Cover: a scene from the book
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly.
Until, that is, she receives a summons that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?
Alexia and Conall Maccon are still living in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet, entering his house by a secret entrance from their own, to be close to their daughter Prudence. A few years have gone by, without anyone trying to kill Alexia, so she is enjoying relative peace.
Her friend Ivy Tunstell has become the mother of two darling twins, and still engages in acting with her loving husband and a rather flamboyant troupe, with Alexia as their patroness.
And then Alexia is summoned to Countess Nadasdy’s home, and she has no choice but to go. There she witnesses the Countess trying to change a drone into a new vampire, and fail, which does not make her happy. Apparently, the oldest vampire alive wants to meet Prudence, and Alexia is to go to Egypt posthaste. Normally, she would not thing about answering such a summons, but there is also some Pack business to see to over there, and the Maccons decide to leave swiftly, and with the Tunstell’s theater troupe as a cover. Something is happening with the God Breaker Curse, and they need to find out the truth. The countess also wants to add a person to the journey, and so Alexia’s former friend Madame Genevieve Lefoux comes aboard as well.
Unfortunately, Alexia’s halfsister Felicia Loontwill is back in town, and out to cause as much trouble for Alexia as she can, and succeeding in that as well.
But while Alexia is in Egypt, life goes on in London as well, with Biffy and Professor Lyall trying to find out who murdered that packmember.
It is hard to tell anymore about this, without spoiling some major plots. You better just read it for yourself.
I totally enjoyed it, especially the time in Egypt, the steampunk world Gail Carriger has build, focusing mostly on transportation. I loved the balloon world, and just everything. Alexia and Conall find out more about Alexia’s powers, and those of Prudence. And she finally finds out more about her father. I am glad to say, my suspicions at the start of the book came true as well.
There is also a development in the personal life of Biffy, which I enjoyed. Yes, I can enjoy gay romance done like this. I already know and like the characters, and what else can you expect from Lord Akeldama and his gorgeous male drones who love all the latest fashions?
Gaill Garriger has created a wonderful world, I have read nothing like it. I have tried some other steampunk and did not like it very much, but this series I love. Great characters, great action, and full of twists and surprises. There is also humor, great and awful hats, and some lovescenes. And of course, a parasol.
I am looking forward to reading more books by her. And I am going to make a very bold statement here: if you like Gini Koch’s books, you probably like Gail Carriger as well. As I do get a bit of a Gini vibe, especially how Alexia figures everything out in the end. Of course, that goes two ways, if you already like Gail Carriger books, you will probably enjoy Gini Koch’s books as well. A bold statement, as I usually really dislike comparing authors and of course they write very different genres and worlds.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian