Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.
Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?
This is the final book in the Parasol Protectorate. Overall, I think it did a good job of tying up several of the loose ends from the series. We got to see all of the series regulars plus a new character, Prudence, who is a delightful addition. I look forward to seeing her adventures when she's a bit older.
Although I enjoyed Timeless, I felt there was something missing. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it didn't have the same spark that Garriger's earlier books did. Perhaps it's because some of the events have been done before - Connall and Alexia fighting being one of the main ones that seems to be a common theme in the books.
I did, however, enjoy seeing the route that Biffy's life ends up taking. It was satisfying to see Alexia and Madame Lefoux work out a few of the kinks in their strained friendship. Lyall got a lot of page time in this one, and that's always a plus!
All in all, I'd give it a 7 out of 10. It was a good book. And after five books, Carriger chose to leave on a high note. Good decision.
Books completed: 5/50
Soulless: The Manga, Volume 1 by Gail Carriger/REM
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Or will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
I have long been a fan of graphic novels and, to a lesser degree, manga. So when I heard that Soulless would be produced as a manga, I was intrigued.
After getting my hands on a copy, I can say I'm impressed, both by how well the text translated over to manga and by the art. To say REM's work is incredible is an understatement. The expressiveness of the characters, the Victorian setting and costumes, the backgrounds - absolutely breathtaking. Condensing the book into a manga couldn't have been easy, but the volume easily tells the story without leaving out anything vitally important.
Manga wouldn't be manga with sexual overtones, but I think REM kept it extremely tasteful and in line with Carriger's books.
I definitely recommend this to any manga or Parasol Protectorate fan. It's top notch!
Books completed: 6/10