly will find something to love in this book.

My earlier reviews for: Soulless and Changeless

LINKS: Gail Carriger  Orbit

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