Kat's Reviews > Changeless

Changeless by Gail Carriger
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's review
Nov 06, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fiction, mystery, read-in-2011
Read from November 02 to 05, 2011, read count: 1

I think I'm getting the hang of all this steampunk stuff. I started reading this book immediately after reading the first in the Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless. It's my second foray into the steampunk genre, and like the first in the series, I found this one enjoyable as well.

In this book, there's a strange phenomenon happening among the supernatural folk called 'humanization.' In other words, supernatural creatures are unable to change and instead stay human (hence the name of the book). Alexia, being the curious woman she is, will stop at nothing to determine what's causing it. Accompanied by her friend Ivy Hisselpenny and sister Felicity Loontwill, Alexia travels to Scotland by dirigible in search of her husband, whom she believes may have some answers to her questions.

We meet a new character in this book named Madame Lefoux, a master inventor — she creates Alexia's latest deadly parasol — who happens to dress in men's clothing. She bears some secrets, and it's unclear from the start whether she's more of hindrance than a help to Alexia. We also learn a bit more about Alexia's Italian father. I liked meeting the new characters, but I wish there was more of Akeldama — he's such an entertaining, flamboyant character.

Thankfully there isn't too much in the way of descriptive romance, but there's a lot of detail regarding the interesting inventions. I was actually very intrigued by the aethographic trasmitter, which apparently is a machine that can transmit messages wirelessly. Alexia uses one to send a message to Lord Akeldama in London all the way from Scotland. I also enjoyed reading about traveling by dirigible. Imagine ladies in their bustles and petticoats climbing into an airship!

While I was wary at first about all the scientific aspects found in steampunk novels, I'm surprised to discover that I sort of enjoy them. Well, maybe only to a certain extent. But I am definitely planning to read the next book in the Parasol Protectorate series...especially after the cliffhanger of an ending in this one!

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