Changeless by Gail Carriger
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.
Review by Brittany:
This is the second book in the Parasol Protectorate series, and I read and reviewed the first so jumped into the second with high expectations.
This novel was a little more risque than the first one. The author makes many more allusions - some not so subtle - to the intimacies of Alexia and Conall in their married relationship. As readers of the first book know, Lord Akeldama is a vampire of a certain sexual preference, and this book introduces another character with a certain preference. This isn't an overtly huge theme in the book, merely a characterizing detail.
The big reveal at the end of this book was fairly predictable. The author gives enough clues to explain why the supernatural set are unable to change that the reader figures it out before the characters in the novel. There's a certain appeal to this, but it also means that the reader isn't surprised. The "villain" in the book is also pretty predictable by the end of the story. This doesn't detract from the story, although I would have liked to have been a bit more surprised by the big climax.
The very ending of the book leaves a bit of a cliffhanger for Alexia and Conall's personal relationship. It also introduces the idea that Alexia might be studied for scientific purposes because of her preternatural state. These two events open up some possible story lines, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Overall, this is a series that I do recommend, if paranormal is an interest of yours. I would recommend starting with the first book to make a more seamless reading experience.
"We all become what we are taught to be."