By Gail Carriger
Publication date: March 30, 2010
In this sequel to Soulless, a strange phenomenon is causing supernatural beings to revert to their natural state. Vampires are losing their fangs, werewolves cannot transform, and ghosts simply cease to exist. Alexia Tarabotti is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. At the same time she is beset by personal problems and attempts on her life as she follows Lord Maccon to Scotland where the phenomenon seems to be heading.
Gail Carriger once again fuses adventure, romance, steampunk elements, and the paranormal to tell a thoroughly entertaining tale. This time around we are introduced to some new characters including Madame Lefoux, a woman inventor with unusual tastes, and a large pack of Scottish werewolves. Alexia is the same plucky parasol wielding heroine and she is adapting well to her new role as an advisor to Queen Victoria. In Soulless the focus was more on the vampires and this time around it is definitely the werewolves that take center stage. Lord Conall Maccon is just as handsome and irritating as ever. Details about his history are revealed and Alexia finds out more about her preternatural father as well.
While I suspected the identity of the villain before the end of the book I was still surprised by the villain's methods and motivation. The romance element is still a strong part of the story although Alexia and Conall's relationship definitely has its ups and downs. I am eager to read the next book, Blameless, when it is published this fall. If you like strong female characters, witty dialogue, and paranormal romance, you might enjoy the Parasol Protectorate series.
Readalikes: Insatiable by Meg Cabot, the Sookie Stackhouse series, Truly, Madly by Heather Webber, Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning-Erwin, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig