Gail Carriger
Changeless Cover



I am pleased to say that Ms Carriger has lost none of the wit and humor that she displayed in Soulless. Having much less exposition to deal with, we get a more detailed view of Alexia’s world and her relationship with Conall. It is always interesting to see if a romance relationship can still be realistic after the couple has ‘ridden off into the sunset’. Their dynamic has changed slightly, but there is still a lot of humor, frustration and sexual electricity: and we see how Alexia deals with being pack Alpha. The sections where Conall is proud of how strong she is are quite cute. She remains as strong and independent as she was in the first book, controlling her husband with a deft hand and beating Major Channing into submission when he dares to flirt with her. She has not become a simpering wife, thank goodness, but continues to be a worthy mate to the most powerful werewolf in the country.

The secondary cast continues to be strong. Unlike Shara at Calico Reaction, I didn’t find Ivy all that irritating: rather, I found her attempts at drama and attention-seeking funny, as they were met by indifference or snarky comments from Alexia. Indeed, Felicity was the one I wanted to throw over the side of the dirigible as she continued to make snide remarks about Alexia. Sparky at Fangs for the Fantasy has some objections about the portrayal of the gay characters. I agree that Lord Akeldama is almost a caricature of homosexuality: but I’m never quite sure how much of this is an act that he uses to disarm people. As for Madame Lefoux and her suits, this does seem a stereotypical way to portray a lesbian, but she is not described as being overly mannish or butch, although she does mimic a lot of male behaviors.

Kristen at Fantasy Cafe notes that the ending of the novel, which made me glad that I had book 3: Blameless to hand, also showed how much she was invested in Alexia. My anger and outrage was also proportionate with how much I really like this character and want her to be happy. As both Kristen and Lotte at Love Vampires note, there is much more steampunk on display in this book than the first: we have the dirigible, plus strange aethographic transmitters that allow long distant communications. As a sad scientist, I found the descriptions of these devices and how they work quite fascinating.

My major criticism, apart from the shocking ending, is that the source of the mysterious plague is all too easy to guess, which I found a little disappointing.

For my complete review, click the link below: