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review 2016-01-03 17:30
Changeless, a book that drove me mad in the best way, by Gail Carriger
Changeless - Gail Carriger

It's the first book I've finished in 2016 and I'm quite happy this was it (that is, as long as the second book I finish is Blameless).  Look what you've done, Gail Carriger, I am in quite a state. 

 

"Ivy waved the wet handkerchief, as much as to say, words cannot possibly articulate my profound distress.  Then, because Ivy never settled for meaningful gestures when verbal embellishments could compound the effect, she said, "Words cannot possibly articulate my profound distress."

Alexia is vexed after her werewolf husband runs off to Scotland in pursuit of an urgent matter without telling her.  So she does what's entirely not expected of her and goes after him.  In a manner quite unexpected, she rides in a dirigible to Scotland with her sister, Felicity, her best friend, Ivy, her handmaiden, Angelique, and the claviger, Tunstell.  Unbeknownst to her, the intriguing & possibly untrustworthy Madame Lefoux.   The journey to Scotland becomes quite dangerous when Alexia's life is put at risk.  More than once.  Alexia could only get into more trouble once she reached ground, but with her trusty parasol in hand, she just may be able to handle it. 

As soon as I was done reading Soulless, I knew I needed to pick up Changeless as soon as I could. And I do mean immediately.  I considered some sort of evil that the end of the first book contained a bit from the first chapter of the next.  How conniving.

Naturally, I trekked to my nearest bookseller and hoped to find this installment. With luck, I was able to buy this & the 3rd book and was compelled to buy the 4th & 5th since they only had one copy of each.  I resisted buying the others, however. My heart & soul  protested but my wallet breathed a sigh of relief. 

“She reached inside the wide ruffle and pulled out a little vial.
“Poison?” asked Lady Maccon, tilting her head to one side.
“Certainly not. Something far more important: perfume. We cannot very well have you fighting crime unscented, now, can we?”
“Oh.” Alexia nodded gravely. After all, Madame Lefoux was French. “Certainly not.”

Story

Alexia is back and witty as ever. And what doesn't kill her, is making her stronger. Literally.

Ivy is as oblivious as ever and perfect for it.  I loved reading about the journey on the dirigible. They're fascinating. 

 

Scotland! Oh my Scotland, my favorite land.  How I love that this story took place there.  Though I would have killed for some more description of the castle/ scenery.  This book is just as ridiculous as the first, just in a different country and I loved it just as much.

 

“Alexia,” she hissed to her friend, “there are knees positively everywhere. What do I do?”

 

Characters

  • While the new cast of characters in Scotland are not as well formed or interesting as the Woolsey pack, there are some stand outs.  Lady Kingair is quite the match for Alexia.
  • I'm not entirely sure what to make of Madame Lefoux but I do enjoy reading scenes with her.  She makes things rather interesting.  It was fun seeing more of Felicity, though mostly vile as she is.  I bet she was an amusing character to write.

 

These books are a breath of fresh air and have forever endeared me to Gail Carriger's writing.

 

Oh, my lordy.  That ending.  I can't.  I'm so mad at that last perfect page! I need the next book ASAP. Of course, I should pace myself but I really don't want to do that.

Excuse me while I binge-read Blameless and ignore all other responsibilities.

 

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review 2015-12-30 04:18
Soulless, in which a book has stolen my heart & soul, by Gail Carriger
Soulless - Gail Carriger

I just finished reading Soulless and I absolutely need to get the rest of the series.  I've been saying that all day but now I really mean it since I have no more of it to read. *makes grabby hands*

 

I had first come across this book when I was in high school. I thought it sounded interesting but didn't buy it since I probably didn't have any money.  Then I forgot about it. I know, how could I?! But never fear, the other day I was in Barnes & Noble and they had it listed in their bargain priced section. I immediately picked it up, whispered, "You're finally mine," and ignored concerned onlookers to purchase it. 

 

I started reading it and I couldn't help but giggle.  Out loud. In front of people.  

 

Alexia Tarabotti was perfect, witty, and entirely too amusing.  What a wonderful main character! She's intelligent, bossy, stubborn, witty, and gets herself into quite the scandalous situations.

 

Lord Maccon is an insufferable delight.  His interactions with Alexia soon became my favorite thing about the book and I hated whenever he left the page. 

 

Lord Akeldama and Professor Lyall were brilliant side characters. Lord Akeldama's scenes were among the ones I laughed most at. I loved the inflection in his voice and I must say, he may just be one of my favorite vampires. 

 

“A vampire, like a lady, never reveals his true age.”

 

I also adored every exchange that Alexia and Ivy Hisselpenny had about Ivy's hideous hats.

 

This book was ridiculous in the best possible way.  I loved the writing, the story, the setting, the characters- just all of it.  

 

 

All I have to say is that when I go out tomorrow, I better be coming home with Changeless (in the correct edition).  I'm looking at you, Barnes & Noble.

 

 

 

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review 2013-07-21 20:58
Spinsters in Jeopardy
Spinsters in Jeopardy - Ngaio Marsh I honestly don't know who in the era managed to annoy Ngaio Marsh with their magick but this book is in response to it. I have my sneaking suspicion that it was Crowley. There's a polemic against magick and such superstition in this modern era and the most appaling mishmash of magickal types. The villans are painted very black with no redeming features and the good guys very very good. Even nastier practices are hinted at but not actually comitted. A good read but very, very biased.
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review 2013-02-18 00:00
Married to the Viscount (Swanlea Spinsters, #5)
Married to the Viscount (Swanlea Spinste... Married to the Viscount (Swanlea Spinsters, #5) - Sabrina Jeffries Oh boy. I really wanted to like this book but no matter how many chances I gave it (second and third and even fourth chances), I finally had to admit defeat.

I love "fish-out-of-water" stories so the idea of a headstrong American woman sailing to England to live with her husband-by-proxy stuffy English Viscount was right up my alley. Sadly, though, the execution of this premise falls flat, opportunities are missed, and the main characters are all over the map in their thoughts and actions.

I knew I was in trouble when, by Chapter Five, the husband-by-proxy explanation and plot set up is still taking place. It isn't a complicated enough plot to require that many pages.
Things continue downhill from there. Abigail and Spencer are completely schizophrenic in their reactions to each other. They ping-pong wildly back and forth between "he/she is wonderful and I must have him/her" to "I need out of this marriage as soon as possible." I'm all for a little bit of the push-pull of attraction but this crap goes on right up until the epilogue. It was exhausting and frustrating. As a result, I didn't like either him or her. The side characters are plentiful and not particularly interesting or likable either.


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review 2013-02-10 00:00
Spinsters in Jeopardy - Ngaio Marsh Oh for heavens' sake! I agree with the reefer madness references in other reviews (and I have, indeed, seen that very silly movie). Now that marijuana is legal, I can state without fear of arrest that "reefers" absolutely have no such effect or addiction potential. So there. :-)

I really like this one--one of my favorites; it's just fun. Love Ricky.
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