I didn’t review Changeless because it didn’t make all that much sense to me as a novel. I mean, it did but it didn’t. Clear?
I enjoyed reading it, but I couldn’t really figure out what it was about. The whole book seemed to be about the last chapter, which lead into this book – and reading Blameless confirms that. It’s like Part II. The more satisfying part.
I gushed about Soulless because it was such an oddity – a new, fast-paced, funny steampunk novel with some pretty cute world structures. By the third book I’m starting to figure out what keeps me-as-a-reader always hanging about on the fringes of Carriger’s world.
The stories are, first and foremost, farce. She does farce very well and it makes for a funny, enjoyable read. But it doesn’t invite you much deeper than the surface.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, by the way. Farce is the province of the greats – Shakespeare, Wilde, Wodehouse, Heyer. (haha, my definition of greats…) And in a way it does make the poignant moments punch a lot harder, because they are in no way overworked, and they come from left-field.
The style also suits Carriger’s heroine, who is without a soul and takes things head-on, without sentiment.
But where Soulless had the structure and emotional journey of a romance novel, books two and three don’t. It was fun to read about Lord Maccon getting plastered on formaldehyde, but it making him ridiculous to that extent kind of ruins him as a romantic hero.
There were some developments I really enjoyed in the novel, though – things that dipped a little below the surface into complexity and emotional intrigue. Professor Lyall plays a big part, and finds himself in a complicated – but very interesting – position by the end of the book.
And Lord Akeldama, though playing a mostly absent figure, arrives with more of a punch than his usual entertaining role.
Overall, these books are worth reading and enjoying, but I’m not consumed by the need to devour them as I read. Which is possibly a good thing.