Book ReviewChangeless

Reviewer's Rating: 
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Orbit, 2010

BOOK TWO: ALEXIA TARABOTTI SERIES. Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

After reading and loving Soulless, the first book in this series, I predictably ran (literally, with my jogging pants on and everything) to the nearest book seller and bought everything they had which was sadly, just the first three of the Alexia Tarabotti books.  Without wasting a minute I eagerly dove into Changeless.  I was most interested in seeing how author Gail Carriger would handle the rest of the series.  In book one, when Alexia and Collan get married (something that could have been stretched into a few books but was condensed into the first) what would their 'happily ever after' look like?  And I should have known.  Classic rules applied - book one hot, book two you cool down.  For most of Changeless Alexia and Collan are apart.  Aw dang it.

Which brings me to my 4 rating, not a perfect 5 regardless owning a copy now.  There was a complete and utter lack of laughs.  Gail's comedy in book one was a major draw for me as a reader, but with Alexia and Collan separated - the dynamic duo was unable to provide that same entertainment value.  Ivy, Alexia's dimwitted but kind-hearted friend is a poor substitute for the intelligent and smarmy wit of the husband and wife team.

Changeless sees a few new characters come into the limelight and the setting itself takes a turn leaving London behind for air flight in a dirigible and then a drafty, dusty Scots castle.  Collan's great-great-granddaughter is a welcome edition to the cast and I felt she could have provided us with that smarmy wit I referred to earlier and yet, remained only a stern, cautious reflection of Collan instead.

As for the suspense/plot it was slightly toned down from Soulless but this didn't detract at all from the solid storyline we were given.  The pacing flowed well and the mystery component of who dunnit was well played.  Overall a slightly easier installment in this series with so many species to keep straight - this one focused mainly on the werewolves. 

Last but not least, without giving anything away, the ending was superb and has my comedy depraved radar on high alert that more is in store for book three, Blameless.  Ha cha cha!  The game is afoot, Watson!

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