Gail Carriger‘s engaging Parasol Protectorate series continues where it left off in “Soulless,” with “Changeless.” Alexia’s character continues her logical, phlegmatic, cuttingly witty development in this second installation, while the world around her continues its madcap evolution.
The original leitmotif regarding the levels of soul necessary to be/become supernatural beings is further fleshed out, while Alexia tries to adjust to her new status and be helpful to the other characters in the book.
And now I have to pause to ponder how to proceed in my review…
Necessarily, character development means that the adventures in a given series build somewhat on past experiences. But a reviewer can’t comment on the new experiences without giving away significant plot points from the earlier installation. So I will remain cryptic about who Alexia is becoming, and laugh up my sleeve about her first flight in a dirigible, while coming to the main point: In some series middle books feel like an annoying, necessary bridge to further the plotlines the author is pursuing. Carriger escapes that tendency with another delightful romp in alternative history England, in a story that could stand on its own without suffering from lack of background, but impels me to seek out the next in the series. Once again I have to give an enthusiastic thumbs-up to anyone who likes to read stories driven by feisty female main characters.