Review brought to you by OBS staff member Erin
Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband’s past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux’s latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.
Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf’s clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet? (from back cover)
The fourth volume in the Parasol Protectorate has just as much action as it’s predecessors, but so much more scandal. It seems everyone has had something to hide: a plot to assassinate Queen Victoria has been revealed to Lady Maccon, and as she investigates she discovers secrets about all of those dear to her.
Filled with Gail Carriger’s expected wit and humor (humour?), it doesn’t suffer the way some series can when going on for multiple books. Having three previous books to establish the world and its science, book four gets into the finer details of this alternate Victorian Age and is all the richer for it. Carriger’s writing has often been compared to Jane Austen in tone and pace, but this time it’s all action, with very little time for romance (although that doesn’t stop Lady Maccon’s sister from trying). What’s so great about this book is that the characters we’ve grown to love reveal amazing new layers, and with the new assassination plot connected to one from 20 years ago, everyone’s dirty laundry is coming out (Supernaturals have plenty of time to create scandals, after all). The plot is exciting of course, but the characters take the front seat this time around in no uncertain terms. This is easily my favorite Parasol Protectorate book after Soulless.