All this week we will be celebrating The Parasol Protectorate series as a whole, and specifically the release of the concluding book in the series, "Timeless - The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Last."
So today we will go back to the beginning and take a quick look at the first two books in the series, "Soulless," and "Changeless," for a brief introduction/recap of the the story.
Soulless - The Parasol Protectorate: Book the First
"Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking."
One of the things that I liked best about "Soulless" was Alexia herself - she's strong, independent, pragmatic, not afraid to speak her mind, and witty to the core. Quite simply put, she's fabulous. Ms. Carriger has created an amazing world of vampires and werewolves with a Victorian overlay, and Alexia is the perfect guide to exploring this incredible alternate England. The book opens with the aforementioned vampire attack, and Alexia quickly finds herself drawn into the middle of a mystery, which can only be solved with the help of a cast of eclectic characters who quickly become her close friends. And as the story progresses she suddenly also finds herself head over heels in annoyance with Lord Maccon, and the inevitable love affair blossoms, though not exactly as one might expect. Soulless is a witty and fun romp of a a steampunk mystery with a touch of romance, and a more than generous helping of comedy.
Changeless - The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Second
Alexia Maccon, 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."
"Changeless" continues the story of Alexia and company, as she finds herself in the middle of yet another mystery. All of the supernaturals in London have suddenly reverted to being mortal, shockingly embarrassing in and of itself, and all of London's ghosts have been instantly exorcised. As the sphere of influence leaves London and seems to travel across the country towards Scotland, Alexia decides she must follow it - and her missing husband. And it gives her a perfect excuse to go floating aboard a dirigible, the most modern way to travel! All is not what she expected though, either on the journey, or upon arrival in Scotland, and it seems that the more questions she finds answers for, the more mysteries remain! Changeless is another smashing success, and if you haven't read it yet, there's a super special surprise waiting for you at the end!
And that's all for today! Thanks for joining me for this short look back at the beginning of the series! Tomorrow is Tuesday, so for Day Two of "Gail Carriger and The Parasol Protectorate Week" I'll have a special version of Teaser Tuesday, with a Teaser for each of the books in the series so far - so don't forget to stop back by tomorrow. See you then!