Saturday, April 2, 2011

What I'm Reading Now-Changeless

Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate)Changeless by Gail Carriger-Changeless is the second book in The Parasol Protectorate series, and like its predecessor, Soulless, this book was a fun take on the supernatural in Victorian England (and Scotland).  One of the things that made Soulless a fun read was the heat between Miss Tarabotti and Lord Maccon.  The heat is still there in Changeless, but now that Miss Tarabotti is Lady Maccon it's a little more...discreet, which is sort of the way it goes, isn't it?

Lady Maccon wakes one morning to find her husband, Lord Maccon, the alpha werewolf of the Woolsey pack, in a frenzy.  It seems that all of the supernaturals in the London area--werewolves, vampires, ghosts--have suddenly lost their supernatural abilities.  To date the only known power against a supernatural (one with an excess of soul) is a preternatural (someone without a soul) Lady Maccon; but the only way for her to affect change (or lack of change, as it were) is through direct physical contact.  The phenomenon seems to be on the move and is affecting large areas. Eventually the Londoners regain their abilities to change into werewolf and vampire forms (alas, all the ghosts have been exorcised and are gone), but soon it is clear that Lord Woolsey's former pack in Scotland is suffering from this plague as well, and it seems to have stalled there.  The pack is currently without an alpha male (Lord Maccon abandoned them and their new alpha is dead) and lacking an ability to change into wolf form, so they are in a rather vulnerable state.  

As head of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, Lord Woolsey takes off to Scotland to investigate, leaving his wife to take matters into her own scientifically-minded hands in London.  Lady Maccon is naturally curios about  what is happening, but she is also well aware that, given her rare preternatural state, she is at the top of the list of suspects.  After consulting with her flamboyant vampire friend, Lord Akeldama, and her new acquaintance, Madame Lefoux, the lady scientist who runs a hat shop and likes to dress in men's clothing, Lady Maccon decides to head off to Scotland in a dirigible.  At the last minute she is encumbered with her bubble-headed but endearing friend who, although recently engaged, has a slight crush on Lord Maccon's assistant and werewolf hopeful, and her style-over-substance half-sister who has been dumped on her doorstep by her exasperated mother.  They go to Scotland, hijinks ensue, a mystery is solved, and all is well...until the end where things go awry and we are left waiting for the next book, Blameless.


Kyna said...

That's that Steampunk genre, isn't it? We had to put up a display for it in my bookshop and I asked a friend what the heck that was lol. I don't know how I've been knee deep in books over the years, and never heard of it. Now that I know, I'm seeing it pop up everywhere. That's how things go, I guess :D Looks cool!

Dreamybee said...

Yes, I think it probably does fall into the steampunk genre, but I'd say the steampunk aspect is more of an accessory than a main part of the story. It took me a while before I had any idea what it was either--it's one of those things that's sort of hard to explain, but once you've seen it you know it. :)