Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate Series 2)

Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate Series 2)
By: Gail Carriger
Orbit Books 2010

A steampunk historical romance review


Changeless sees the intrepid Alexia Tarabotti settled into a position of power, both as muhjah to the queen and Alpha of the Woolsey pack. So when immortals of all kinds suddenly begin to lose their powers on a wide scale, Conall Maccon runs off to tend to his old Scottish pack, and suspicious activity begins to follow Alexia around, she is naturally up to the task.

This sequel considerably broadens Carriger’s world in several directions, by introducing the rest of Conall’s werewolf pack, delving into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the Alpha’s move to London, taking readers to Scotland, and uncovering more details about this world’s intriguing rules and wherefores. The new characters are introduced and expanded without taking away from the original characters’ growth, the numerous mysteries facing Alexia keep the plot steaming along full-speed ahead, and this heroine performs her antics with such aplomb that I didn’t mind that some questions don’t get wrapped up until later books. Amazingly, the clothing details of bizarre hats and edgy attire attain even greater heights of distinction in this work.

In short, this is the vindicated and indomitable Alexia Maccon as everyone loves to see her, and the plot has enough going on to keep her busy and readers highly entertained. However, unlike Soulless, this book ends on an abrupt note that requires swift continuation into Blameless, so have it at the ready.


“Soulless” (The Parasol Protectorate Series 1)

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate Series 1)
By: Gail Carriger
Orbit Books 2009

Alexia Tarabotti wields two great weapons: a custom parasol and the fact that she’s soulless. Up against mysterious incidents that frighten vampire queens and get under werewolves’ skin, will Alexia’s ability to cancel out any supernatural powers be enough? More importantly, will her spinster reputation survive her investigatory antics? And just how provoking can Queen Victoria’s werewolf agent, the Earl of Woolsey, become for this stubborn, intelligent lady when they must work together?

Gail Carriger’s novel works like an English scone smothered, or jammed, with humor. The light overall feel and humorous quirks tie the whole thing together and make Soulless good, quick travel reading. However, beneath all that fun lies a very solid and interesting world. The thoroughly thought-out details seem a bit dense at first, but the precocious characters and Carriger’s humorous jam balance it out well. The romance works well within the plot. The characters are engaging, and left with plenty of room to grow in the sequels. While not taking the most unpredictable route, the mystery unfolds with aplomb and drives a good pace. An excellent book to read over tea or when in need of a fun, supernatural escape, Soulless holds a world I would like to visit again.

Once Upon a Time 2×7 “Child of the Moon”

Huzzah for Ruby!  Why is she not central to more episodes?


On King David: I don’t know what to do with him.  It seems he is trying to compete with the likes of Lord Voldemort in convoluted plans, but he’s not great with them.  He could’ve just started with burning the hat.  If all you need is a diversion, you don’t have to murder and frame people.  (Speaking of which, does Charming not do ANYTHING for himself?  Keep an eye on your damn hat, dude.)  He could’ve gone after Henry-I’m guessing the reason he didn’t is because Regina’s protecting him.  Perhaps he really just loves efficiently and is going all-out in this one plan to take care of shepherds, werewolves, and mice in one fell swoop.  He always did have issues with anything that was sortof a different species.  If that’s the case…okay, but you’ve got too much time on your hands, dude.  Also, how did you call up a mob so quickly?  I mean, wouldn’t people frightened enough to lynch a person want them to stay locked up until after they weren’t-ya know-A WOLF anymore and then kill the much-more-easily-lynched girl?  Either David is really good at whipping up mobs or these people all owe him something-perhaps subjects he was good to or that worked with him as the attorney general.  It’s true that he’s good at getting Charming to express his hubris.  Maybe he is good at psychology?  I dunno, in that case I’d expect him to make me care about him more.  I just can’t get worked up about a the man.


On Ruby: Love her  more, as always!  The backstory did seem rather cliched, but they did it well and it made her Storybrooke persona’s paralyzing self-doubt much more grave and meaningful.  Also, it solidifies her ties with Snow, which will hopefully mean that Ruby will in fact finally get a large say in running the world once people are back together.  She had lines in here that could’ve been super cheesy and Ruby delivered them so well that they only evoked emotion and understanding.  Plus, she is standing up for all the liberal, boundary-crossing, not speciest beliefs that King David is spiting, making her ultimate foiling of David’s scheme a highly political and poignant moment.


On Gus: First, I LOVE that the mouse asked the wolf out on a date.  Second, I’m not sure how it makes sense that he was a truck guy in this world.  Third, he was really cute!  Fourth, I really wish King George had used an accomplice named Luke (short for Lucifer) who used to be Cinderella’s stepmom’s cat to actually kill him.  We would have had Lucifer, the convoluted part of the plan would have actually made sense if George was working with someone else who had to be made happy too, and then perhaps Bruno could’ve come forth and been made deputy sheriff.  Bruno would make an awesome sheriff or deputy.  Also, just how anthropomorphized did animals have to be to become humans in this world?  If all the talking animals were made human, surely the town should be bigger.  Fifth, shouldn’t Cinderella or Jack or someone showed up when Gus got killed?


On Anita: I am impressed how much you look like your TV-wolf-daughter.  You could’ve looked a little less maniacal in the beginning, though, so that when you got all speciest it would be more surprising.


On Snow: Again with the wearing the white when you need to be able to hide in the woods!  Also, how did you get free after Red attacked her mom?  I didn’t see anyone untie you.


On Snow White and Rose Red: I really wanted there to be a bear.  It was wolves this time and that’s good, too, but come on, show: a bear who turns into a love interest should come into the mix aaaanytime now.  You don’t even need a pesky dwarf who put a spell on the guy, you’ve got Gold and he would be perfect for that!  Absolutely no excuse for this tale not to happen-I know you know it.  Get on that!


On the FTL part: Like I said, Emma, if you’re going to lose Hook you should’ve got intel on where Cora’s at.  What kind of a head start can you possibly have when he knows where he’s going and you don’t?  Well, the nightmare got cleared up much sooner than I thought.  That’s good, although one wonders why all these people who’ve been under the sleeping curse don’t wake up totally burned.  I can only assume that when actually under the curse the dreams are person-specific and it’s just the aftermath where it’s this particular place.  Still, though-why isn’t Aurora getting burned?


On the fairy dust: Did it bother anyone else that there was absolutely no mention of: And now we can restore Sneezy!  Yay!???  Because there SHOULD HAVE BEEN.  It makes me dislike people.


Overall: Much better than last week, guys.  Let’s keep the spiral going up.