Phewf - nearly a month behind on the review of this one! Sorry guys - let's crack on!
Date finished: 25 March 2011
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Bought (December 2010)
Genre: Steampunk/Urban Fantasy
Published: (in the UK) by Orbit Books in September 2010
As with most series, I think the synopsis of this book gives away a lot about the first and second books - if you desperately want to read a synopsis, check out the Goodreads page here
There isn't a huge amount to add to this review that I haven't already said in my reviews of the first two books of the Parasol Protectorate series: Soulless and Changeless.
As ever, Carriger's characters are razor sharp and a witty take on Victorian society. The more I read of this series, the more in love with them all I become - to name but a few, I adore Floot, the 'classic' English butler who follows Alexia with a reserved and only slightly sarcastic air, Ivy with her penchant for ludicrous hats but utter adoration for her rogue best friend and Lyall for being the perfect, ever-suffering Beta to the gruff Lord Maccon as Alpha. Obviously, the cast wouldn't be complete without a dour Queen Victoria making an appearance!
The history of the preternaturals is expanded on in this book but there is still the usual adventure, misunderstandings and twists that made its predecessors so wonderful. The humour is consistently dry and right up my street - these books always have me at least giggling to myself a little bit every time I get stuck in. The plot in this is a bit stronger than in Changeless so, all in all, a great mid-point for the series. I will definitely be picking up Heartless when it comes out later in the year!
Overall: I would (and in fact do, regularly) recommend these books highly - Carriger's style is utterly charming and creates an absolutely perfect alternative Victorian era full of supernatural beings and extraordinary inventions. If you're new to either steampunk (like I was...) or urban fantasy, this series is a great place to start!