Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2

Soulless2Alexia Tarabotti, now married and known as Lady Macon, is back and nothing can keep her down for long: not waking to find a regiment of soldiers camped on her front lawn, not having her husband depart for Scotland with barely a word, not even her dear friend Ivy’s atrocious hat with the strawberry hanging off it!

The mystery du jour is quickly revealed as an unexpected condition that only afflicts the supernatural set: vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. For mysterious reasons they are being temporarily afflicted with humanization. For however long the illness lasts, they are no longer werewolves or vampires, but mortals. The unfortunate ghosts who become inflicted are exorcised, and do not return. While no one quite knows what is causing it, it seems clear that it has something to do with the troops recent return from Egypt and points abroad.

Meanwhile, Lord Macon has left for Scotland to try to help his old werewolf pack, the Klingair Pack. While Alexia is quite miffed that he has up and left with hardly a word, she is intrigued to meet a new character, Madame LeFoux. Madame LeFoux is a hat maker extraordinaire as well as an inventor. She also likes to dress as a man and finds Lady Macon quite attractive.

Thus Lady Macon, along with Madame LeFoux, Ivy, and Lady Macon’s unpleasant sister, Felicity, set off for Scotland following not only Lord Macon, but also the affliction of humanity that seems to have left London for parts up north. Traveling by dirigible (a wonderful opportunity for Ivy to buy new hats), they make their way north with only a poisoning and near fall off the dirigible for entertainment.

Carriger is at her cheeky best in this second volume of the The Parasol Protectorate series (known as Changeless in novel form). Somehow she manages to combine a steampunk, Victorian, supernatural, bodice-ripping mystery with puns into one perfect package. None of her wonderful descriptions, clever dialog, or smartly paced plot are lost in the translation to comic form.

While this book is less racy than the last one, it has its share of heaving bosoms and naked men covered only by the word bubbles of their speech. The adaptation to manga works quite well. Having the convention of chibis allows for the excess emotionality of many scenes to be illustrated very effectively. I did find that the main character, Alexia, was a little too thin and pretty compared to what is described in the book, but this small detail does not distract from the overall fun of the book.

Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2
by Gail Carriger
Art by Rem
ISBN: 9780316182065
Yen Press, 2012
Publisher Age Rating: OT/Older Teen

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