Changeless by Gail Carriger
ACK! (We'll get back to that in a minute).
I am officially a Gail Carriger addict. In a million years, I could not imagine finding a series that is so perfectly suited to my personality. Carriger's writing is the perfect blend of humor, satire, history, sexiness, imaginative steampunk inventions, paranormality, and let's not forget the stunning outfits! (hee hee hee)....
The characters are delicious. The mystery is filled with chills, spills (and I do mean that literally), and suspense. The "soulless" heroine is beyond divine...practical, hilarious, determined and madly in love with her new werewolf husband (although reluctant to admit it). The hero is rough (ruff!), gruff, sexy and Scottish. The chemistry and dialogue between the two of them is off-the-charts fabulous. In fact, my only teensy, tiny criticism of this book is that I thought Carriger kept Alexia and Lord Maccon apart for too long. By far, my favorite scenes in the book are when the two of them are together, exchanging verbal volleys.
I am also getting into the spirit of the whole steampunk thing. The crazy inventions are the perfect backdrop for this sort of story. I love Alexia's parasol...it's the ultimate symbol for her: a combination of ruffles and pragmatic scientific invention, lethal weapons hidden behind a feminine and ridiculous contraption.
And now for the ack!!!!!!! I will not spoil the ending of this book for any new readers, but Holy Macarena! The ending was a heartbreaking jolt and anxiety-producing moment that had Penelope screaming "Noooooooo!" and realizing that it is going to be a very long wait until September 1 when Blameless comes out. ACK! The end is definitely a brilliant move by the author. I personally love "cliff-hanger" style endings. Even though this isn't exactly a cliff-hanger, the anticipation for the next book has been successfully established. ACK!
Carolyn Crane and Gail Carriger are my two new writing idols!