Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Changeless Changeless
by Gail Carriger

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Stephen Litten

Changeless is the second in the Alexia Tarabotti series of novels by Gail Carriger. Alexia is now Lady Maccon, and must put up with a stately home full of werewolves returned from the colonies, a husband who is running off on business, and Ivy Hesselpenny who arrives and announces her engagement. London is also suffering from a blight of preternatural activity, something both the vampires and werewolves think Alexia has a hand in. Alexia knows differently. Armed with a new parasol (an unstylish affair but suitable for close combat), she pursues her husband by dirigible to Scotland, alone except for Miss Hesselpenny, Madame Lefoux (a possible French spy), her half sister Felicity, and the trusty Tunstell, one of her husband’s pack’s servants. But the curse of preternaturalness has beaten them to Scotland, and Alexia and Lord Maccon must solve the problem of not being able to shape change, as well as settle a succession problem within his old pack, without recourse to the supernatural.

Carriger writes with her usual charm and wit. Once more I enjoyed being transported back to slightly different version of London, with its werewolves, ghosts and vampires and just a dash of steampunk. Alexia is a delightful heroine, not easily flustered, and subject to the unwanted attentions of assassins, spies and other ne’er-do-wells. The supernatural beings have their own little cliques, and Alexia fits none of them, even though she is married to a very powerful werewolf. But she is also good friends with a gay vampire, who is absolutely charming. For those who like a little bit of manners with their steampunk and fangs, this is the book for you.

The book ends with a death and a pregnancy and leads nicely in to the next in the series, Blameless. I have a signed copy waiting on the bedside table.

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