Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: Changeless

As a quick heads up, it looks like there won't be a review tomorrow since I've had just a hard time getting a hold of tv shows/movies to watch. I hate to miss an update like this but I just don't have anything and, looking ahead, I'll have plenty of stuff for the next month or two afterwords. My school has simply spent the first month and a half playing movies I have no interest in and I've had a time and a half getting a hold of Life on Mars (plus I kinda thought that Once Upon a Time and Grimm would be done by now and now it looks like neither of those will be finished until May). Again, sorry to do it but after this I don't foresee this problem popping up for another few months at leas.

So, as for the actual review, I read Soulless quite a while ago and hadn't gotten around to the sequel since I was having even more trouble finding a copy of that then I had of the first book. No idea why but I eventually had to utilize the inter-library loan system to get a copy of the book from half-way across the state and it looks like I'll have to do something similar to get the next few books as well. It's a shame that it's been so hard for me to find these books, it's a fun series, it's regular adult fiction (or possibly romance fiction, I'm not 100% sure) which I don't read that often so it's a nice change of pace and I just don't know what my libraries seem to have against it, maybe it's the publisher?

Changless by Grail Carriger

Summary: Picking up where the last story left off, Alexi is now married to werewolf Alpha Lord Conall Maccon and has settled into her role of prenatural (ie, completely unmagical to the point where her touch turns werewolves and vampires into humans again) adviser to Queen Victoria. Recently there have been some strange events that have puzzled everyone in the supernatural society, a "normalization field" where all ghosts in it are exorcised, vampires become human, and werewolves are unable to transform. Conall chooses at this time to run off to Scotland to deal with pack business with a personal connection for him and Alexi has to chase after him, especially since the normalization field is tracking north to Scotland as well.

The Good: Alexi is a clever and competent lead who is quick on her feet and holds her own in arguments, I really enjoyed her as a main character, she's just fun to read about. I also like a lot of the supporting cast, special mention goes to newcomer Madam Lefoux whom I have heard is a reoccurring character in future books, although I was a bit sad that the change of setting meant that some characters got less page time than they had in previous books. The story does a good job at expanding the setting and further establishing it as an alternate reality and I hope that the next book expands it even farther.

The Bad: Unfortuantly a good bit of the conflict in this story arises simply from miscommunication and it's just not a good thing when you have to have characters willing not act in their best interest to draw out a plot. To the story's credit however this was only done by side characters and Alexi is quick to point out how stupid this all is so none of the main characters had to grab the idiot ball for this to pan out (well, mostly, there is some towards the end to create the conflict for the third book which made me wince). There were points in the later half where the story moved a bit too slowly, again mostly because of some obvious and infuriating miscommunication, but the first half moved quite quickly. Also, really don't understand the choice to shove Alexi's half-sister into the story and make her travel with them as well, I really don't understand that choice and don't think she needed to be in the story at all.

I really enjoyed this installment and as soon as my to-read pile becomes a more reasonable size again I'll put in another request for the next book. The fifth (and I believe final?) book in the Parasol Protectorate comes out in March so I don't think I'll have time to read all the other books before that, as was my original time, but hopefully some library will have a copy of it once I get through the next two.