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Gail Carriger

Parasol Protectorate, book 5

Orbit (2012)

ISBN: 9780316127189

Reviewed by Alexandra Pierce

The last Parasol Protectorate book, Heartless, bugged me because of its snobbish attitudes towards the middle class. I was very pleased to see that this was not quite such an issue here, mostly because there is little real interaction with the middle classes. So that was one problem cleared up.

This review contains spoilers for the first four books, but NOT this one.

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Gail Carriger

The Parasol Protectorate, book 4

Orbit (2011)

ISBN: 9780316127196

Reviewed by Alexandra Pierce

This is the fourth book in the Alexia Tarabotti/Maccon series, The Parasol Protectorate. As such there are spoilers for the first three (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless), but there are NO major spoilers for Heartless.

When a ghost turns up in front of Alexia and mentions that there is a plot against the queen’s life, Alexia naturally flings herself into uncovering and halting it. Even if she weren’t muhjah and therefore responsible for such a thing, she could hardly help herself from meddling and being all Miss Marple-y. In the course of her investigations, Alexia must of course deal with the supernatural set – werewolves and vampires mostly – of London, have hair-raising adventures, and drink a great deal of tea. All of this while she is eight months’ pregnant. Oh, and her life is being threatened on a regular basis, too.

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Gail Carriger

Books 1, 2 and 3, The Parasol Protectorate

Soulless

Orbit (2009)

Changeless

Orbit (2010)

Blameless

Orbit (2010)

ISBN: 978-0-316-07415-5

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

I was first exposed to what’s become known as The Parasol Protectorate series (the books are subtitled as being “Alexia Tarabotti novels”) a number of months ago, via a great video showing the creation of the cover of Blameless. This did the rounds on the ‘net showing how cover design comes together in a very cool way. I watched it a few times, thinking how clever it was, but that the book itself didn’t look like my sort of thing. HOW WRONG I WAS! When Tansy and Alex started raving about the books, I knew I had to try them. Then I received a review copy of Blameless and that decided it – Soulless and Changeless became my only Aussiecon 4 prescribed purchases, and when I finally got the chance to read them, it was to the exclusion of all else.

I’m not really sure what I thought these books were about, when I first saw them appearing in bookstores and via the cover design video (which I now recognise as some very smart marketing!). I guarantee I did not realise they were funny, smart, paranormal fantasy set in an almost real historical world, populated by suave and sinister vampires, tough and militant werewolves and a society that has built itself around its supernatural inhabitants. Did I mention funny?

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Gail Carriger

Orbit (2009)

ISBN: 978-0-316-05663-2

Reviewed by Alexandra Pierce

I have never been caught up in the paranormal romance obsession. Unless they’re being hunted by Hugh Jackman or Wesley Snipes, vampires have rarely done it for me, and werewolves even less so. I have never opened a Twilight book, never seriously watched Buffy, and never come close to Sookie Sackhouse (all of which a number of my friends can ruefully confirm). Which makes it all the stranger that I read, and enjoyed, Soulless.

I was initially interested in the book because of a friend’s description of it as ‘mannerpunk’. I’d read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I thought vampires and werewolves in Victorian London may well be worth a go (despite not being a fan of the period). And once I picked it up, and discovered that the main character’s name is Alexia – well, I’m no more immune to vanity than the next person.

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Gail Carriger

Orbit (2010)

ISBN: 978-0316074148

Reviewed by Tansy Roberts, Syndicated July 2010

Yes, I grabbed this one as soon as I saw it (spotted in an actual bookshop no less!) and gobbled it up pretty damn fast. While Changeless didn’t feel quite so intense as its predecessor Soulless, I was impressed at how comfortably the world set up in the first book continues. While there is a fairly enormous gap between the world of the Parasol Protectorate and actual Victorian London, I would take Carriger and her Alexia over Charles Dickens any day of the week.

It’s hard to discuss this one without spoiling the end of Book 1 for readers, so all I can say cagily is that Alexia’s situation has changed greatly, and she has settled into her new roles rather well, and we get to spend plenty of time with all the good characters from the first book, and get to know some great new ones.

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Gail Carriger

Orbit (2010)

ISBN: 978-0316056632

Reviewed by Tansy Rayner Roberts, syndicated July 2010

As I mentioned in a previous post, this is a book that has been calling out to me for some time. It’s Victorian urban fantasy! (or urbane fantasy, according to the author’s website, which is all kinds of awesome) The main character wields a parasol against vampires and werewolves! Mannerpunk! Oh yes. Completely my cup of tea. (did I mention the near-constant tea drinking?)

After resisting the purchase of this tempting morsel for so long, I snatched it up pretty instantly upon finally acquiring it, and read it over a couple of days. Considering how little book reading time I usually have, this is saying something. The story runs along at great pace, and with great humour. It really is like a cross between Jane Austen and PG Wodehouse, with added vampires, werewolves and steampunk.

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