4 out of 5 stars.
I am a huge fan of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, so learning that she was writing a sequel series got me really excited. I was pretty justified, since this series has much, if not all, the charm of the original.
Alexia’s daughter Rue is now all grown up and causing as much trouble as her mother did in her youth. Raised by a vampire, werewolf and soulless, Rue is used to the supernatural. What she is not used to is getting out from under the eyes of all three of her caring but overprotective parents and being sent off to Egypt to track down a new strand of tea. As tends to happen to her family, adventure and mystery await her.
This book was written with Carriger’s trademark wit and humour. The contrast between the upright victorian manners and customs of the world and the unpleasant organic nature of the supernaturals is the source of much of the hilarity. I love the mental picture of a woman in victorian dress bludgeoning a vampire with her parasol. That is just a wonderful image.
Carriger’s books are very steampunk, with trains, blimps and parasols all being steam powered. A large part of the books deal with the intrigue of a Victorian England having to politically navigate around roving packs of werewolves and wealthy and deadly vampires. The queen has had to form a council with members from each supernatural sect to help her rule. Rue, though her original mission is simply to get the tea, she finds herself enmeshed in some oversea politics which have the potential to impact England herself. Now Rue must attempt to negotiate a treaty with a new breed of supernatural. At least she has her best friend, who has an impressive wardrobe, along for the ride. If they are in danger, the least they could be is well dressed.
So far the series does not quite have all of the romance that the original series did, but there are whispers of it. It also does not have the pure sheer novelty of the first, but that is what happens when you have more than one series set in the same universe.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of these books.