Paperback Mass Market Ed.
Purchased July 25
Read September 24-26
Novel 375 pages,
with 'Extras' 388 pages
Alexia Tarabotti, 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, the sequel to Soulless, and second in the The Parasol Protectorate, picks up after the Maccon's have been married a few months. We are presented with a mystery: The cessation of all supernatural qualities on all the supes within a certain radius. This includes, Connal, Lord Maccon, Sundowner(director) of BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) and somehow this is all relevant to him running off to (actually running in wolf form) to Scotland to track down the reason. Alexia, his wife, with a retinue of relatives and others, tears off after him in a dirigible where a large part of the book occurs. To find out what happens there, and why she runs off after him, you will have to read the book.
Despite the fact that many of the characters in the world invented by Gail Carriger are not human, they serve as mirrors for humanity in many ways. They get angry, they are jealous, they are devious, fall in and out of love, and, in general when they are not wolves or biting one's neck they seem almost entirely the same as any other Victorian. One exception may be Alexia, Lady Maccon. Due to being half-Italian, a sin in the British Ton of the time, she is prone to not being as British as people think she should be. Whence comes her soulless, or preternatural state is a mystery, but because of it she possesses usually not found in British woman of that time — at least as depicted in literature, practical and intelligent.
In fact, the only other woman depicted as practical and intelligent in the book is a woman dressed as a man and who is, it is intimated, a lesbian. All the other women are depicted as either shrewish, stupid or a combination thereof.
The steam punk universe as created by Carriger, is as plausible as it can get, but may have been a major contributor to the slowing of the plot. Carriger's voice in these books is a bit Oscar Wilde with the tenacity of Christie and the droll humor of Wodehouse. While it was a refreshing change in Soulless, I found it made slow going for me in Changeless. In fact, I found the pace of Changeless too slow until the rousing, if somewhat sloppy finish. I was angered by attitudes of certain characters at the book's close as they were, sadl,y irrational and ridiculous.
Having said it was slow, Alexia's character and her current travail, is compelling enough to make me rush to the next in the series, but I have a slew of books to read on my Fall Challenge list, so I think it will keep a few days. I am a sucker for most comedic writing where the characters have British accents.
When I read I transform the descriptions of the person into the description of an actual person — usually a celebrity. Here my imagination has run wild (if not Wilde). What about you who do you have in mind?
Alexia immediately brings to mind the strong, exotic and beautiful features of Anjelica Huston. Even though Alexia is a bit older, old enough before her marriage to have been considered a spinster, I think that Ms. Huston is perhaps past the age where she could play the part convincingly. Sadly, most female actors today are cast in the same mold. Their features are either naturally consistent with the "societal ideal," or they are made that way with some surgical intervention. I can't think of anyone else with Alexia's features and gravitas.
Image via Wikipedia
|Anna Farris, IMDB.com|
|Katherine Heigl, IMDB.com|
Connal: Described as large and muscular out of his wolf form. I had thought of an actor but couldn't recollect his name and suggested a contest to id him. I have changed these terms; noone had entered. I remembered the show and the actor -- it was Stottlemeyer from Monk played by Ted Levine. He might be good — now that he's shaved he might look young enough. And, he's used to playing that kind of comedic/ dramatic role.
So, if you've read the book or perused it, comment below with your display name and email and suggest who you think should play the role of ONE or ALL of the characters from the Parasol Protectorate (required):
Alexia, Lady Maccon
Ivy Hisselpenny (Alexia's Best Friend)
Connal, Lord Maccon
Lord Akeldama (very affected vampire friend of Alexia)
Madame LeFou (a hat maker — French)
Angelique (Alexia's French maid)
Tunstall (actor and Connal's Valet)
Contest will end on Monday Oct. 3 at 8 AM DST Eastern United States.
You must be 18 years of age to enter.
Item will only be sent to US residences. List address as US and include in care of if necessary. You will be responsible for knowing whether Amazon sends items to where you actually live.
I remain the sole arbiter of the contest and reserve the right to change any and all terms.
Book will be sent as printed matter.
Amazon certificate is an e-code.
You must make a reasonable casting suggestion to enter. I decide what counts as reasonable. Cartoon, Comic book, Anime, Manga and characters do not count as a legitimate suggestion. It has to be a living person, known actor or actress.
I will use an online random number generator to select winner
ONE ENTRY PER PERSON & EMAIL ADDRESS.
You don't have to follow or spread the word. But it will be much appreciated if you do. I reciprocate things like that.
If you want to tweet here 's a way to make it super easy — Use this copy:
Who would you cast in a movie abt the Parasol Protectorate? Ends 10/48AM EastUS-DST Amazon GC & book! http://tinyurl.com/22utv5u pls rt
I don't require following because the only time I did several withdrew right after so I figured, why make people do something they don't want to do? It's all for fun. If you want to follow I will be really really appreciative. And, if I reach 500 followers by the end of the contest I will add a second winner of a $10 Amazon Gift Code. And, it's so complex to count up extra entries that while tweeting and sharing the contest is so appreciated, but I am not doing extra entries.
I will, really appreciate mentions and will continue re-tweeting your contests and such. http://tinyurl.com/22utv5u.